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I started Sunday with an 'early' breakfast at an Einstein Bagels on the 16th Street mall--I'd wanted to try the Corner Bakery that several people had been enjoying, but it didn't open until 8 on Sunday and I was there around 7:40. (I note that there are 3 Corner Bakery locations here in Atlanta, in case I want to explore more. I suspect they are too similar to Panera and Atlanta Bread Co. to drive the extra distance for...)

I trekked back to the hotel and packed to move my stuff to growlycub's room, then waited over a half hour for an elevator that wasn't crammed full of people by the time it got to me on the 14th floor. Ita (an online contact from years back, on BSJ and assorted romance spots) had been waiting before I got there, and she eventually caught an elevator going up in order to get on with her stuff. (I pity people on lower floors--the stairs were not convenient and the issue was everyone checking out with luggage, so stairs were even less of an option.) Finally got one--actually, it was Ita's elevator coming back down, and she yelled out to me to climb in. That got me down to the 6th floor where I could leave my bags in growlycub's room, and I walked down to the lobby to check out of my old room. There was a line for that too, of course, which left me short on time to get to the Convention Center for the first panel session.

This was the panel I was really looking forward to: "In the beginning", with Lois, Pat Wrede, and Lillian Stewart Carl talking about how they've encouraged each other through critiques and friendships for many years. Moderator Peggy Rae Sapienza was almost in the way--OK, she was in the way. Lillian, Pat, and Lois would have done great without any intervention. There was anecdote after anecdote starting with Lillian and Lois talking about meeting in 7th grade, how they influenced each other, and started writing fan-fic sorts of stuff. Then came how they got hooked up with Pat--Lillian first, then through her Pat started critiquing Lois's early serious writing attempts. Pat displayed a 2 inch thick file folder that was File #1 of her correspondence with Lois, and she pulled out a couple of things to read snippets for us. Boy, would I love to have heard more!

After the panel I decided to stand in the autograph line for Lois to get my NESFA Brothers in Arms signed, and found that fellow piffler Marge Smelt (Waffles Newton on the list) was just ahead of me. So we piffled merrily for the hour it took to get to the head of the line, with a side conversation with James Bryant early on as he came through to collect his variety of ebook readers he had loaned for a display but now needed for a panel.

Then it was off to "Writers who are married to each other" which included rolanni and kinzel, Rebecca and Alan Lickiss, and Kevin Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. Good panel of the type of "I want to know more about these writers as people"--lots about how they write together (or don't), housekeeping chores, and writing styles. Also a few subtle mentions of the differences that commercial success makes--Kevin and Rebecca have a 7000 sq. ft. house, and Staff to run the daily errands and do the filing. The other two couples....don't.

Moved down to the large room for closing ceremonies with mbernardi and growlycub, and found seats next to stoutfellow. After that broke up we moved out into the lower lobby area of the convention center and kept chatting, picking up filkferengi and Stellan along the way. Lois was nearby saying farewells and thanks to people. When she migrated our way we waved and she stopped to talk, then asked if we had immediate plans as she wanted food before she needed to meet whoever was ferrying her to the airport. Plans that would interfere with a meal with Lois and her son? Why, no! We agreed to gather at her hotel in an hour, walked as a group to the Corner Bakery, and had soup and sandwiches at about 4:30 PM. Chatted there until a little after 5:30, then walked Lois back to her hotel. Stellan went his separate way at that point and the rest of us kept chatting in the lobby after Lois left. And kept chatting...then decided to go in search of a little more food, collecting Marty, filkferengi's spouse, as we went.

We ended up at the Cheesecake Factory, got a table after a long wait, food after a longer wait, and the chatting continued. growlycub and I finally got back to our hotel room shortly after 10. We agreed to meet mbernardi and stoutfellow at 7 for breakfast the next morning, again at the Corner Cafe.

Breakfast was nice--I could have had more meals at the Corner Cafe a la mbernardi had I found it earlier...but then, meals were either committed (like the breakfasts with Lois and the FOL) or rushed. There weren't programming breaks for meals, and I often really wanted to attend stuff on either side of my normal meal times. stoutfellow came late to Monday's gathering thanks to a mis-read of his clock, but we were still there chatting and were content to keep him company while he ate. And that was about it--I walked back to the hotel with growlycub and did my final packing, then went out and caught the SuperShuttle to the airport. All was uneventful there--the new people movers are now operational on Concourse C, but as Delta has center gates, I didn't try them out. Watched Kung Fu Panda on the flight home, which was a good way to pass the time.

What didn't I do at WorldCon, besides not getting to meet really *any* SFF.Net contacts, and a pretty large block of Bujold listees (but I did meet a number of them), and several Friends of Liad? I forgot to bring along some books for autographing, which would have given me a non-threatening means of meeting a few more authors I admire. I didn't manage any kaffeeklatches--the ones I was interested in were high-demand, and the rumor was that you needed to get in line at 7:30 or so before the sign-up started at 9 every morning. I wasn't willing to devote that block of time to it, and/or had breakfast plans that eliminated the possibility. I'd have liked to have caught more filk, especially the Bujold-themed session, but several of the other themed sessions sounded good, too. And there were many more panels I'd have loved to have heard, some of which didn't sound interesting on paper, but post-panel descriptions or other exposure to the participants now tells me I would have enjoyed them. Live and learn--all part of becoming more of the con-going community, I think. If I do another big con, I'll know a little more than I did for this one.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2008 10:48 am (UTC)
I did not misread the clock. The damn thing was an hour slow. (I should have looked at my watch!)
Aug. 19th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, yeah [g].
Aug. 19th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
The Lois filk was lovely (I was there for about the first 2/3rds of it), and I know what you mean about wishing I'd gone to other things. Nancy Atherton had an unofficial kaffeeklatsch at the same time as the Bujold filk, which I suspect would have been even better (I'm not a huge filk fan, but I felt like I owed filkferengi at least one [g]).

I swear I could have gone to the same con three or four times and still not done everything I wanted to do. Too many panels at the same blasted time. But the con I did go to was more fun than I've had in years, so at least there's that.

And I'm glad I got to meet you. As well as all the listees I did get to meet.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Nancy Barber

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