Saturday, October 31, 2009

On the road again: World Fantasy Con, San Jose, day 5

I actually slept a reasonable amount last night, which was wonderful. I can't say I feel rested right now--in fact, I could fall asleep in an instant--but I do feel better than I have in about a week.

An odd thing occurred to me about yesterday's panel and several conversations I had last night: by publication count, I was the senior writer. Very strange indeed. I still feel the rank beginner, and few know me or my work, but sometimes I encounter groups with a different perspective.

Earlier today, after a healthy lunch (hot dog with cheese, plus shared onion rings; I must keep praying for those artery-cleaning nanobots), I attended a panel on urban fantasy. It went well enough, but it never quite gelled.

Afterward, I signed a bunch of books in the dealers' room, a process that involves me spying, thief-like, for copies of my books, then springing upon an unsuspecting bookseller and saying, "Would you like me to sign my books?" Fortunately, they always agree, either because they genuinely would like me to do that, as they say, or because they are scared of the look in my eyes. Whatever works, I suppose.

Ticia, who is helping with tonight's Liars Panel, then went with me to the front desk, where we procured the appropriate bills for the panel (tens for when I get caught, plus a bunch of ones for when I feel like challenging), as well as some disposable ice buckets for money collection.

The hotel's beautiful central bar was in full swing, afternoon tea service already started. Tables of laughing and talking writers, editors, and fans filled the large space. I spotted a few I might have joined, where people who know me would no doubt have let me pull up a chair. Instead, I came to my room, where I worked, wrote, composed this entry, and will, momentarily, write a bit more. It's an alienating experience to leave such a space for my quiet room, but if I don't do it now, I'll have to do it later tonight, when I will be more tired and less productive. I know that I must write each day, because down any other path I stop being a writer--or so I fear. That fear is reason enough to maintain the habit.

Perhaps one day I will take off a stretch and not write, but most likely I will not; I have so many books in me and so little time, and only these stretches alone at the keyboard makes them appear.

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