Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The day after WisCon 40

Wow. I slept in this morning, then packed, checked out of my room, & left my luggage in the bellman's closet & ambled over to Michelangelo's for coffee & a bagel. I'm there now, & as happy & relaxed as could be. Why? Because I had a wonderful WisCon, one of the best ever. As most people who've been to WisCon know, one of the most common small-talk questions at the con is, "How's your WisCon?" Unless you have a serious problem that needs articulating, the de rigueur answer is a positive one. My answer in past years has ranged between whole- and half-hearted. No half about it this year, though.

I read from my forthcoming novel, "The Waterdancer's World," but otherwise did not participate in programming. This was the first year of all the WisCons I've attended, in which I didn't appear on a panel. I wasn't sure how I would feel about it, but it feels, in retrospect, like a brilliant decision to have made. I'm going to listen, reflect, & ask questions this year, I told myself. I in fact still did a lot of talking this year (especially on Friday, for some reason, as a few people who might be reading this might readily attest to), but looking back over the weekend, I think I did spend more time than I usually do listening with my full attention to what other people had to say. I half-think this had to do with my decision not to sit on any panels (thus unconsciously shifting my orientation), & also suspect it might have to do with the fact that last year I was depressed, which meant that my energy level was way down & my interest in the rest of the world sadly reduced. This year I was hungry for news of what others had been thinking & doing. I was also pretty lucky in my choice of programming to attend. (I made one wrong choice, which is actually not so bad.) & I sadly had to miss the panel on Octavia Butler's work (which I've heard was dynamite), because it coincided with one of the three Aqueduct Press authors' readings. I missed another panel I wanted to attend because I was in the middle of a conversation when it started and had gotten caught up in another when it was about two-thirds through. It can be a tough call, choosing between conversation & a panel one wants to attend, but the fact is, for me, those conversations are part of what makes WisCon so vital for me.  They're the reason I always go home from WisCon changed. At 65, I've never been more aware of how important it is to me to feel myself still learning & changing. I may not have the energy & stamina I once had, but my capacity for engagement is, I hope, as strong as it's ever been.

Speaking of those Aqueduct author readings, I have photos for each, which I'll be posting once I'm home (& rested). The photos above are from readings. The other one, below is of our tables in the Dealers Room that I took as we were finishing setting them up. This was the first year we didn't bring at least one copy of all our books. We have too many titles now to bring them all, even with three tables. Can you believe that? But then our next volume in the Conversation Pieces series, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life by Sheree Renee Thomas, will be the fiftieth. 

1 comment:

Cliff Winnig said...

Thanks for the con report! Because we have a new baby (well, six months old, but that's still new), I was here in the Bay Area commuting to BayCon this weekend. Missed all of you at WisCon, so it's great to read con reports.