The cats are fine, the house is fine, and Irene even left my tomato plants mostly intact. There's a big tree down here, mind, and I failed to find either a bank or a gas station with electricity this morning, but the roads are clear--and Yankees being Yankees, 90% of drivers are being extraordinarily courteous at all the intersections that have suddenly been converted to Bangalore Rules Driving.
So basically, I missed all the fun of the storm, but get to have the inconveniences! CL&P is currently unable to even offer an estimate of when my power will be back on. La. Fortunately, I am resourceful!
At least we have gas heat, so there are showers.
Armadillocon deserves a better con report than the few words I gave it Sunday night. I had a fabulous time--it's a great, intimate con held at the same Renaissance hotel as the Austin WFC in 2006, probably with Hal Duncan's brain blood still soaked into the grout between the marble lobby tiles--and I really enjoyed all of my panels, and all of the friends' panels that I attended. The Bistrot did a much better job of covering itself in glory this time around, and the bloody Marys were outstanding.
There were, as stillsostrange has intimated, no fewer than two Talisman games (I missed part of the first one to attend a panel, and washed out of the second one when I took a too-early wrong turn into the Dungeon and got eaten by a grue) and on Thursday night, pre-con, I went with her and her husband and fadethecat and catrambo to see bats! All the times I have been in Austin, I have never done the bats.
They were kind of freaking awesome.
The most impressive thing, for me, was the fact that they do indeed look exactly like the horror-movie crawling CGI of random evil swarming thing.
Here's some video:
After, we went to peché, which may go beyond being my favorite bar in Austin to claim the spot of my favorite bar in the world, where we drank delicious frilly girly cocktails and ate pommes frites and duck salad until stina_leicht arrived, having successfully retrieved scott_lynch from the airport, and more pommes frites and girly cocktails ensued. Also, it's possible that Scott and I scandalized the place, slightly...or at least mortified Stina.
(This photo not actually from peché, but it does capture why Stina is the Queen of Mischief. Scott is the Lord of Misrule, which will come as a surprise to nobody.)
Here is stillsostrange contemplating my demise:
(There was a panel with Scott, Amanda, Stina, and Skyler White on it, which I promptly dubbed the Awesome Hair panel. You can see why.)
Friday night and Saturday were all panels all the time--I thought the worldbuilding panel was particularly fun, and the signing and reading were well-attended by interesting people who wanted to talk to me, which is always good. (I also kibbitzed Scott's signing, in my capacity as Official Registered Nuisance. The Lynch-and-Bear show is perhaps not quite such a polished comedy routine yet as the Mole-and-Bear show, but he's been heckling my signings since the last time we were both in Austin, so it only seemed fair.)
I also got to spend a little quality time with Paolo Bacigalupi, who is a dear friend I don't get to see often enough.
Sunday, Famous Writers went climbing! Amanda, Fade, Scott, Sam-whose-surname-and/or-lj-I-do-not-kno
I did not get a photo of Sam on the wall, but I did manage to get Fade, Amanda, and Scott all on the same move of the same bouldering route, which made my inner nerd kind of happy.
Famus Riters On Plastic Rocks:
Scott Lynch (and Fade's forehead)
You people all need to watch your foot position. Also, one of these things is taller than the others.
Then Sunday night was that second (unfinished) bar-Talisman game, and just as we all (stillsostrange, Mr. stillsostrange, scott_lynch, fadethecat, and me) were yawning and stretching and about to creep off to our beds, skzbrust, skylerwhiteauth, and coffeeem mysteriously appeared. The drummer, as is his wont, settled himself at the head of the table and said, "Let's talk about Art!"
So we did.
And there was orange blossom ale (my gosh, that was tasty) and Woodchuck Fall Cider, which is a little like being given a nasal lavage with a nutmeg, but deliciously so.
And it was kind of freaking awesome.
In the morning, stillsostrange picked up scott_lynch and me for breakfast at Star Seeds (yay!) and then dropped us at the airport, and all our separate ways we went.
Verdict? Armadillocon: I will go back. Austin? Already knew it was going to be a regular stop in my peregrinations.
And now? I must revise Book of Iron, and revise "The Leavings of the Wolf," and revise "!Spellslinger" and find a title for it. And then I must write as much of a novel as humanly possible before October gets eaten by
Which means it's time to stop dicking around on the internets and get to work, baby.