So tomorrow, the World Fantasy Convention begins in Columbus, Ohio--but for me, today was the first day. I went to pick up my friend, the uber-fabulous Gini Koch, at Port Columbus. Originally, my husband was supposed to go with me but he had to work, so my daughter Audrey drove and we took her daughter Aurora (who turned one last week) with us.
The first sign of imminent awesomeness? A text message that reads, "I'm the gal with the pink zebra print matched luggage."
After pulling her luggage from the baggage claim--it was easily spotted, by the by--Audrey and I took the luggage while Gini took the baby and we went to the car. As I've mentioned before, little Aurora is one of the best babies in the world. Today she had her first trip to the airport, a convention center, a big hotel and a Max and Erma's and that baby did not cry or fuss once. She was completely enthralled by Gini and, I must say, the feeling is mutual. Once we got Gini checked in at the Hyatt and settled in her room, we went across the street for dinner. Hordes of complete and total strangers stopped by our table to grin and wave at the baby--who took it all calmly, as if she expects the star treatment and isn't fazed when she gets it--while Gini, Audrey and I had an animated conversation and showed off pictures of children and pets on our cell phones. Then Audrey took the baby home and Gini and I...
...hit the bar.
What? Are you surprised?
At any rate, the feeling at WFC is much different from the Romantic Times convention I attended earlier this year. To begin with, there's a certain atmosphere that surrounds spec fic writers that is completely missing at a romance convention--a whole bunch of people who look vaguely familiar, as if I know them from the backs of book jackets, and yet seem easily approachable. I met several other authors (LE Modesitt Jr. stopped by our table, for example), went to one of the party suites on the fifth floor (where I discovered that, yes--there actually ARE drinks that are mixed too strongly for me to imbibe), got into a huge discussion about Star Wars (darn that George Lucas!), Harry Potter, the hero's journey, steampunk, John Wilkes Booth, Stephen Sondheim, steroids in baseball, Greco-Roman mythology, seven foot tall aromatic ill-groomed hobbit look-alikes (don't ask), agents, contracts, the future of the fantasy genre, OCD and just about anything else you could possibly imagine in a four hour conversation over wine and cocktails.
We also decided that Gini and I were probably twins separated at birth, despite the miniscule difference in our ages. Always great to find a long lost sister!
At any rate, tomorrow I'm attending panels on mashups, fantasy maps, the Surrealists and Asian horror. Should be fun. I have now officially vetoed wearing ANY sort of heel at this convention--no way no how--and am spending a little time in the morning getting my publishing resume together--something I've neglected to do so far seeing as I'm up to my eyeballs in edits at the moment.
A day of accomplishment. I am pleased.
By the way, Gini's second book Alien Tango (the sequel to her Booklist starred debut novel Touched by an Alien) will be available from DAW on December 7, 2010. Pre-order it if you can; TBAA is one of the funniest sci-fi adventures I've read in a loooooooooooooooooooooong time. Trust me.