I’m afraid I only have two more Readercon pictures for you, and one of those is of me, so it doesn’t really count. But this particular Readercon was so incredibly busy that I really didn’t have time to take pictures. I’ll tell you about it in a moment. Here’s the first picture:
Yes, it’s the third Readercon outfit, a brown corduroy dress that I bought (you guessed it) at a thrift store. I think it’s a J. Crew? I always cut out tags because I hate labels. Honestly, I think my most interesting outfits are thrift store finds, because I will happily spend $5 on something like a brown corduroy dress, while if I’m spending actual money ($20 or more), it’s going to be on something basic, like a pair of jeans or a navy cardigan. Anyway, I felt very well dressed for Readercon, sort of like a modern Jane Morris. If Jane were alive now, I think she would wear this brown corduroy dress. Which makes me think that the way I dress should be called something like Modern Pre-Raphaelite. (The way I decorate should be called Shabby Mission, but that’s a separate blog post.)
The second picture I took is from the Shirley Jackson awards. Neil Gaiman stopped by for the awards, and this is him making one of his two acceptance speeches. If you look to the lower left, you can see the back of Amanda Palmer’s head. (She used to be the lead singer of the Dresden Dolls, which made one of my favorite videos: “Coin-Operated Boy.”) In the middle of the ceremony, someone came to give him a con badge. He laughed and showed it to her. It said “Mr. Amanda F. Palmer,” which made me smile.
There are two other moments I remember from the awards ceremony. Neil Clarke picked up the award for Peter Watts. In the acceptance speech, he mentioned that the U.S. government had not allowed Peter into the country for the ceremony. Shame on you, U.S. government. Also, Laird Barron won two Shirley Jackson awards. Congratulations, Laird!
So you’ll understand why I took barely any pictures, I’m going to give you a sense of what my Readercon was like, but I’m too tired to write a linear narrative, so I’m going to give you a series of moments. Anyway, that’s how I experienced Readercon.
The funniest happened in the ladies’ room. The day before, one of my favorite editors had asked me what I’m writing for her latest anthology. I had promised her a story, but hadn’t yet decided what to write. That night, I remembered a story I had wanted to write that might just work – but I thought, no, it’s too quirky. Well, the next day we were both washing our hands in the ladies’ room, and I pitched the idea to her, right there. I said, “Is this too quirky? Tell me what you think.” She told me she liked the idea, and to write the story and send it to her. So, you want to know what a professional writer’s life looks like? That’s it. (And you thought it was going to be all grand.)
I walked around with the mock-up of The Thorn and the Blossom, showing it to friends, letting some of them know that the publisher would be sending them copies for blurbs. I also had a chance to show it to reviewers and let them know it would be coming later this year. I was so pleased that everyone loved the design. I can’t wait to show it to you.
I ran into Jim Freund, who hosts the Hour of the Wolf radio program on WBAI (99.5 FM) in New York City. I told him I was coming down early next month, and we talked about doing an interview. If that happens, I’ll let you know when I’ll be on the radio! He also arranges the New York Review of Science Fiction readings, and we talked about my coming down for a reading when the book comes out. Again, if that happens, I’ll let you know!
What else? I talked to my favorite small presses. One editor was considering a witch anthology and asked if I’d written anything on witches. Well, I have, so I promised I would send her a copy of “Lessons with Miss Gray,” which is about a group of girls who see an advertisement for lessons in witchcraft, and the trouble that comes from it. You never know what can happen while you’re walking past the small press tables. I always tell students, go talk to the small presses and find out what they’re working on. They always have the most interesting projects.
I also talked to a friend of mine who puts together ebooks about doing ebook versions of In the Forest of Forgetting, as well as some of the individual stories in the collection. I don’t have time to do that now, but we’re going to sit down at the World Fantasy Convention and talk about how to make it happen. It will involve my coordinating with the original publisher, the artist, and the ebook creator, which will be fun. It’s exactly the sort of project I like working on. I’ll let you know when those will be available, but it will be later this year or early next year.
That’s just a small sample of what happened during Readercon. There are other things I don’t remember, and some things I remember but can’t talk about because they have to do with projects that will happen in the future. But if you’re wondering why you should go to conventions, that’s why: because more business gets done more quickly at conventions than anywhere else.
Plus, I got to talk to so many of my friends. I’m going to miss you guys . . . (Until I see you all at World Fantasy in October!)