I woke around six am (that's after only five hours of sleep, if you're keeping track) and then could not go back to sleep, though I tried for about an hour. So I implemented my usual plan for waking up at cons: a very hot shower followed by lots of coffee and a substantial breakfast. They brought me fresh-squeezed orange juice first. Ambrosia. After the ambrosia I had enough brain to at least put sugar and cream in my coffee, if not to drink it yet. Partway through breakfast, grahamsleight appeared, and conversation about the Clarke Awards, the Norton Award, and such helped to wake me up, too. I went back to my room for a few minutes and again tried to decide what to read for the Rapid-Fire Reading.
I'd been given a kaffeeklatsch at the same time as John Crowley, which meant I could get my copy of his new book signed, as once again, I was scheduled opposite his official autograph session. I didn't expect anyone to show up for my own klatsch--I had only volunteered in case they needed a slot filled--but soon rilina arrived, there for the day, and then Geary, so we ended up having a nice chat about movies and comic books. Someone else showed up near the end, but I think he was really waiting for the klatsch after mine.
One person didn't show for the Rapid-Fire Reading, which meant we could have a little more time, but I'd timed my sections ruthlessly and finished under time. Sarah Micklem had a really funny linguistic piece, in which she read a tiny poem in an imaginary language, then the translation, then elaborated on the translation in increasingly complex footnotes. Elaine Isaak read a nifty story about unicorns and museums. Delia Sherman read from her new YA novel (due out in 2006, I think; possibly 2007; can't remember exactly), Ellen Kushner from a new short story. I read a section from the novel, a depressing section, since everybody else's story before that was humorous in some way. Jennifer Pelland's story was amusing and creepy. There was one more, but I blush to say I can't remember the reader's name.
I was going to go to lunch next, but ran into filomancer and went to her reading; desperate with hunger after that, I reluctantly skipped suzych's reading at one pm and ate instead, since I had another scheduled item, my last, at two pm. After that I went to John Crowley's reading, realized I was too mentally exhausted to comprehend any more panels, so instead looked at the dealers' room for a little bit before linking up with an amoeba-like group that ended up in the bar: me, filomancer, blackholly, Cecilia Tan, and Ellen Klages, whose birthday it happened to be. Eventually Ellen went away for her dinner plans and the rest of us collected mroctober and Brett Cox and a couple of his friends, met up with Cecilia's partner Corwin and another of their friends, and went out for Korean barbecue, as a prologue to the Kirk Poland competition.
I sat with Geary Gravel and Jeffrey Carver for Kirk Poland, and had to tell Geary afterwards that his "ringer" contribution to the competition had been so funny it caused me physical pain and I wanted it to stop. nineweaving said it better: "Geary, that was sublime." Now that's an accolade.
You'd think the day would be over then, but it wasn't. I went to the bar with filomancer and Brett and Scott Edelman and Patrick O'Leary and one other person whose name I didn't catch, and stayed there, discussing mostly comics, until last call. When I got up to my room, I was so tired I had to count twice to figure out how many hours I'd been awake, which turned out to be nineteen.
I draw a curtain of sleep.