I got back from Wiscon yesterday afternoon. A friend picked me up in Charlotte & we had breakfast at Waffle House (love them grits!) before heading back to Asheville. It is good to be home, but did I ever have a splendid time at Wiscon.
A few highlights in no particular order:
- the tiptree auction, where Ellen was auctioning off a pair of black pants with rocket ships on them & said something on the order of "the only people who could wear these are Laurie Winter & 12-year-old boys." I had just walked into the room, so I went up & tried them on & danced around on the stage a little. There are pictures--possibly even movies--on the web.
- Lady Poetesses from Hell, which was one of our finest performances. (With me were Ellen Klages, John Rezmerski, Elise Mathesen, Rebecca Marjesdatter & Terry Garey.)
- a panel on reworking the metaphors with which we live our life, rather than the war on drugs/terrorism/war/etc in which I said, at one point, without irony, "I have tremendous love & compassion for Dick Cheney..." (Hey, when you're made of out infinite, eternal, immeasurable love, you can give all of it away every moment to everyone & still have all of it left to give!) Both the other panelists & the audience had lots of good things to say.
- a panel on decluttering, where a group of us discussed what clutter was & ways to deal with it. A couple of things I offered: One) Come up with a new metaphor for the way you think of things, rather than scarcity & the fear that you'll need it if you get rid of it, think of catch-and-release fishing or the idea that things are not yours but only share your existence for a time and then move on. Two) Imagine your home is a garage sale. Would you choose that couch & arrange to borrow a friend's truck to get it home? If not, call up a charity to pick it up so you'll have a couch-shaped hole in your living room that will be filled with something you actually WANT.
- the dessert banquet, with guest-of-honor speeches & Tiptree awards presentation. I sat with some friends for dessert, then moved to the table where my other jurors & the winners were sitting for the ceremony part. I got to put fabulous tiaras on the winners and hand them their chocolates & such. (I also gave a couple people at my table who were nervous about their speeches a little calming energy medicine.)
- parties & meals & random encounters in hallways with many lovely people, both old friends and new.
- talking to editors (my fabulous paperback editor, who is up to her eyeballs in everything, is passing my novel on to one of her colleagues, and another editor asked me to send him a YA novel, so that's going to be fun)
51. Sit outside with your feet up on something & try to figure out what the birds are telling you.