Alas, over already. I kept opening the blog during the week only to shut it again from severe brain drain.
* Firstly, this has been my favourite WFC so far.
* Wednesday: the Caltrain from San Francisco to San Jose is a straightforward commute, though it’s not designed to accommodate suitcases. I choose to travel at midday, & fortunately the train proves to be at least as empty as I hoped.
* Dinner Wednesday night with Team Oz & Team Locus. We eat grasshoppers & mole. They’re both rather tasty. As are the margaritas in chilli-rimmed glasses.
* The hotel is awesome, & odd (‘multitudinous caverns’, as Graham Joyce describes it). The function floor is in the shape of a ring, which means regardless of whether you turn left or right, the room you want is the furtherest point from where you exited the lift.
* The other floors are worse.
* Thursday: we meet to plan the Aussie Party, try on our t-shirts (custom designed by Cat Sparks), drink pink drinks (as is the custom) & catch up with friends. We check out the Presidential Suite (i.e. the party venue) & run into Tessa on the way back. The group splits for various errands, me to have tea with Tessa.
* I spy Jeff Vandermeer, who ignores me. Twice.
* I cannot for the life of me remember what I do for dinner Thursday night.
* We attend the Last Drink Bird Head party, where I accost Jeff while he’s cutting cake. I thank him for mentioning my book on his blog, & then hold my nametag up beside my face. *NOW* he remembers who I am!
* (He shouldn’t feel bad, though. I mean, Jeff Ford remembers me. Chris Roberson remembers me. But then, Jeff was kind enough to mention my book on his blog. So, it all evens out in the end.)
* The Aussie Party is AWESOME! Much Australian wine & beer is drunk. To relieve pressure on Garth, Sean, Jonathan & Justin behind the bar, Liz Argall begins to ferry bottles of white wine around the room while Jason Nahrung & I cover distribution of the red. Other Aussies wav the flag & generally impress the crowd with the mighty powers of Australia-dom: Kirstyn, Cat Jenny, Russell, Isobelle, Tessa, Anna. The Australian contingent is huge this year!
* Some of us are up until 3am, stealing the halloween decorations from some other party.
* Friday: tired. Very, very tired. Think I have a cold.
* Cat, Graham Joyce & I head out to find the Rosicrucian Temple. After an uninspiring visit in an Egyptian museum (with Graham playing the part of local guide, right down to the accent — & the begging for money), we discover the temple is actually around the corner. We arrive to find it locked, but after much persistence (& luck, really), the door opens & we’re ushered in for a Rosicrucian meditation ceremony. I find the whole thing wonderful & want to immediately sign up, but Graham spots a dark spirit sitting behind us. When I ask how a dark spirit could be in a place where the ceremonies are so joyous, Graham replies, ‘It’s the dark thing that hangs around on the edges of the light.’ … Which shuts me the hell up.
* Lunch with Graham & Jonathan (a burger that fills me up for about 24 hours), where we discuss writing & career, hurrah! Exactly the kinds of conversations I come to WFC for.
* More hanging out in the bar, then the Orbit party, then the mass signing where I sign my book! Twice! (Hey, that’s big news for this unknown Aussie.) I watch Sean & Garth’s queues with admiration.
* Then the Locus party, where at midnight we toast Charles Brown.
* Saturday: tired. Very, very tired.
* The 10am panel on Why Steampunk Now? (which I chair) turns out to be standing-room only. The panellists are all wonderful, thoughtful, smart people. Which makes my job a helluva lot easier. When it turns out Ann Vandermeer & Nisi Shawl were both in punk bands, the conversation drifts momentarily into 70s music (with Michael Swanwick waxing lyrical) & I drag it back on topic with the help of Liz Gorinsky. It really was wonderful. Thank-you to everyone who came & helped keep it lighthearted & fun — & who laughed at my jokes.
* Off for a quick trip to the Winchester Mystery House with Sean & Cat. The tour is kinda fun but leaves us all hungry to see more of the crazy house. Afterwards I chat extensively with Danel Olson about ‘the architecture of the mind’.
* Dinner with Garth & the gang, so many people I better not try naming ’em all. Fabulous seafood platter in the hotel restaurant, makes me homesick.
* I miss the Weird Tales party because I’m so tired I’ve started to feel sick in all kinds of new ways.
* Sleep for 10 hours.
* Sunday: leisurely morning (& last trip to the dealer’s room) until the WFC banquet, where we get to cheer Margo Lanagan & Shaun Tan for their wins! Also cheers to the Nightshade crew for the best damn suits of the con (& maybe the decade).
* Two parties in the evening, followed by salad in the bar, followed by several drinks & planning for tomorrow’s long journey home.
I’m sure there was more.