Full Immersion

I’m at the end of Day Two of World Con, trying (and failing) to come up with any coherent thoughts that would express, even minimally, how productive these two days have been. Productive and exhausting, both mentally and physically.

My right hand, for instance, has one hell of a cramp. I haven’t taken so many notes since I was in high school. I’ve put in a solid dent into the Moleskine notebook I have dedicated just to World Con and I’ve already killed the first of my pens, ruining the nerd-esque color-coding I had planned. I have blisters blossoming on my feet. My back has only just begun recovery from the twisting depravity that was the 10-hour bus ride here. After surviving on only two hours of actual sleep on my red-eye trip, I managed to make it through the first day of panels until the evening, where I had to crash with the comfort of two liquid gel painkillers. But that was the worst of it, so it’s not too bad.

Our quiet, non-party hotel isn’t; there is a massive, multi-night French rock festival happening literally outside on the corner. Strangely, perhaps because it isn’t in english, it’s not keeping either myself or my roommate up. And the beds are sinfully comfortable. That never hurts. Tonight may be different. We’re clearly on a hard rock, Fracophone Metallique style. May require headphones.

But the Con itself. My god. Everything I could have hoped for. In some cases, too much. I pour over the convention panel schedule, highlighter in hand, and my thoughts run from “When am I going to eat?” to “Those evil fuckers!” In some time slots there are, no word of a lie, five panels that if they were back to back instead of simultaneous I would happily dedicate the entire day to attending each one and leave feeling completely satisfied. Instead, I must pick one and only one, and then do it all over again each and every hour that follows. I could go to this same Con five times and get an entirely different experience out of it each time.

And as for the writers themselves, so far I’ve managed to attend panels with Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, and Nancy Kress — all of whom make my inner fangirl squeal. (Okay, my outer fangirl, too.) I also got to listen in to a live taping of Writing Excuses, one of my favorite podcasts. I’m not doing the signing thing, though, for practical reasons. I did not have the ability to lug significant quantities of books to the convention to get signed nor do I have the money to purchase new books to be signed and then brought home. I have already bought too many new books and must resist the urge to purchase books 2, 3 and 4 (of 6!!!) of the new Roger Zelazny collection. In fact, the logistics of how I’m going to bring them home have already hit me and I pray to whatever gods there are that the bus ride heading back is not packed body-to-body as the one coming here was for the selfish reason that I will need the extra seat.

Tired, but in the happiest sort of way. And there are still two days left!

More commentary to come when I am lucid. Which may not be until Monday afternoon.

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