<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
WFC 2005

I admire the people who can quickly write and post coherent con reports. Clearly, I am not among their numbers.

So: WFC. I think World Fantasy has officially become my favourite con.

Over the course of the weekend I attended readings by Leah Bobet, Sharon Shinn, Kelly Link, Theodora Goss, Kristen Britain and Julie Czerneda. I attended a good handful of panels, including one on formal music in fantasy, "mining" other cultures for inspiration and settings, and swearing and other ways to tell children's books from young adult novels. (I now see why Michelle and Sharyn November get along so very well; they're like two versions of the same person, though with very different bodies. Lord help me, though, if I were ever in a conversation with both of them at once; I'd never get a word in edgewise.) And I was a big fan of the con suite; not only did they have plenty of lovely food that helped me keep my restaurant excursions to a cost-effective minimum, but also plenty of tea all through the day. Praise the con suite, praise the tea.

It took the better part of three days of searching to finally run across Marissa, which I did at Elise Matheson's table in the dealer's room, and greeted her with "There you are!" Of course, M'ris was rather unfortunately ill soon after, so our dinner plans fell through, but I did perch on the spare bed in her hotel room for a few hours, chatting about anything and everything. And it was good because, well, it's M'ris.

I ran across a good number of people I know, including friends from my days on the Rumor Mill, and met a good handful more. Bryn talks about "con friends" and the more I wandered around and smiled and greeted people I never see anywhere but at cons, the more I understood what she meant.

I also swallowed my terror, took a deep breath and actually did some self-promotion and networking this con. Not too much, because that would have required a sudden personality transplant, but some. I now have two places I've been invited to send fiction to in the next little while (woohoo!) and had an interesting conversation with my Children of Magic editor, Kerrie Hughes. (Woah. Just got an email. Make that three places I've been invited to send fiction. Squee!)

What I saw of Madison was lovely, and there are a few stores on State Street that I wish I could transport whole and relocate to somewhere convenient in downtown Toronto. (Right next to Bakka, for instance.) If I have a complaint about the area, though, it would be that the restaurants I attended were way too fond of cheese -- not that I should be surprised. At least everyone was good and not too confused by my requests to keep their cheese to themselves.

The trip home was a bit of an adventure, though. The first flight went well, but when Sarah and I went to change planes in Detroit, we discovered that our 9:20 flight had been delayed to 11:45 because of weather problems where the plane was. Minutes later, the flight was delayed to 7:03 the next morning. Minutes after that, the flight was cancelled, and we had to rebook for a flight that left ... 7:03 the next morning.

Thus ensued a crazy sequence of events that saw Sarah and I spending the night in a Best Western in Romulus, Michigan. Really, I didn't need to see Romulus, Michigan. I am not exactly pleased with Northwest Airlines, not because of their policy not to cover hotel charges due to weather delays but because of various ticket agents' decisions to apply this policy in a somewhat haphazard manner (as in, we were among about three people in our large group who were not given hotel or food passes and had to pay instead). No, my real ire is towards the very terrible Best Western Gateway International Hotel, who had no knowledge of our reservation despite a call to make that reservation and a later call to confirm that reservation, and who gave two asthmatics a smoking room, and who sent our important wake-up call about 15 minutes late, among other things. If you happen to find yourself stranded in the Detroit airport, or perhaps vacationing for unknown reasons in the Romulus, Michigan area, avoid the Best Western Gateway International at all costs.

Also: their breakfast muffins were unfortunately crumbly.

But I did make it home Monday morning, and managed to take a nap to help compensate for the 3 hours of sleep that night, and everything turned out okay. And despite the rather long time it took to get home, I still had the same feeling as when I left the con: slightly bleary, yes, but also energized, inspired and wanting to write. Which is how I've spent my day today.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 5:44 PM


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