Hypericon Sunday - Denouement


My wonderful minions (I even bought them MINION buttons) were so understanding about letting me free from booth duty. The first panel of the day was on constructing a space combat game that actually follows Newtonian physics. Now, I'm not constructing a game, but I am constructing space combat. So I attended the panel with Professor Rob Knop, designated physics nerd, and took notes on how Newtonian physics would apply to space travel and combat.

It's always humbling to be the dumbest one in the room. Everyone knew more about physics than me, including the teenager in the back. I took Physics for Dummkompfs in tenth grade and passed, fleeing it for molecular biology as fast as I could manage. I got about 80 percent of what Rob was saying, mostly because he was patient with my stupid questions. I still don't quite get why we can't go faster than light, because I don't get how space and time are tied together, because I'm not fuckin' Einstein. But I think I'll be able to write a better space battle this week, so thanks to Rob Knop. Who offered his email for future consultations, poor sucker.

Originally I was not going to be on the marketing panel. Then His Fredness asked me to be on the marketing panel because, and I quote, "You market yourself relentlessly." I think that's a compliment. Then he said never mind. With such ambiguity, I showed up anyway. They had plenty on the panel, so I sat in the front row with Mari Adkins to mock. Also because I had real questions, like the best way to approach a bookstore with whom you do not have a preexisting relationship.

At this point I emerged and had a panic attack. Somehow it had gotten to be 12:30 p.m. and I was not checked out of my room. Worse, my key no longer worked. I had a brief insane thought that Angelia had somehow packed up all my things and checked out, which made no sense but I called and asked anyway. "Uh, no..." I never did find out why my key stopped working, but the hotel let me back in to pack at the speed of sound and haul my cookies out of the room without a penalty.

It was the last hour of the show, and I decided to treat myself to two (2) books. I knew I wanted Alethea's BEAUTY & DYNAMITE, because I've meant to pick it up the last two times I saw her. And I also picked up Wrath James White and Maurice Broaddus' ORGY OF SOULS. Of course, both Wrath and Maurice had fled the hotel by then, so I'll have to catch them at another show. Alethea signed hers for me, and she always makes the rest of us look bad with these adorable little cartoon decorations in multiple colors. I have the most hideous signature, it's really awful.

We popped up for closing ceremonies, where His Fredness recognized Alethea and me as having attended every Hypericon since the beginning. Someone suggested we be given guest emeritus status, whatever that means. Hey Fred: does that mean we get comped hotel rooms next year?

Stephen showed up to help me pack up the booth, then treated me to a lovely linner at the Noshville Deli. Of all the people I see in Nashville, Stephen has known me the longest, and it's always good to spend time with framily. Even if he does nag me like a mother hen.

The drive home was less fun, despite a glorious Illinois sunset and good tunes on the iPod. A five-hour trip took more than seven hours thanks to a really stupid construction layout on I-57 complicated by a jackknifed tractor trailer. They had us merging to the right lane, then back to the left lane, then to the right again.... I idled for an hour and a half and nearly stalled out my car. But I had Twitter to keep me from going flipping insane.

I had the mad urge to stop at a cheap roadside motel and write short stories all night, driving back early in the morning. I resisted, but oh, I wanted to. After all, I'm kidless right now. I can do anything I want as long as the bills get paid.

In all, it was a terrific show. I haven't done the math yet, so I don't know how well we did financially. But I got to see friends and colleagues, talked about my favorite subjects, picked up a handful of new authors for the Literary Underworld and feel more revitalized for my career than I have in months.

In fact, I very well might write tonight. Wouldn't that be something?


  1. Anonymous11:01 PM

    Strangely enough - your signature looks a lot like my own handwriting...

  2. Rooms or no, I have a feeling we're lifetime members *anyway*. :)

    It was so great to see you again! xox

  3. Some of what the teenager in the back "knew" he didn't really know.... He did make it a bit harder to answer some questions, though.

    But, as I said, feel free to email me if you have questions, or if you want to learn more about special relativity and the like.


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