Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I don't think we're in Texas anymore

So I'm back from WFC, held this year in Austin. I feel somewhat obligated to make a report or something, since I attended a panel on the breathtaking importance of the blogosphere to the industry, and actually gave my url to a couple people, and I haven't posted in forever. I'm not good at reports, so this shall be dull, verily.

The Con started on Thursday, but I originally had it in my mind to drive down, so I took Wednesday off from work. I ended up doing the plane thing, but never bothered to un-request Wednesday. That's a good way to start your convention, I think: Just take the day before the first day off. Very relaxing. I packed, I sat around, I read and spent time with my wife.

Travel day was swell. There were a number of people on the plane going to the con, including the infamous David Schwartz. I ended up talking to Darja Malcolm-Clarke, who was sitting in the window seat while I was in the aisle. The poor girl between us was very tolerant, and maybe learned something about the role of the city in modern mythic literature.

Generally speaking, this con had a different feel for me than Madison did last year. I think it had something to do with the layout of the bar. See, I don't know a lot of people in the industry. Of the hundreds who attended, there were maybe three people I felt comfortable just walking up to and starting a conversation. I'm shy, right? But in Madison, most of the socializing went on in the room parties. Big rooms, no furniture, crowded with people. You are always physically close to a conversation, and if you wander around it's pretty easy to find a conversation you can join. Socialization by population density.

But this bar was designed to allow groups of businessmen to arrive in mass, sit down in mass, and socialize in mass. Lots of small, easily moved tables. A group of friends arrive, they push tables together, they drink and talk and network, and then they stumble to their respective rooms and pass out. There are waitresses, so you don't need to go to the bar to get your drinks. So. I found it very difficult to meet new people, and did not know many people to begin with.

I did have fun, though. Very little sleep. Saturday was my longest day, by far. I went to bed at 2am saturday morning, got up at 5am (I was hungry. My metabolism is a cruel bitch) then caffeinated and pushed through the various panels and readings and Super Important Dinner (discussed elsewhere) and ended up hanging out with Steve Mancino until, like, 4:30am on sunday. That's 23 1/2 hours. Did I mention I'm old? I'm old.

I'll talk more later. I'm at "work" trying to unfuck everything that was done in my absence. It's fun, in that "let's all quit our jobs, sell our worldly possessions and move to a commune to write" kind of way. And I have the Super Important Dinner to talk about, too. Super Important!


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