Sunday, March 04, 2007

ConDFW

Well, I guess I'll take a little time and talk about how much I enjoyed ConDFW in Dallas last weekend. They were very good to me; I had three panels - one each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - and moderated two of them.
I cut out from work at 2 p.m. and arrived in Dallas in good time for my first panel, which was at 5 p.m. with Mel Tatum on "The Creative Process".
First off, I was amazed that I had nothing to cover over that weekend, Feb. 23-25. With my job as a newspaper editor, I often have to run out on nights and weekend for special events. There wasn't a single thing on my calendar, which saved me the trouble of asking a staff member to sub for me (by contrast, next Sunday afternoon, March 11, I have to cover a beauty pageant).
Another good omen: Driving in from East Texas, I heard on the radio there was a serious traffic jam on the LBJ Loop north of Dallas. I was already concerned about hitting Dallas at rush hour, and when I heard that, I began to get concerned. I thought I might try an alternate route to get to Richardson, which is where the con actually was, but I haven't lived in Dallas for years and I couldn't remember a way.
As it turned out, the wreck and backup was in the eastbound lanes, and I was heading westbound, so I avoided it. If it had been the other way around, I never would have made that first panel.
I think the con heard back from some people who couldn't get in too early on Friday, because when Dan Robb (the programming chairman) originally issued the programming schedule, the panel had four people, but the final version had just me and Mel. Lee Killough was kind enough to sit in, however, so we had a nice lineup. I think there were probably ten people in the audience, which isn't bad for the start of a con, and things went very well.
I visited briefly with GOH Harry Turtledove after the opening ceremonies that evening. He was very genial but seemed tired, I guess, after the long trip from California.
I attended the Yard Dog Road Show that evening for an hour, which was about about as much of that silliness I could take. I guess I was at a disadvatage in the audience (I was sober). This stuff must seem funnier if you're plastered.
One strange thing: Mel Tatum did a skit called the "The Yard Dog Whisperer", a play on Cesar Milan's how "The Dog Whisperer". At one point, in a bit of burlesque on how to really handle a recalcitrant dog, she threw a noose on one (stuffed) dog and hanged him.
When she started to into this piece of business, I wondered how I would take it, since I've had such emotional experience with dogs - from a 13-year old German Shepherd was passed away in my arms from old age to the rescue dog who attacked my wife and left her an amputee with no right index finger.
I got nauseous. I guess that was a purely visceral reaction. I have no idea what it means. I didn't get unwell enough to leave, then.
Before heading to bed I visited a few suites. FenCon Chairman Tim Miller mentioned in the ORAC suite that, since this was the last week coming up for Hugo nominations, they'd appreciate consideration of the FenCon III program book for "Best Related Book" or whatever that category is. I made a note of that and when I got back home after the con I pulled the book out. I forget what a great job they did last year on that program book, and the next day when I mailed in my ballot, I nominated it. I really appreciated the suggesstion, that's a hard category for me to nominate in since I don't read much, if any, s-f related non-fiction.
More later.

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