It was a crazy and fun-filled Albacon this year. Of course one of the most fun parts was having a chance to catch up with the wonderful Liz Hand. Fortunately, I'll see her the end of the month, too, at the Poe conference at UMass Amherst (no, I don't have many details to give -- one of the things we both hoped the other knew more about. Well, surprises can be nice, too). She read from her forthcoming story "The Maiden Voyage of Macauley's Bellerephon" which held the audience enraptured. I can't wait to read the whole thing.
Things kicked off Thursday night with a new event. Jackie Kessler (whom I'll be featuring on Prose at the Rose next week) hosted an editors and agent panel. It was informative and well-attended despite not being part of the "traditional" con. New and experienced writers found a lot of information and had questions a-plenty. Afterward, Debi Chowdhury and I hosted a tarot card reader party (thanks so much, Donna, for coming to read!). It was a lot of fun and we met lots of people.
Friday was also a new event: the writers conference. Brainstormed by Debi and coordinated and scheduled by the indefatigable Susan Hanniford Crowley, it featured all kinds of panels and workshops like Toni Andrews' "Five Fixes" for your manuscript, the fabulous Stella Price's "Promotion for the Author on a Budget" and Jackie Kessler's "How to Write a Query Letter" -- all of which went over very well with the eager writers and writers-to-be. I was on panels about Urban Fantasy and Using Mythology. There was a big signing at 3 o'clock, but that's when I had to run off to give my paper across town on Beowulf: Prince of Geats at the 24th International Conference on Medievalism over at Siena College.
I got back in time for dinner and then the ice cream social. Stayed up way too late yakking and having fun, meeting for the first time fellow writer Debra Hyde, whom I'd only known on-line. Saturday was a jam-packed day of panels and readings. Fortunately I was only on one panel, so I didn't have to be too bubbly after the craziness of the day before. It was perhaps not the thing to do for con com members to do, but some of us skipped the banquet and went to Plum Blossom for dinner and it was worth it. Debra and Debi and Susan and I hosted a reading in Debi's room that night which went on 'til quite late and everyone seemed to have a terrific time.
Sunday everyone was dragging a little bit, but there was a good showing for the panel appreciating Charles Brown. Liz, David Hartwell, Brett Cox and Ron Drummond reminisced about their own memories of Brown while explaining his importance to the field of speculative fiction as a whole, not just as editor of Locus, but as a cheerleader for the genres. Even after all the panels were done, we couldn't all drag ourselves away, so Ruth and Debi and I went out for sushi at Sushi Tei. Yum!