Travel was mellow. The airports were uncrowded, not a lot of surprise given that it was the Friday after Thanksgiving. And when I arrived in Portland, the gate area was rather empty but there were a lot of people coming in through security (at 9:30 AM). I have a feeling Sunday will be a madhouse.
Portland has the most excellent public transportation ever for a US city. A quick MAX ride from the airport and I was at the hotel. They let me check in (at 10 AM!) so I tossed all my stuff in the room and went to the con area. I ran into Kami, running the whoooole thing, and cscole, running the Writers Workshop. Both were relaxed and mellow, because it was all under control.
I spent my afternoon doing some printouts of things for my con sessions, including flyers for the Sci-Fi Spelling Bee, hitting a couple panels, shopping in the dealer room for Spelling Bee prizes, and socializing with all the people I saw along the way. Lunch was a soda and a muffin while listening to a panel on "I have this Great Idea? Now What?" with panelists Mary Rosenblum, David Levine, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Robin Hobb. (Is that an all-star lineup, or what?) It was very interesting, and poked my brain in all the proper ways along with feeding it some new knowledge.
The Sci-Fi Spelling Bee went off without any real hitches. We had about twenty people, so we had enough time for 2 games and then an Championship Match with the winners of the two games. There was laughter, groaning at (my) bad jokes, and some smart people spelling some very tough words. As it was at Norwescon, the Bee was much fun and I'll certainly have to do it again.
I had dinner with Mary Rosenblum, her cousin Janet Freeman, and Richard Lovett. We chatted about farming, running and exercise physiology, and the life of a non-fiction science writer (which both Richard and Janet do). Interesting, and enlightening.
I went to part of a panel on issues related to traveling to Mars, but was feeling a little beat so I went to the room to take a break before the parties started. I called home and chatted with my wife, but then I made the mistake of lying down on the bed and reading the paper.
Next thing I know I'm waking up. Oh wow, I fell asleep. Time to go to the parties. I looked at the clock and it was midnight! Dang it! I was very bummed but also still beat so I crashed for good.
Then I woke up at 5 AM this morning and never really went back to sleep. Sheeesh. Learned my lesson. Tonight, no lying down on the job.
Saturday is three panels, a critique session, and two readings.
One reading is mine (6:30 pm, Madison), where I'll be reading:
- "Fairy Lover" (micro-fiction story, sold to thaumatrope)
- "All That Was Left Behind" (spam flash fiction, sold to Weird Tales)
- (part of) "The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram" (short story, sold to DayBreak Magazine)
The other reading is the "Jay Lake reading" (7:30 pm, Hamilton?), where a group of us will be doing full multi-cast readings of a couple of Jay's stories since he's in the hospital recovering from surgery. The stories are a secret, but fun is guaranteed! Come check it out!
And now it's time to begin Orycon: Saturday. Report tonight, or tomorrow.