I did indeed get to attend another WisCon. I drank really hard, socialized, danced really hard. I saw people I hadn’t seen in years and hugged them really hard.
I went to readings and learned a lot; I went to panels and actually learned more about panels than I did about the topics. I went out for sushi with awesome people– Haddayr Copley-Woods, Barth Anderson, Caoimhe Snow, Ben Rosenbaum, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Jed Hartman, Stacy Thieszen, Will Alexander, and some other folks whom I didn’t know.
I met one agent who was very nice to me, and I went out for lunch with another agent (who was also very nice to me).
The reading…. Whew. I got to read with M. Rickert, who was so fabulously nice, with Theodora Goss, with Haddayr, and with the incredible Kat Beyer. I frickin lucked out unbelievably with the caliber of women who were so generous to include me.
I was terribly nervous. I had practivced that morning before I went to the reading room. Jen Volent texted me, and the upshot was she brought me a bloody Mary (my first ever) and poured in an ass-kicking amount of tabasco. That certainly took my mind off of things.
Everyone read wonderfully, but for me, the standouts were Haddayr and Kat. They were the ones who really held the audience the whole time they were up, who had us hanging on their every word, baited breath, the whole cliche. (Haddayr’s story should be bought, like, NOW; and I told Kat later that next year, when The Demon Catchers of Milan comes out, my daughter will be her exact target audience (after I read it first, of course).)
I got to read after Haddayr (wondering, how the heck can I follow that)and–I did not implode. I didn’t spit, or fall off of my heels, or stare at the paper not knowing how to read. I took it slowly, remembered some rudiments of diaphragm control, and did it. It was a little long, and I hope if I ever read again, I can pick something shorter.
I did okay for my first reading. I was relieved and pleased, and can I tell you something that really made me feel totally geeked and humbled? There were people wiping their eyes when I was done. Amazing.
And now I want to do it again.