2009 Dragon*Con received many thumbs up from me. It's sort of like the Crusades minus all the forced conversions, chopping off of limbs and sacking of cities. Well, maybe a bit of the latter. You should never miss the opportunity to sack a city or two.
Being a guest has its perks -- you get to pick up your badge with minimal hassle. I felt sorry for the folks standing in the hideously long Pre-Reg line and did my best NOT to look smug when I waltzed in and out in record time. Usually there's a bit of a line at Guest Reg, but not when I arrived. That was good as The Spouse was ill. As in perishing from a cold. But more about him later.
My panels went great, I actually had people at my reading (yeah!) and the Hour with Jana Oliver (Time Rovers vs. Jack the Ripper) did not become what I feared. Yes, gentle readers, I have secret fears. In this case it would be the appearance of some person toting a fat notebook filled with JtR facts and figures who intended to grill me about every single suspect and aspect of the crimes. Instead it was a really good group. Not that I mind the folks with the notebooks, it's just that they spook me.
Squee'ing Fan Moment -- I got to meet MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!!! She's a most excellent author (LAMENT, SHIVER, BALLAD) and a bright and snazzy young lady. I wish I was her age and just starting my career, but for all writers there is a season and mine didn't start until a few decades later than Maggie. If you haven't read SHIVER, get it from your library or buy a copy. It's way GOOD. She acknowledged (and didn't appear freaked by) my inner fangirl and all was wonderful.
I also hung with buds. Many buds, actually, which made me realize how many people I know after all these years. Jean Marie Ward allowed me to haul her butt all over Oakland Cemetery, then to lunch at Six Feet Under (yum!) and then over to Little Five Points for some shopping. We ran out of time (bah) but have scheduled a revisit to L5P next year.
Other buds: Theresa Patterson (she who taught me panel manners way back in 2001 when I started this journey), Lee Martindale (ditto), Florence Bradley (a lady fightfighter -- how cool is that? She's my go-to source for all things incendiary). Chris Jackson and his lovely wife, Anne. He launched his first Dragon Moon Press book at the con (SCIMITAR MOON) and sold a lot of them I hear. I did the Friday breakfast gig with Pixie and Blanchard, as is tradition. But I missed the single malt scotch tasting (drat!) There were countless other folks I hung with, but if I try to list them all I'll forget someone and get nailed for it. Happens every time. Thanks ya'll. You made it special.
The new Alternate History programming track ROCKED. The panels very well attended. So glad Dragon decided to finally add this track. The Time Traveler's Ball was SRO. I was very plain compared to all the incredible steampunk and Victorian/Edwardian costumes. Such creativity. I just stared at lot. I couldn't resist taking one of the photos and turning it into a pseudo cartoon (see above).
And finally the husband -- he got his badge Thursday evening and then spiraled into bed until Monday when he came to pick me up. Nasty, nasty cold which was way worse than the one I caught a week before the con. I felt so sorry for him because he missed Dragon. Next year we're both going on serious immune builders in mid-August so we can do our thing without a sniffle.
The only grumble I have from the con:
Why in the living hell can't the Hyatt get their wheelchair lift working and keep it working throughout the con? The device is situated between the hotel and the Peachtree Center where the Food Court resides. The stairs between these two places make it impossible to access if you're a wheelie. Why is that important? Peachtree Center is where the reasonably priced food is located during the majority of the hours the con is in session. That is also the best way to get to the Marriott without going out onto the streets. Not all the curb cuts are decent and the advice that anyone in a wheelchair should just tool out there is dumb. Wheelchairs, motorized or not, are white knuckle when you're faced with the significant hills around the con hotels. At present I don't need to use one, but I have friends who do. In years to come I might be the one finding myself stranded. Hyatt, get with it. That thing dies every year. There's no excuse.
Already looking forward to D*C 2010. If the publishing gods favor me, I might even get to launch the first book in my Demon Trappers Series there next year. I would just be so jazzed I probably would explode. Ultimately that decision is not in my hands so I'll put it out to the universe (and my editor) and see what happens. Fingers be crossed.
Glad to see all of you again! Do good things and we'll see you next year.