my world after Readercon :-)

It’s been a low-energy week so far. Mostly I’ve been doing lots and lots and lots of catch-up, stuff that piled up long before Readercon while I worked on the cover design for Blood Justice (which will be changing somewhat, that was a hasty job) and then the Readercon Souvenir Book, and then Readercon prep. I guess I take my readings very seriously! I rehearsed the Theodore Sturgeon story, my own reading from The Longer the Fall and Shakespeare for hours. In fact, when I read over my con report, I realized that never had it been so obvious just what I truly enjoy about conventions. All I did was attend other people’s readings and do my own! I’m just not that interested in panels and talks, and being on panels is kind of stressful. Oh, it’s not stage fright, quite the contrary: I’m such a pathetic ham, drop me in front of an audience and I am so there. But I do panels very well because I do tons of homework for them, and I’m never sure what it all amounts to when the dust settles. You do the panel, the audience applauds politely (at least sometimes), and that’s it–off they stampede to the next event. It’s like being back in high school, all we need is the locker doors slamming in the halls. :-)

I’ve been reading a lot of Readercon reports on other attendees’ blogs, and I feel like I went to a different convention than everyone else, because almost everyone else is talking about their favorite panels (none of those being the one that I was on) or readings that I didn’t get to. But I guess with Readercon’s incredibly dense schedule, that’s almost inevitable. The closest thing to a universally attended event at Readercon is Kirk Poland–and I didn’t go!

I’m definitely attending Albacon in October, however. I’ve gone for the last two years in a row and had a very good time, and that’s the only convention besides Readercon of which I can say that. I did enjoy Arisia, but they’ve now moved to a hotel where I shall not venture again, so I can’t attend Arisia as long as it stays there. Boskone is off my docket, as are ConBust and Pi-Con; tried them out, they’re not a good fit. But I’d kept Albacon as a tentative for this year and that got firmed up at Readercon. (Going to dinner with people at Readercon is perilous. :-) ) I’m looking forward to it! And I’m very glad I’m not trying to go to two conventions in August and juggle the big family get-together that always occurs that month. Last year, with Worldcon, family and Pi-Con one after the other, August was crazy–and I’d just released Gideon Redoak, too.

I finally got out and did yard work today. The freshly repaired lawn mower is working beautifully, and I’m trying very hard not to abuse it by trying to mow grass that’s too thick and heavy for it, or running over rocks. It’s been so hot and dry, the grass wasn’t as thick as it would have been in previous summers. Today I did a “preliminary catch up mowing” with the mower at its highest height setting to get the long overgrown grass. I got both the front and back yards done, and they look much tidier. In a few days, when the mown grass has dried out, I’ll go back and mow shorter and more thoroughly. But I finished just as a batch of thunderstorms was moving in. We had the most amazing sunset as a result: when I opened my eyes after sunset attunement, the very air was glowing golden, and the whole sky looked like it was on fire, with the setting sun illuminating the underside of the thunderclouds. It was unspeakably beautiful and very eerie at the same time, and it lasted for some minutes, the light growing deeper and ruddier as the sunset faded. While I watched, I saw a flash of cloud-to-cloud lightning lick across the glowing sky. Very strange!

The black raspberries are almost finished, but the blackberries are starting to ripen. The bachelor’s buttons and marigolds are blooming in the garden, all the tomatoes are loaded with green fruit and the first few cherry tomatoes have ripened. I’ve officially eaten the first fruits from my garden! The zucchini and pumpkins have dozens of blossoms but don’t seem to have set any fruit yet. I still need to do some serious weeding (I was going to start that today, but the thunderstorms intervened).

Otherwise not much to report. I’ve been taking late night walks instead of cycling when it’s especially hot and humid. My town is so safe, peaceful and quiet–and I have such good night vision–that it’s really very pleasant to walk at 2:00 a.m. The weather was lovely for Dad’s band concert last night, but the grass on the Common is almost all dead, it’s been so hot and dry. I can feel the summer turning, though. Dawn is getting later (I know because I’m awake for it :-) ) and sunset is getting earlier each day. The heat won’t last much longer. Dad remarked last night that he only has three more concerts to go, and I said, “Where has the summer gone?” Kind of a shame. I’ll borrow a theme from several of my LJ friends and tell you what I’m wearing, right now and most of the time: Underwear. Jeans. A sports bra. And that is all. Ah, bliss! :-)

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9 Responses to my world after Readercon :-)

  1. shadesong says:

    *perks* What was the hotel problem?

  2. paganpaul says:

    Good to hear from you again, and I am delighted that you had such a nice time at the convention!

  3. norda says:

    1] At very nearly every convention I go to, I often feel that I am attending a different convention than other people are attending. Or that I’m a ghost, or shifted out of phase. That was brought home in sharpest relief at Pi-Con 2008, when everyone on my LJ reading list seemed to be talking about dinner gatherings, parties and events that I was not aware of or invited to.

    2] Wish I could go with you to Albacon.

    3] I’ve got the exact opposite problem of yours with Arisia… I will finally be able to attend for the first time in years, because it’s moved to a hotel that I can get to on public transit and can navigate with a cane. I’d like to be able to make up my mind whether I really enjoy Arisia in and of itself, since the two times I attended were marred by physical problems and by rude people who ignored said physical problems. This time around, I will have a grizzly bear for my arm candy at Arisia 2011.

    4] When is the big family get-together? I was hoping to finally get to hang out with you in August. Maybe have you make the trip out to Annie’s Book Stop and go from there?

    5] Last night’s storms were indeed lovely and passing strange, as seen from my front porch.

    6] Sometimes less is more, when it comes to sartorial matters in summer. [grin]

  4. Gwaetgar says:

    It’s a long story, but due to a miscommunication problem at Boskone in 2008, I created a fuss with the hotel and it turned into this huge thing. I feel like I’m pretty much persona non grata at the Westin Waterfront, and even if not, I don’t ever want to give them another dime of my money, after all that. They only have free wi-fi in the lobby, the room rates are high even at the con rate, and it cost nearly $60 to park for the weekend, so by my standards, they suck as a sff con venue. I’ll be very curious to see how Arisia fares with them, because the Westin seems pretty tight-assed and restrictive for a convention as free-wheeling as Arisia.

    As for Boskone, I’ll never go to another one no matter where it’s held–which should be a great relief to NESFA who indirectly called me “stupid” in the con newsletter. *sigh* I’d been to a couple of previous Boskones and was not favorably impressed, so this was their last chance. They’re not a friendly con. To say the least.

  5. Gwaetgar says:

    Thanks! I’m seethingly jealous delighted that you had such a nice time in Scotland and Wales! :-)

  6. Gwaetgar says:

    1] Yes, I feel like that a lot. I think my disconnect with Readercon was largely my fault, of course, because I commuted to the con and was so focused on my programming, so I wasn’t hanging out and partying and stuff. Then, I was so exhausted, and crashed so badly on Saturday! @fibrowitch was staffing the Green Room and asked me if I was okay, I was so zoned. Clearly, I was not sitting in the Green Room chatting with other pros and getting acquainted. :-( But the issue isn’t entirely that–at the best of times, I don’t connect easily with people, and I seem to gravitate toward attending and doing programming events that have minority appeal, while missing the events that everyone else leaves the con talking about.

    I actually had a pretty good time at 3Pi-Con in 2008, but 4Pi-Con was a disaster and I don’t think I’ll go to another one. That’s not quite as definite as my scratch-off of Boskone and ConBust, though.

    2] I wish you could, too!

    3] I’m glad the venue change is good for you. It’s definitely true that venues which are good for drivers and venues which are good for those taking public transit tend to be mutually exclusive. It’s a pain, and makes finding a venue even more hellish for con organizers. I’ve been through this a lot on the organizing side.

    4] The family is here August 7-15; I don’t have to be there all the time, but I’d like to spend a bit more time with them than I did a couple of weeks ago. Besides, it’s a lake, swimming! was asking about the museum thing again, too.

    6] It’s so nice not to have to wear layers and layers of clothes because the house is freezing cold! :-) It’s also nice to have a body that allows me to get away with that in public–even if I did gain four effing pounds at Readercon!! (Three and a half of them, I suspect, at the post-con committee dinner. *grump* They’re coming off, but as always, much more slowly than they went on.)

  7. norda says:

    1] I think my disconnect with Readercon was largely my fault, of course, because I commuted to the con and was so focused on my programming, so I wasn’t hanging out and partying and stuff.

    Nod, nod nod. I have that problem all the time when I am working a con versus attending one. When I am working a con, by the time I am ready to wrap up for the day and do some unwinding myself, everyone else has disappeared.

    1A] My time at 3Pi-Con wasn’t all bad… financially it was successful, and I got to spend time with my buddy Mario as my table help for the con. ConBust is a nice little con, but has never been a house-afire moneymaker, even back in the 5Con days… it’s more a sentimental journey in a time when I cannot afford sentiment. But right now I am stuck in a situation where I can’t go beyond where the WRTA will take me, and that does not include the commuter rail.

    3] Agree on all points about public transit versus driving when convention planning, but the one time Michael and I went together to Arisia at the Hyatt, we **did** drive as a Saturday day trip, and couldn’t find parking within ten blocks of the place [garage was full]. But yes, I concede all your points about the Westin being a bit more stiff-necked… I’m used to it being the venue for the bookseller trade show dinners and its cocktail parties, more hoi polloi. Wonder what they will make of body-stockinged women with stilts and Wolverine claws.

    It’s another reason Worcester would seem to be an ideal place to hold an F/SF convention, but i am sure there are many hidden pitfalls.

    4] I can easily plan around doing something after the 15th. You should spend time with family, unless you need a sanity-save. [grin]

    5] It seems to always be easier to put the pounds on than off. I’m far too sedentary these days.

  8. Gwaetgar says:

    1A] I was very unhappy with my last ConBust, I will never go again. Most cons are really a waste of time unless you’re a Big Name.

    3] I agree, I wouldn’t have wanted to commute to Arisia at the Hyatt, either. I don’t even think it was accessible by the T. I didn’t make it to Arisia this year and in 2009, I got there early and parked my car in the garage with no intentions of moving it until I went home. It snowed, too!

    Just to fact-check my comment to above, I looked at the room rates for several different conventions, from the just-past Readercon to the 2011 Boskone. Boskone is by far the most expensive–in fact, their rooms are so much pricier than the deal Arisia got, the Westin really seems to be screwing Boskone. :-(

    The con rate for Boskone 48 starts at $153/night and goes up for larger occupancy (not suites) rooms. By contrast, the Marriott’s con rate for Readercon was $111/night for all sizes of room. Albacon’s con rate is $86/night, all rooms (and that includes breakfast!)! Arisia lists a flat con rate of $130/night at the Westin, which is something to ponder. I don’t know what the Westin’s normal rates are because they don’t show them on their website. I guess if you have to ask, you can’t afford it!

    I don’t know why Worcester doesn’t host more sff conventions. Readercon was there for a while, I believe the hotel they used to use has been “repurposed.” There must not be enough suitable facilities in Worcester, it’s certainly no less “convenient” than, say, Burlington, Framingham, Springfield or Enfield, Connecticut! I’ll have to look into that further.

    4] Okay!

  9. shadesong says:

    Dude, that sucks. I’m sorry.