Some conventions – the 2014 World Fantasy Convention in DC, for instance – have worked to ensure that disabled members have full access to the convention.

Others have not.

Thanks to far too many examples of the latter, I have decided not to attend conventions that do not offer an accessibility statement on the convention website, and/or a written statement to me guaranteeing disability access, and offering specifics about that disability access.

I will also no longer be attending conventions that do not provide access ramps to stages.

I am, granted, only a very small voice in fandom, but I'm a very small voice that can no longer use my money and time to support conventions that cannot take the time to ensure that I can fully participate in the con.

I spent most of last week up in Saratoga Springs, NY, for the 2015 World Fantasy Convention. As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, it was….interesting.

I was scheduled to be on two panels, one Friday and one Saturday, and one reading on Friday – my very first World Fantasy panels/reading. I rolled up to my 1 PM Friday panel on Epic Fantasy properly caffeinated and chatted briefly with various people as we waited for the doors to open. The doors opened, people poured out, I rolled in and headed towards the stage –

And felt my heart sink.

The panel had a stage for the panelists.

That stage did not have a ramp.

I use a wheelchair.

I had a brief discussion with an Ops person, who had not been advised that I use a wheelchair, and with Stephen Donaldson, the panel moderator. (Brief largely because the panel was already running a bit late.) Transferring and/or lifting me up to the stage seemed unsafe, so we agreed that I would stay on the ground level, beneath the rest of the panelists. A microphone was handed down to me.

Panelists Darrell Schweitzer, David Hartwell, Sarah Avery and Stephen Donaldson all did their best to accommodate me, and include me in the discussion, but I was uncomfortable.

I informed the Ops person that I also had a panel the following day, Saturday, and would need a ramp to the stage. I then cried, shot off a few irritated tweets on the subject, took some deep breaths, and thought about exploring the dealer's room for a bit before going to get ready for my reading, but then decided to go and make sure that someone else other than Program Ops was aware of the ramp situation, to make sure it got fixed, and rolled over to Registration. The woman there sent me back to Program Ops, where three people informed me that they would not be able to have a ramp for the stage on Saturday. I rolled back to Registration, but started crying again before I could get there. Fortunately, I ran into a friend who helped me get back to my room before I had a huge, public breakdown.

The next day, my fellow panelists Meg Turville-Heitz, Shauna Roberts, Kelly Robson, and Rosemary Smith all joined me on the floor beneath the stage.

I am grateful to all of my fellow panelists for doing what they could under the circumstances, but it would have been much easier for me if the stages had had ramps.

Other aspects of this year's World Fantasy were, if not exactly inaccessible, not exactly wheelchair friendly, either. For instance, the hotel lobby was on two levels. Access to hotel rooms was on the upper level; access to Registration, the hotel bar and restaurant was on the lower level. The two levels were connected by stairs, and a very much off to the side access ramp. I could manage the lower part of the access ramp without too many problems, but the upper part was pretty steep and difficult for me. The bathroom at the lower lobby level was technically "accessible" – my petite sized wheelchair could get in – but larger mobility scooters had problems. The bathroom just outside the dealers' room was not accessible, forcing users to either return through a hallway and two lobbies to the bathroom at the lower lobby level, or go through a hallway to the attached City Center – where the bathrooms were often locked up. The con suite was at the far end from all of this, down a very long, carpeted hallway not near elevators, as were the party suites. As a result, I visited each of those exactly once.

But what upset me more than those issues were the responses to my tweets, a good one third of which pretty much expressed, "Again?"

Because, unfortunately, this is not the first disability/accessibility problem I have had with conventions, or the first time a convention has failed to have a ramp that allows me to access the stage. At least in this case it wasn't a Disability in Science Fiction panel that, incredibly enough, lacked a ramp, but against that, in this case, the conrunners were aware I was coming, were aware that I use a wheelchair, had spoken to me prior to the convention and had assured me that the convention would be fully accessible, and put me on panels with stages but no ramp.

To address a few other issues that have been brought up to me:

1. As of this writing, I have not received an apology from World Fantasy, although I did receive some personal apologies (and a shot of whiskey) from con volunteers.

2. Lifting me up to the stage in my wheelchair or having me transfer from the wheelchair to climb a few steps is not a solution. It's unsafe.

3. My understanding is that adding a ramp to the stage would have cost World Fantasy $800. I understand that this is a significant amount of money, but I would also argue that this is the sort of cost that, like badges, ice cream socials, and the like, should be included in the convention's initial budget.

I have also been informed that part of the $800 cost was because this was a last minute request, suggesting that arranging for ramps is best done early on, if only for financial reasons.

4. Many convention rooms do not have space for a stage and a ramp leading up to the stage. Rooms of this size, however, generally don't need a stage. As someone who has been both a panelist and audience member in these smaller rooms, a table is fine.

5. Although I may have been the only wheelchair user on programming (I'm not entirely certain about that), I was not the only disabled member of the convention – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, the guest of honor, uses crutches, for instance. I saw other members were using various assistive devices, including canes and mobility scooters. I saw only one other person in a manual wheelchair, and no one in a standard powerchair.

Having said that, World Fantasy does seem to have fewer wheelchair users than other events with similar sized groups held in wheelchair accessible/friendly venues.

6. Apart from that, convention attendees/panelists can find themselves in unexpected need of a wheelchair or other device (for instance, after a back injury or broken bone) and that it might be useful for convention staff to consider this while planning a convention.

7. As a result of all this, I spent yet another con mostly discussing disability issues, instead of books and movies. I don't like this.

8. I am, however, extremely grateful to the number of people at the convention who offered/gave emotional and physical support. This is too many to list, but again, thanks.

9. A few people have said that I handled the situation gracefully.

I only wish I could accept the compliment.

My apologies to everyone who witnessed my many less graceful moments. next week! I will be there. I will even, unusually enough, be doing things other than just hanging out at the bar and the dealer's room!

Said things:

1. Wednesday, Nov 5, 7-9 PM, Tor Books Kick-Off, Northshire Books, Saratoga Springs. Please note: a, this is the same evening my roommate arrives, so I'm not entirely sure when I will be rolling in, and b, this event is NOT at the convention, and is free and open to the public, so if you're not part of the convention, but do want to meet, say, Elizabeth Bear, L.E. Modesitt, Charlie Jane Anders (who I am NOT going to greet with "I can't believe you got to hang out with John Barrowman!" I SWEAR IT), Ilana Myer, Fran Wilde, Cat Valente, Scott Lynch, Tina Connolly and many more, this is your event.

Also, apparently, there will be beer.

(And also also, I think that attending this lets me out of the Tor Party that WFC typically has Friday/Saturday, which is a great party with free booze that is also far too noisy and crowded for me to handle these days.)

2. Friday, Nov 6, 1 - 2 PM, "What Does Epic Fantasy Owe the the Literary Epic Tradition?" Also on this panel: Stephen Donaldson, Sarah Avery, David Hartwell, and Darrell Schweitzer. I'm a bit nervous about this one - not because of the topic or the panelists, but because at previous cons I've tended to be pretty sick by/on Friday afternoons, although I'm usually better by the evening. So my attendance at this one is not guaranteed.


3. Friday, November 6, 5:30 pm, Reading

So yay, my first reading ever at a World Fantasy Con, and beyond the major problem that I have no idea what to read, the slight problem that Friday, as said, often sick. That said, I've often been better by late afternoon/evening, so fingers crossed that I will make it to this reading and be slightly coherent during it.

(This reading will probably contain one brief excerpt from my forthcoming book/poem, and ... something else. Possibly a story, possibly an excerpt from another book length project, possibly, especially if I panic, limericks.)

4. Saturday, November 7, 1 pm, "Anthropology and Archaeology." Fortunately, the other panelists on this one - Meg Turville-Heitz, Shauna Roberts, Kelly Robson and Rosemary Smith DO know what they are talking about.

Otherwise, as usual, I'll be mostly at the bar - or, in this case, one of two bars. Based on the progress report sent out, the main bar is too small to hold us, so we are being divided into two bars. Partly separated, it seems, by upstate New York cold. Whee!

Quick note

Nov. 13th, 2014 10:09 am
Still not up to recapping World Fantasy 2014, but I did want to make one important point:

Apart from two minor issues with my hotel room, both promptly addressed by Hyatt, I did not have any disability issues at this con.

(I did have issues outside the con while attempting to navigate Alexandria and DC, but that's on those two cities, not World Fantasy Con. I also did get sick more than once anyway, but...well, I think that's more or less my status quo now.)

As long time readers know, this is not something typical of World Fantasy, which for the last several years have featured Disability Fail after Disability Fail after Disability Fail. So it's a major relief to find that yes, this convention can get it right, and I want to thank the 2014 World Fantasy Committee for getting it right this time.

WFC 2014

Nov. 6th, 2014 11:35 am
A brief note to say that I am here; that my presence in DC, as expected, coincided with a minor riot, resisting arrest, tasering and confused tourists which blocked my access to the Metro; that to my shock, my WFC bag contained, among other items, a book including work by ME! (this never happens ever); and that an editor who we shall name Neil Clarke has already rejected my little zombie verus writers story before I even wrote it, which is kinda sad.

If you are here, I have been more or less hanging out in the bar/lobby area. I will be maknig some sort of appearance at the Tor party tonight, although if past history is any guide, I shall be fleeing the Tor party within minutes (love you, Tor, but your parties are very very loud. I am also signing things for people, so if you have the Daily Science Fictions, Upgraded, Mythic Delirium, or anything else that I'm in, you don't have to wait for the Friday signing; just wave at me.

And now off to find food.
I forgot to mention: yes, I will be attending World Fantasy Convention, November 6 - 9, in Arlington, VA. As far as I know, I have nothing scheduled.

(And yes, that includes the SFWA meeting. I fully understand why it's scheduled at that unreasonable hour, and also that I'm probably the only one who thinks it's unreasonable, but I think it's safe to say I shall be hunting for coffee at that particular moment.)

Which suggests that, as always, probably the best place to find me is either at the coffee or the bar.

Various people suggested that I owe attendees a bit of a warning for this one. No, it's not about the wheelchair, it's about me and DC, namely that generally when I head to DC Bad Things Happen: hurricanes, snipers, people in tractors threatening to blow up the Washington Monument, a fire at a certain party at American University that I thought we were never ever going to mention again (cough) and so on. This does seem a touch unfair, but on the off chance that everyone has a point here, I am mentioning it.

Assuming we have no repeats of any of that, and even then, see you there!
So for those wondering why, after three straight years of attending World Fantasy Con, I will not be attending this year, I quote from World Fantasy's Con news updates.:

"These events will be held during the day in the Chartwell room at the very top of the Hilton, which offers stunning panoramic sea views on Brighton. (Unfortunately, this area of the hotel is inaccessible by wheelchair.) The maximum number of people in the group is 20. Places must be pre-booked and will be allocated on a first-come basis. We are making a minimal charge of £5.00 each to cover coffee and biscuits, plus it helps dissuade people from dropping out at the last minute, when somebody else could have had their place."

(Emphasis mine.)

As I have noted to some of you, my original plan for 2013 was to go to World Fantasy Con and then head over to Spain and Germany to catch up with various friends currently living in Europe, most of whom plan to return to the U.S. in 2014/2015. Giving up this trip was a major, major disappointment. At the same time, I did not want to attend three World Fantasy Conventions with accessibility issues in a row.

This is especially aggravating since the 2009 World Fantasy Convention in Columbus was generally fine (minor hiccups but nothing major). So it is absolutely possible for WFC to use a wheelchair accessible hotel, and yes, the United Kingdom has disabled accessible hotels and laws about disability and discrimination.

But WFC chose not to use an accessible venue, and so, I cannot attend.

(Thanks to Amal El-Mohtar and Farah Mendlesohn for bringing this to my attention.)
Still pretty dizzy, but sorta able to sit up and think between bouts of moving floor, so thought I'd try to sneak a con report in here mostly copied/pasted from my iPad notes before the election coverage gets going.

Summary: Con, yay. Hotel and Toronto airport, not yay. A surprisingly emotional con for me, very up and down, where I felt caught between tears and laughter, severe disappointment and massive excitement, fury and glee, and talked entirely too much. I did cry far too much on the first couple of con days, and got pretty dizzy pretty much every afternoon and most evenings, but things improved later.

From my notes on the cheerful and good things:

1. As always, the very very best part of the con was all of the wonderful conversations with the amazing people, and no, I'm not just talking about the conversations about photocopying sharks. (Which were less conversations and more me explaining why I once photocopied dead sharks. Look. This is just one of those things that can happen, ok?) I also finally got to meet in real life various people I've only "met" through Twitter or

2. Alas, the sad part of the con is that I didn't get to talk to ANYBODY enough. Even though, oddly, I also talked FAR too much.

In her con wrap-up, [profile] wirewalking said something that really spoke to me, about types of friends at cons, including:

"The ones you pass and exchange hellos and waves with in the halls and wish you could hang out with more, but scheduling always gets in the way."

Yeah, that.


3. On the other hand, I did get to sing with Charles de Lint. Admittedly the more neutral observers of this event would call this less "singing with Charles de Lint" and more "sitting in the audience and joining in the chorus," but instead of quibbling or providing an accurate report, let's call this "singing with Charles de Lint."

I did, however, really and truly have drinks with him before the con actually started, although this was entirely by mistake since for the first half hour I had absolutely no idea who he was. Sometimes it takes a little while for obvious things (mentions of his book titles, for instance) to enter my little brain.

4. It will surprise exactly no one that my last dinner at World Fantasy Con (which technically happened after the con, but whatever) involved Jonathon Coulton songs. What can I say?

5. Speaking of music, I am absolutely shocked, shocked by my completely reliable statistical sampling of random World Fantasy attendees: Bedlam Boys, which I sang 1 1/2 times, was recognized by 15 people. The Wombling Song, which I sang 10 times (sorta), was recognized by 0 people. AT A FANTASY CONVENTION, NO LESS. My little heart, it breaks.

6. Darlings, I must tell you, [profile] csecooney made me all wet. Deliciously wet. And then she recited poetry, and soon, I was even wetter. This was at – and I kid you not, darlings, I have witnesses – at an erotica party. A literary science fiction erotica party. Some words about wine and knees might even have been spoken. I cannot be sure. It was all quite dazzling.

7. And yet, all of the witnesses remained fully clothed. (If you wanted proof that we were not at Dragoncon.)

8. On a related note, I did finally make a graceful appearance INSIDE the Tor party. (Usually I make my graceful appearance OUTSIDE the Tor party, because, wow, is that one popular party.) I also have witnesses for this unusual achievement. It lasted about 15 minutes but I feel this should count, especially since people had offered to pull things out of the Jacuzzi for me by that point, which, you know, means it's now a PARTY.

9. I failed, alas, to make a similar appearance at the Vandermeer party, and thus missed the bunny.

(I have no more context for this. I was simply told, "you missed the bunny," so I thought I'd share so we could all miss the bunny together. Except of course for those reading this who didn't miss the bunny.)

10. On the other hand, I also missed the funeral and open casket viewing that took place in the room right next to various panels, including the ghost story panel, and all the assorted creepiness. I did, however, get to experience the Sheraton's Haunted Elevators. I suspect editors are going to get slammed with Haunted Elevator stories in just a few months.

11. I kept expecting the con to end, for people to drift out and away, because that was what has happened in previous cons – on Sunday, I am often back alone in a hotel room, crouched against the noise of a convention, returning to myself bit by bit.

This time, though, the convention lingered – Sunday dinner, late Monday coffee and semi-lunch, cab ride to the airport, the ticket counter – and then, the real shock, shortly after I'd said goodbye to everyone I'd shared the cab with, feeling that it was time to return to myself again.....

....there was [personal profile] neile at an airport store! It was the con that never ended. Well, until I got on the plane (upgrade to business class, which was nice if mostly pointless since I was sick the entire flight, after my not exactly happy fight with Air Canada and the Toronto airport) switching back to a world of delighted small children who were going to see BUZZ LIGHTYEAR and TINKERBELL and needed TO YELL ABOUT THIS.

12. Finally, MUCH THANKS to everyone who helped me, either with pushing me around or through the bathroom issues, especially the stalwarts who pushed me back up that ramp to my hotel room. I know that I was frequently too tired to thank all of you in person and I feel terrible about that. I really am grateful.

13. This isn't, strictly speaking, part of the con, but the Little One greeted me hysterically when I came back in through the door ("Shut UP, cat!" was my father's not exactly enthusiastic response to this) and has not been off me since. The Grey One almost seemed dismayed to have me back, and later clawed me, just to remind me where I stand in the world, still living in hope that I might one day earn her permanent affection. It's like publishing, in a way.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived Monday night and found only stairs -- three steps -- leading up to the front door. The taxi driver and I looked for a wheelchair entrance and couldn't find one. I was too dizzy to stand so I crawled up the steps and got into my chair. That was fun. This was also during the height of the storm.

The front desk then pointed out the wheelchair entrance -- to the side and through heavy glass doors that are very difficult in a wheelchair. The automatic doors lead to steps.

After clearing up the hotel bill Tuesday morning I casually said that I would be off to the Starbucks in the convention center/hotel. Which is when I got my next bit of news:

This two story Best Western hotel does not have an elevator.

Able bodied guests may easily access the Sheraton lobby, hotel restaurants and the convention center by going down a short hallway and a flight of stairs.

Wheelchair users have two options:

1. They can stay in a wheelchair accessible room on the second floor, where I initially
was staying, and access the convention center and Starbucks by going out the wheelchair entrance (and the heavy doors -- I have needed assistance.) and then going
through the parking lot and over several speed bumps to the Sheraton lobby.

2. They can go to the first floor where I am now, and access the Sheraton through a very long and steep ramp. To get to this floor from the Best Western front desk they
have to go through the wheelchair entrance and through the parking lot. The rooms on the first floor are not wheelchair accessible. Because I have limited mobility I will be
able to use them but someone completely unable to walk would not be able to use this bathroom.

I was also offered a room at the Sheraton for an additional cost. However, I had budgeted for the Best Western, which is listed as a convention hotel. When I booked this room, I told Best Western that I was coming for WFC and that I would be using a wheelchair. They did put me initially in a wheelchair accessible room, but failed to tell me that this room would not be fully accessible to the convention. That information was
also not on the WFC webpage. In any case, I should not have to pay more just because I use a wheelchair.

Let me be blunt: World Fantasy Convention, you booked a hotel without an elevator. I
do not know why anyone concerned thought this would be acceptable. This would be bad enough in your overflow hotel. For your room block it is wrong. You also failed to
make this clear to attendees. To repeat, when I checked, I was told this would be fine. And it is not.
This has been a surprisingly busy and eventful week, including out of town visitors, the brief loss of a a friend's child at Disney which created a bit of drama (kid has been safely found), the hopefully not brief finding of a new obsession, blackberry wine (why oh internet did you not tell me about this before), the exciting discovery that I had not, after all, tossed out my boots, and more, which means I am now pretty much out of it, but, interrupting that state and a rather alarming amount of laundry for a few quick announcements:

1. Barring any potential weather delays from Hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, which OH NOES MAY BE KILLING FLIGHTS EVERYWHERE if you believe the media, I should be departing next Monday for World Fantasy Con.

(Don't worry, everyone; I have found my boots, which means that Toronto should be snow free. You can thank me – or curse me – later. I'm thinking curse because I was kinda looking forward to seeing some snow. Which would have certainly happened if my boots had remained hidden. On the other hand if snow does make an appearance Karen Lord will probably kill me, so, all just as well, and wow, could I possibly have mixed up verb tenses any more in this paragraph? I did say that I'm a bit out of it.)

Because my illness is incredibly unpredictable and can strike at any time, and I usually only make it to about half of the con at best, I have not planned any events – readings, panels, dinners, whatever. I'll just be going with the flow. Chances are good, however, that when I am up and about I will be near coffee, at the bar, or in the dealer's room, or have an interest in food in general. (Food!) I also tentatively plan to make my usual graceful and delightful appearance just outside the Tor party which may or may not turn into a graceful appearance inside the Tor party depending upon the state of the door and the crowds.

2. On a writing note, I have another tiny piece forthcoming from Daily Science Fiction squashed there in a month with writers such as Ken Liu and Nina Kiriki Hoffman, so, if you haven't signed up to have these short stories show up in your inbox each morning, and why not, it's free, now seems like a good time.

3. The Edward Eager reread continues over at with The Well-Wishers. One more Eager book to go, and then we start a reread that I have been singing about. No, really.

4. And possibly one more announcement coming later today in its own little post.
So this is the part where a tactful, friendly person would say that the best part of the con was getting to meet and hang out with friends. But as I think we've well established by now, I am not a tactful, friendly person. So let me be honest: the marvelous conversations and meetups with friends and writers were only the second best part of the con*.

This was the best:

Cut for large images. )
This is coming a bit late, since I really was not feeling too good yesterday (and not feeling great this morning either, which does not bode well for the upcoming flight home), but I have a hour or so to kill before leaving for the airport and finally an Internet connection allowing me to copy and paste my iPad notes up to here, so, here we go.

This has been a strange, surreal, up and down trip, with everything seemingly either unbelievably, indescribably awesome, or unbelievably, all too describably horrific, with only a few things (the Southwest Airlines bit on the way here, for instance, annoying but amusing) squarely in the middle. So, after very little thought, I have decided to group stuff mostly by theme, especially since a few of these matters really deserve their own little posts anyway.

First up, as background, the Hotel. Auuggggghhhhhhh.
So in less than an hour I'll be taking off for World Fantasy. As always at these things, I may blog a lot, or not at all, depending upon internet availability (frequently tricky at hotels) and my fatigue levels (always tricky on trips.)

In the unlikely event that you are desperate for my words, you can amuse yourself with my most recent movie snark, or with my latest short story, The Woods, Their Hearts, My Blood, just up at Jabberwocky. (Warning: this story may disturb some readers.) And I expect that the usual post will be up Thursday, along with a possible special extra post next Tuesday.

And in a change from my usual methods, mostly to remind myself that yes, yes, I am kinda a real writer now, a couple of upcoming appearances: short fiction in Shimmer in February and a poem in Strange Horizons, undetermined time.

To be honest, I'm feeling more than a little nervous about this trip. I try not to be superstitious, mind you, but the omens, they have not been good. Oh well. But I will try to remind myself about the kinda a real writer now part.
What with everything yesterday I completely missed that the latest Edith Nesbit post, about her novel Daphne in Fitzroy Street, a retelling of her relationship with George Bernard Shaw, is up at This is the last of the adult Nesbit books that I'll be reviewing, but I still have three more children's novels to go: The Magic City (which was delightful), Wet Magic (which wasn't), and The Wonderful Garden (which was pretty mixed). Nesbit did write one additional children's novel but tracking that down proved to be too difficult (and to be frank I was worried that this would be a mixed experience.

I'm also saddened that I didn't get to look at Nesbit's one adult novel that incorporates fantasy elements. And astonished. Gutenberg and other sites are doing marvels with bringing extremely obscure texts online, texts which define the "nobody reads this anymore." Nesbit's children's novels are still popular enough to be in print; she is widely accepted as a popular and influential children's author who, to repeat, is still being read, so I can't explain why her adult novels haven't wiggled online. Oh well.

Also, just a note for those asking: yes, I will be at World Fantasy Con next week. Since last year I arrived Wednesday evening only to discover that people were already conventioning, and since there's a longer flight and a time change to deal with, I'll be arriving a bit earlier this year to rest up before heading over to Wednesday registration. I fully expect that thanks to this preplanning on my part, I shall have nothing to do on Wednesday :)

Because I have a tendency to get sick without notice, my schedule is otherwise gloriously open -- no panels, readings, or otherwise -- with very tentative plans to stop by the book signing, the art show reception (because dessert! also, art! We are looking for pirate pictures!), and possibly the open poetry reading (which appears to have been squeezed in between the art show reception and the various con parties, at least a couple of which I've been asked to make a gracious appearance at) so we will see. I shall also be doing significant sleeping here and there.

And on the bright side, my cell phone has been (temporarily) upgraded and fully tested with [profile] anaisis's help, which should make texting, Twittering and the like much easier this time around.
Right! Appearances! Where I will be in 2011:

1) Driving arrangements permitting, I should be stopping by the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts. I have absolutely no schedule for this, so if you are planning on being there, and want to meet up, let me know and I'll try to work something out.

2) MegaCon 2011, Orlando, on Saturday, March 26th, probably someplace by the Legos and the robots. Or just wandering around. There is a small chance I may also be there on Sunday, but that's entirely dependent on the schedules of other people who are planning to make up their minds about this in March, probably that Friday :) So this is not exactly a set planned thing.

3) GenCon 2011, Indianapolis, August 4-7, 2001. We will actually be arriving Wednesday night and leaving at some point on Sunday. This is where I turn from writer to gamer, so I will not be part of the Writers Symposium. Despite some rather sarcastic suggestions that I, you know, try to actually see the entire con instead of just the board gaming part of it, I expect you will probably be able to find me at the board gaming part of it. Or in line for coffee. It's a gaming con.

4) World Fantasy Con, San Diego, October 27-30, 2011. Once again, fluid schedule.

Still up in the air: Readercon, World Con and, yes, DragonCon. Unfortunately, that nasty bugbear finances, which, honestly, we, as a nation, or at least we, as artists, should have evolved past by now, is making Readercon and World Con not seem all that likely. DragonCon...ah, yes. Well. We'll see.
I don't think I can sum up World Fantasy Con in a single post, so, bullet points:

Cut for length and brilliant wittiness. Well. Maybe not brilliant. Maybe not even witty. )
I am all sad.

I know I went to the launch party for Catherynne M. Valente's ([personal profile] catvalente's The Habitation of the Blessed.. (In fact I went there twice since the first time the books weren't there. and also because the party had this remarkable nonalcoholic punch which I need the recipe for.) I know I got a copy from [personal profile] justbeast and had it in my hot little hands. I know I showed it to people. I know I said something about the cover (although to be fair I don't know what.) I know that I put it in my little backpack on the wheelchair and that we closed the little backpack up and it was there when I left the party.

And I don't know where it is now.


I can easily get another copy, of course (and will, since her work makes for excellent bathtub reading) but it won't be that copy, the one I actually got at the launch party. Sniffle. (This also means that I can't exactly review or blurb it right now, but I can at least link to Amazon to ensure that the author never, ever ends up back working at Starbucks and ruining coffee for the rest of us.)

The other books – including the peace-offerings for unable to attend the con folks – are all still here. I think. (Many many books came my way and to be truthful I didn't track all of them.) Now to see if they survive the plane flight.


Meanwhile, other reports tell me that the house is in chaos and I suspect completely free of any internet entanglements. Also apparently people are very mad at one of the cats, which isn't entirely fair since these were the same people that were interrupting her carefully planned nap schedules and scaring her to death and she's too beautiful to be treated in this fashion.


Ancillary matters:

Since a lot of people asked, no, I will not be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I probably should, but I have unpacking and lot of other stuff early this month and a non-novel project due mid month, so, this isn't the best month, however much the novels may be screaming.

I voted last week, but, yeah. Vote. You can watch this first for inspiration.
So, yay! Fantasy Magazine has printed my little story, Mademoiselle and the Chevalier, in which we learn the all important lesson that if I am going to have a story appear in a zine the day after World Fantasy Con, I should learn how to pronounce its title beforehand. Correctly.

Er. No, that is not precisely the lesson.

Anyway. It's a tale of gargoyles, roses and magic. It has no comments yet and it feels lonely. So, read. Enjoy. Comment if you will.


Con reports and why this Hyatt hotel hates people in wheelchairs following later; I badly overdid things this weekend and am going to flop over again.
In which the author manages to embarrass herself yet again:

The follow-up to the Patricia McKillip story: So, yesterday morning, I'm searching for coffee. Desperately searching for coffee. I find coffee. It is marvelous. Holding it in my little hands I wheel out towards the lobby when a kindly gentlemen stops me, saying he liked my poem.

"Oh, great!" I said, pleased. "I was really worried about it, since I haven't done a poetry reading in years and I knew Patricia McKillip was in the audience and that made me so nervous I thought I was going to throw up."

"Why, thank you," said another voice….

...Patricia McKillip was of course sitting right across from him, her back to me; I hadn't recognized her at all.

I flushed and managed to make matters still worse by babbling about her books, all the while thinking, great, way to completely fail this meeting with a childhood idol before slipping out and telling my sad, sad tale to a sympathetic Theodora Goss (who kindly did not note that she had also been in the audience but her presence didn't make me ill...)


Aside from needing to sleep even more than expected and telling major fantasy authors that they nauseate me, and some decided wheelchair issues with the Hyatt hotel (thank you to everyone who has been helping with this, although I'm still upset that help is even necessary), it's been….well. I can't find adjectives because, still need more coffee, but I'm delighted to note that Hadley Rille Books managed to sell off all copies of Desolate Places (featuring my little story "End of Time,") especially after we explained that the book featured the award-winning [profile] camillealexa. I'm finding it difficult to put names to faces and remember people, and seeming to move between babble mode and professional mode, and also not feeling overwhelmed – as someone (I think [personal profile] girliejones?) noted, it seems as if every major person in fantasy is walking by you or sitting at thebar. Salutary reminder that I am a baby tadpole in a large pond.

However, I am also a baby tadpole that is delighted to note that I got both Sharon Shinn and Catherynne Valente ([personal profile] catvalente to sign my ebooks – so a geeky baby tadpole. It was awesome, especially since [personal profile] catvalente kindly did this outside of the great signing time. And I'm a baby tadpole who was actually signing books – feeling, I must admit, like a bit of an imposter while doing so.

Ok. Coffee calls. And I must answer.

November 2015

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