August 30th, 2010


A long ArmadilloCon Report

Back from ArmadilloCon, dead tired. It was a very active and busy con this year, so between the programming and the socializing, I was pretty much in continuous motion. I realized it wasn't until Sunday that I actually had time to walk to the back of our hotel room and look out the window into the atrium. But it was all enormous fun.

(I noticed in my last post I said the hotel was in the Arboretum and had a good view of the part. By which I meant park. Though the view of the part probably sounded more exotic and mysterious.)

The good thing about the site was it was surrounded by trees, including throughout the parking lot, and though it was cooler in Austin than it had been recently, it was still mid to upper 90s, so the shade was nice. There were also many good restaurants either in walking distance or a very quick drive.

The writing workshop, which went from about 9:15 to 4:30 on Friday was great and our students all had talent and potential and great ideas in their submissions, which made it a lot of fun, but by the end of it I was starting my usual con-related blood sugar crash. I always think these are isolated incidents and are never going to happen again, until the next con. It's usually in the late afternoon, and is a combination of not enough lunch plus nothing but water for four hours while expending a lot of energy talking, etc. (And the lunch the hotel forced people to buy during the workshop was pretty gnarly. A hotel this pretty should not produce food like that, it's just wrong.) By the time the workshop was over, morfin was there, and friends carried us off to dinner at Jaspers. We had some good food this con because Austin is brimming with it, but this was the food highlight of the weekend. I had scallops and grits, and I don't know what all they put in the grits, but it was marvelous. Anyway, I felt a lot better afterward.

Then we came back and went to opening ceremonies, which were hosted by the toastmaster Nancy Kress. Michael Bishop spoke also, and explained why he was the steampunk guest of honor when he doesn't write steampunk. (A list of steampunk writers had been assembled, and at the end of it was added "or we could also invite Michael Bishop" and at some point the or got dropped out.) Then there was the guest reception and lots of talking to friends. People kept trying to leave, and then you would later find them about ten feet away having run into more friends they hadn't seen in a while, so getting out was a very slow process.

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