Yesterday passed in a blur, I'll readily admit. We were out the door by five a.m., on our way to the airport; and I was operating on zero hours of sleep. I'm in the throes, see, of my semi-annual changing-of-the-light insomnia, which tends to fall in very late May-early June and early November. WisCon falls unusually late this year, and so I'm smack in the middle of prolonged sleep deprivation. Tired as I was, a never managed to doze on the trip yesterday (though I spent a lot of time with me eyes closed). So on arrival at the Room of One's Own reception yesterday evening, when people asked me how I was, I replied "I'm a zombie." (I was, moreover, a zombie wondering if Delta, having charged me $25 for the privilege, had lost my suitcase somewhere between Seattle and Madison. The good news was that they hadn't-- my suitcase was in my room at the Concourse when I returned there after dinner.)
I may have been a zombie, but I became a happy zombie once I arrived at Room. First thing that met my eye was a lot of Aqueduct books on display in their window. And then there were hugs and happy greetings from many and many people I hadn't seen for months, accompanied by a glass of wine and a handful of cherry tomatoes, and lots of Real Conversation with, among others, Zola, from Seattle (a first-timer at WisCon, but involved with Clarion West), and Eva F., and Ian H., and Margaret M. The wine, combined with the conversation, somehow eased my precarious hold on reality (which spending hours in airport gate areas or on planes had done nothing to support).
The reading itself was abbreviated, because only one of the GoHs, Mary Anne Mohanraj, was there to read. Nnedi Okorafor, sorry to say, got caught up in Chicago traffic delays and couldn't make it in time. Mary Anne read a story featuring cooking and sex. And as she described the character's step-by-step preparation of several dishes, Kath and I exchanged glances. We were hungry! And we would love to have eaten the meal Mary Anne's character prepared in that story. Turns out, we weren't the only ones. During the Q&A, someone asked for the recipes!
After the reading, Kath, Tom, Lynne (who designs most of Aqueduct's covers), and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on State Street, and then, back at the hotel, shared a bottle of Chambourcin wine Lynne had brought us from Missouri. I'd never had Chambourcin before. Very earthy, reminding me a bit of zinfandel crossed with pinot noir.
I'll stop now-- and report in later. Cynthia G. has just arrived here and given me a hug (I'm posting this from Michelangelo's), and I figure I ought to at least offer to help set up Aqueduct's table in the Dealers Room or run other errands Kath needs done this morning, especially since I have a lunch date for 12:30.