I didn’t get back to my room until around 2AM again, so again, I didn’t get any blogging done before going to bed. It seems that I was much more disciplined about recording the details of my life when I went to Disneyland.
After posting to my blog yesterday, I wandered briefly before getting to the Kaffeeklatsch room. I was on the standby list to see John Berlyne, and I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to get in. I was allowed in, and getting to sit down with John was absolutely fantastic.
John Berlyne is an agent in the UK with clients all over the world. He’s an extremely intelligent man with a someone brusque, sarcastic mien. I actually found him a bit intimidating last year. Then I got to talk to him for a while at one of the parties in Chicago, and he was amazingly supportive. He didn’t sugar coat anything, but he also didn’t let me bullshit myself. He asked me about my book and told me that when it was ready in a year or two to send it to him.
Sitting down with him yesterday, I found him to be exactly as he had been in Chicago. He’s sarcastic and witty, but more generous than one might expect. He re-invited me and a few others to send our stories to him when we’re ready. Obviously it’s no guarantee. My work my night even be a good fit for him. Still, I’ll take all of the encouragement I can get.
After the Kaffeeklatsch, I went on to the SF Signal meetup. I wasn’t sure what that was going to be like, but it was only okay. There weren’t really enough tables and chairs for everyone to sit together. Michael, Todd McCoy, and acquired our lunches and sat together just outside the main set of tables. I had been looking forward to catching up with Emma Newman at the meetup, but she wound up at a complete different set of tables.
Fresh from lunch and full of energy, I went to a couple of panels. The first one was titled “But Why Can’t You See My Genius” and it was about how to handle rejection letters. A lot of the information was stuff I’d already heard before, but there were a few interesting tidbits I put in my notes, and the presentation of the information was entertaining.
I almost attended a panel called “Should SF/F be Covert Commentary on Current Social Issues?” I went in, sat in a chair, and looked at the name of the panel again. My novel questions few current social issues in a subtle fashion, so I determined that I could answer the panel’s question on my own. I got up and went to a different one.
I chose “Use of Language in Fantasy.” It’s an ambiguous panel title, as it could be dealing with what the characters are saying, how the author is telling the stories, or made-up languages. The panel actually touched on all of that and more, and was more applicable to what I’m working on than I expected. Mary Robinette Kowal was on this panel, just as she’d been on the previous one I’d attended, and she was fantastic.
With the panels done, I wandered a bit. I’m actually struggling to remember what I did next, and I feel bad because I think I hung out with someone. I’ve met up and spoken with tons of people this week, but I don’t necessarily remember everything chronologically. This is one of the reasons I wanted to do these posts before going to bed.
The last official event I participated in was a Kaffeeklatsch with Nancy Kress. She’s a delightful writer, and now that I think about it, she’s similar to John Berlyne in that she has no place for nonsense. She’s very sweet and nice, and she invited conversations very easily. She seemed ready to shutdown hogwash quickly and effortlessly, without being mean about it. It’s hard for me to describe.
I want to make one more note about that Kaffeeklatsch. There were a few in attendance that didn’t seem fully healthy mentally. There was another guy that just seemed bored and disinterested, although that might have just been how he presented himself. There was an older woman sitting to my immediate left that was excited about the sit-down, but she was a little hard of hearing and kept talking over Nancy. It made it more challenging for me to enjoy the Kaffeeklatsch. Nancy was very graceful about the whole thing, and continue to invite conversation.
After the Kaffeeklatsch I went in search of dinner. I was determined not to get something fro the food court, and I was hoping to have dinner with someone. Michael was unavailable, having made a bee-line for the next party/get-together at Ernie’s Bar. I wound up going to Chili’s and eating by myself, feeling just a little bit lonely. A pigeon was foraging near my chair, pecking at chip crumbs and other dropped food. At one point, he started attacking some discarded breaded chicken, and all I kept thinking that it was cannibalistic.
After dinner, I went to Ernie’s Bar for Drinks with Authors. The bar was overcrowded, but I still had a good time. I bought some drinks for some really great people. I met some great people. Much fun was had, in spite of the excessively long line to the bar.
Then it was off to the usual parties at the hotel. Michael, Chris from Canada, Will, Jim, Jim’s wife,and I went to various parties and I tried various drinks. I don’t drink that much, and at one point, at the Brothers Without Banners party, Michael tried to get me to have a reaction to a drink called an Orange Ghost. Michael had tried it himself, and it had burned. I don’t know why, but I found it a little bit yummy, and it tingled my lips a little. Michael and the others that were watching were impressed that I hadn’t flinched or turned red or anything. It was anti-climactic enough to be interesting.
By the time I got to my room, it was 2AM, and I was in no shape to make a blog post.
It’s Sunday afternoon now, so this post is going up later than I had planned. I’ve already had a somewhat fascinating day, which I’ll likely write about tonight well after the Hugo’s, or perhaps tomorrow at the airport.