Norwescon was a blast. The only down spots were
A) Forgetting to buy Mark Henry's Battle of the Network Zombies.
B) Missing folks who couldn't make it. and
C) The Tor Party, at which I kind of freaked out. I was exhausted, and the party was of course, loud, crowded and full of strangers. However, everyone I knew was also there, (yes, there was one notable exception, but I was too exhausted to deal with the emotional weight of being with that friend. See below.) meaning I couldn't go somewhere else to chill and still be social. Next year, I'm going to make sure I have a hotel room, even if I have to beg, bribe and cajole folks to share with me. I really, really needed a nap and possibly private introvert space.
* Totally remedied on the drive home. My mom needed to use the bathroom, so we stopped at the Northgate Barnes and Noble.
Other downside: I was so exhausted when I got home that I passed right out. I was a little surprised, since while I didn't sleep much, it wasn't like I was running on two hours a night or anything. And the two-hour nap did nothing for me. I soon myself overcome with abdominal cramps, and quivering with a cold sweat. I wanted to barf so bad, but I eventually had to accept that it was just gas and curling up in bed was all I could do. It actually made for good mental processing time, since I couldn't do anything else until the pain abated. (When it got to a manageable level, I totally started Mark's book, because if anything is readable through potential food poisoning, it's a trashy zombie novel. I'm better now, and it probably wasn't food poisoning, but if John Pitts ends up with the same thing, it was totally the bread pudding, in the bar, with the unspeakable rich sauce.
Among the superawesome things:
Meeting up with an old, old friend who has a tendency to drop out of my life for years on end, and then pop up without warning. I saw him briefly last year, but the cliquish nature of Norwescon being what it is, I never saw him after that glimpse. This year, however, we got in dinner and a lot of conversation time, and I got to turn him on to a friend's upcoming book. We talked about the past and being young and stupid and if only, if only, if only.
Hanging with an awesome group who included Kat Richardson (and her glorious custom-made corset) and Cherie Priest. Every now and then, I feel like I've already learned everything there is to know about how the publishing business works, and then I learn otherwise. I feel like I earned a merit badge. (Basket accounting. If I understand it right, it's when the publisher requires a series of books to earn out their advance(s) as a unit before earning royalties.)
Early morning writing sessions in the Rotunda overlooking that really big pond behind the hotel. I actually got writing done at a con!
My kickass little hat (known as a folly, I was informed.) Made by zeldyn
. (Check out her Etsy shop!)
Turns out another of my friends at Norwescon also had one of her hats!
Being led by Camille Alexa through the party wing in a big long chain of half-drunk ducklings in search of alcohol.
I'm feeling very, very grateful. Grateful to friends who hooked us up with beds, grateful to pros for stuffing me with knowledge, grateful for folks like Nayad of Clarkesworld who encourage me to keep submitting despite rejection. Grateful to everyone for being so welcoming. I had a revelation about myself, about why it is that being with my friends doesn't drain me. I view the world and connect with it through my relationships. I tend towards collective identities. (Even though I know that all that is illusory, and that ultimately, I'm only me. I do manage to function as a completely self-sufficient unit, socially and emotionally.) I think that my ego actually absorbs the friends I'm with, basically bringing them under the umbrella of my identity, and keeping them from being energy drains. I bet it sounds like that could be a freaky concept. My ex used to bug me about needing to define people. And it's not like I'm saying, "you are now me, and I have as much control over you as I do myself." It's just that wither certain people, I have an awareness of closeness and our commonalities. We're united by our passions, or events, or common knowledge. Different combinations form different groups within the group. (And of course, certain bonds form barriers that are almost impenetrable. One word: Clarionites. I respect the barriers, especially since goodness knows I have them among my own circles, but having a relationship of a different sort with someone in the impenetrable group allows for temporary permeability. Me and another girl totally bonded at World Fantasy over being Roommates of Clarionites, who drifted along like superfluous, but attached, appendages on the Clarion Amoeba.)
This makes me think that my social energy loss actually comes from two sources. The first is the standard problem of people (particularly extroverted-seeming types) focusing on me, forcing my own shields up. The second is me attempting to batter down the shields I perceive between myself and others.
Okay, enough philosophy. I need to get back to bitchy zombies in love.