My voice is still stripped, but I did manage to keep it until Monday, which is an improvement over previous years (please, please nobody phone me for a couple weeks, K?). And I opted not to go into work yesterday, and subsequently slept for something like 16 hours.
Now playing catch-up on all the post-convention correspondences, write-ups, reports, and sundry communications that I tabled until after Dragon*Con. If you sent me an email that you expect a reply to, please give me a couple more days to get caught up.
On the Daily Dragon front, I heard from Cassy (dire_epiphany) on Wednesday and Thursday that we weren't on schedule for set-up, so I was forewarned. However, I did not expect to come into the Chicago room at 2PM on Thursday to discover the computers in piles of hardware, unwired, unpowered, just "un." Fortunately, my staff was on the ball. As soon as we got cables and power, they started scrambling to get everything set up. The fact that I didn't get Internet connection until much, MUCH later is another matter.
I noticed this last year, but the observation was cemented this year: I tend to have an awful, stressful, wah-why-will-nothing-go-right? time on Thursday and Friday—when things are still getting set up, and all the various issues attendant to set-up crop up—and then enjoy the rest of the weekend as we hit our stride. Not sure if there's any way to mitigate the oh-my-God-just-kill-me-now parts of the first two days. Will dwell on that for next year.
My staff was awesome. Every single one of them went above and beyond. Special thanks go to:
- dude_the, my second, for keeping me sane, fed, and amused—any single one of which should be grounds for sainthood.
- Jason for doing the dreaded graveyard shifts and being my run-here-there-back-here-and-oops-sorry-c
an-you-run-back-there-again person (and heaps of apologies for waking you up on Friday!)
- Desi (lyndasty) for not going medieval on, um, a certain someone and getting fabulous interviews anyway (and letting me use Jason as my proxy legs).
- Geoff (yukinooruoni) for being willing to stay on in the 2AM to 4AM dead time that I hadn't scheduled for so that I could crawl to bed, and for being my point man on the blood drive stats.
- Shannon (noelleleithe) for being her usual fabulous, efficient, and on-the-ball self with layout, without whom I would be a sobbing, swearing wreck at 2AM.
- Anne and Katya for their sharp copyediting eyes when mine had become crossed and bleary.
- Anne for letting me tool her recklessly around at high speeds in her wheelchair on Sunday in a desperate bid for fun. (And it was so much fun!)
- And last but certainly not least, my crack reporting team: Amanda, Amy (reddherring1955), Debbie, Desi, Geoff, Nina, and Suzanne (canadiansuzanne) for getting me timely, interesting, and well-written articles and interviews. (Apologies for any LJ user links I missed up there.)
Y'all rawk, and I am honored beyond words to have such a fabulous staff working for me.
Non-Daily Dragon stuff:
I was absolutely thrilled to get a chance to meet and hang out with Ahyicodae, the artist who did the cover of Returning My Sister's Face. And Jason Waltz very generously let me use him as a freelance roving reporter. I got to wave at Rob Santa in passing, although I'm bummed I didn't get more opportunity to chat with him. We actually met on the escalators when I was frazzled and en route to more frazzlement. I got to wave and exchange hugs with daveybeauchamp and meet his sweetheart, Heather. And Norm Sherman of Drabblecast came out to my signing on Saturday, where we had a chance to chat briefly.
As for my panels and talks, they went. My guest talk for Ann Crispin went okay; I've done better, and I've done worse. Although at the end, Ann's students asked me to do an impromptu reading from RMSF, and as folks who know me at all can attest to, readings stress the [bleep] out of me, and I usually require at least a week beforehand to prep for them. I kept stalling, hoping that Ann would come back and save me, but no. I managed to read about a paragraph before my nerve gave out.
One Dragon*Con 2009 personal trauma: the terrible moment in my "Bite Me" panel (my first go at moderating a panel and it was before hundreds of fans in one of the big ballrooms, gah!) where I babbled a question that did not come out at all coherently, and at the end of it, I was greeted with blank and perplexed looks from Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Charlaine Harris. Gleep.
But of course, they were all gracious and after a moment's baffled silence, came to my rescue with smooth and eloquent discourse.
And I'm way bummed that I was unable to make it to the Codex dinner on Friday or the Escape Artists meet-n-greet on Sunday. And I managed to totally and utterly miss meeting up with mroctober all weekend.
Still, for all the folks who ask me whether I have fun at Dragon*Con, I can say with unequivocal certainty that this year, "yes, I did."