I got back home just before midnight last night, happy and utterly exhausted. Which is the goal when returning from a convention. ICON 37 was my second gig as Toastmaster, and I had a blast. I was co-toastmastering with Denny Lynch, and we ran our part of opening ceremonies as an improvised D&D session in which he had to rescue the guests of honor. I’m sorry to say that artist guest Mike Cole took an arrow to the knee. Author guest Steven Erikson chose to remain with the goblins.
There was much good programming. I got to talk about gaming and martial arts and writing, did a guest lecture for Paradise Icon, read an excerpt from Codex Born (nobody threw anything at me, so that’s a good sign), and interview our guests of honor.
But the best part was the people. From the moment when writers Cath Shaff-Stump and Shannon Ryan picked me up at the airport and whisked me out for pizza to the end when my liaisons Mark and Michelle McKibben forced me to eat yummy seafood and dessert before dropping me off, I was surrounded by wonderfully friendly SF/F geeks, and I loved it.
My favorite moment was when a ten-year-old goblin fan named Rhianna presented me with a crocheted Jig and Smudge. Smudge even has a clip so he can ride on your clothes. We talked about the goblins and conventions and books in general. She also gave me a lovely card with pictures she had drawn of the goblins.
Meeting someone who so loved a book you wrote is one of the best feelings in the world. So thank you, Rhianna, for helping to make my whole weekend.
Thanks also to Josh, Lindsay, Athena, Mark and Michelle, and everyone else who helped to make it such a fun weekend.
The downside is that as I was getting ready to board the plane, to come home, I got a message from my editor letting me know that thanks to hurricane Sandy, my plan to visit the DAW office this week wasn’t going to work out. That’s rather disappointing … though there’s a part of me that’s glad to have been able to just sleep in today, and to bum around without having to immediately hit the road again. And I’ll still be going out to speak at the library conference, which should be fun.
In conclusion, life is good, and I am sleepy.