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Home sweet home

Well, at least I'm back in NC. Home is where y'all are, plus hubby and kids. Ain't moving to Vegas, though. No *freakin* way. Hotel was not as bad as I feared it would be (yes, that should scare you), but it was FAR from ideal for running a con. That's enough said on the topic, for the moment. Many things go into why WC ended up there, and the fact that we did makes it super clear that Vegas isn't well suited to being Writercon's home. Watch for a survey soon to nominate your favorite spot. I don't know how we're going to keep it that cheap elsewhere, but we'll find a way.

Getting Home:

I slept on the plane. It took a lot longer than it should have, but not nearly as long as some other concom members' trips apparently have. For those of you who thought I was tired at the con, let me just say I'm way tireder now. And I have a voice that might rival James Earl Jones. The folks in the call center got a big kick out of that.

I have about 20 pages of writing in my notebook with observations and things I wanted to tell people and ...too tired to even write it all up. Here are some random lists (my life is about lists these days, isn't it?)

Things I want, desperately:

Con reports from people who went to stuff.
Links to pictures.
A way to figure out livejournal names of those folks I met at Writercon.

Things I did in Vegas:

Played for days with my husband (in retrospect, that should have been *after* the con), and then packed him off to LA.

Missed most of the events, but met literally hundreds of wonderful, wonderful people.

Did battle with the hotel front desk so many times I lost count.

Never did learn a straight path from the rooms to the con spaces.

Fell in love at least a hundred times. It's possible I met more of you than that. There were just shy of 250 people (oh.my.god. We thought 100 was a near-max number).

Cried when some wonderful folks got me a Jane autograph, while I was occupied with other things and didn't get to spend any time with her or hear more than ten minutes of her talk.

Danced, laughed, joked, partied, threatened to sing, stood on tables, forgot to eat and didn't care, was embarrassed, was proud, and generally just felt completely unworthy of what was going on around me.

Things I learned in Vegas:

Way more than I expected to without ever really seeing a panel.

Why it is that you should never, ever leave a cup unattended even briefly.

Complete and utter awe for the fannish community.

That pukajen and sleipnirrr and ascian3 are superheroes.

Things I wish:

That it had been longer, although I think it would have killed me dead.

That we'd had just a little more time to get this thing together

That Kita, Sally, Leslie, Lori, Susan, Jen, Sweet Ali, and all the rest of the folks whose names I'm not calling to mind at the moment, had been there in reality rather than just in spirit.

Things I will remember:

Late nights unpacking, stuffing packets, repacking, printing signs, telling each other to eat, what a squee sounds like in real life, what it's like to have someone write fic for you on the spot who hasn't written in a long while, what it's like to make someone smile, or feel better in some way, how helpless a person can be to change things at times, how to let go of the plan and go with the flow, how phenomenally important trust is, what it's like to work with friends, and what wonderful, wonderful new friends I've made.

You guys, out there? Rock my world.

/chrisjournal passes out now.


( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 3rd, 2004 04:44 pm (UTC)
You want pictures, eh?

Mweh heh.

Thanks to all of you guys for a fantastic, fantastic con! You have my unending appreciation and awe. :)

(And I know it's a bit early to start in on this, but for a convention city? A really, really good option is Salt Lake. Really. It's a popular B-level convention town, meaning it can't handle the huge Comic-Con sized crowds but reguarly sees groups of a thousand or less. Meaning? It's entirely focused on the small convention organizers. A quick check of prices show very, very nice hotels for what we paid for our rooms at the IP. It's clean. It has all the crowd-managing features in place from the Olympics. Free streetcars run all over downtown. It's got a world-class airport thanks to the Games, but doesn't run at capacity like McCarran, meaning a lot of the airport woes I've heard from others could likely be avoided. It's not crowded. It's got a famously huge underground culture. There's great shopping; think Nordstrom's. It's not only dry, but usually 20-25 degrees cooler than what we were feeling in Vegas.)
Aug. 4th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC)
Quiz hereby taken! I can't *wait* to get Love's pics from the con back. I think she got literally everybody!

Salt Lake City, check. You're right, we're not deciding anything too soon, but plugging is never a bad idea. Lots of great options, and I wouldn't have thought of former Olympic towns, either!
(no subject) - miggy - Aug. 5th, 2004 12:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 3rd, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC)
Dude, congrats on a job that was, by all accounts I've heard, fabulously well-done.
Aug. 4th, 2004 06:47 am (UTC)
Thank you, ma'am. But you, Kita, and quite a few others were sorely missed. What kind of bribe must I offer to rope you into running a workshop next time around?
(no subject) - glossing - Aug. 4th, 2004 06:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 3rd, 2004 04:51 pm (UTC)
And next time (job and health permitting - I'm almost completely inaudible at the mo except when I'm coughing) I Will be there. Hopefully sharing a room with Lori:)

Votes for New Orleans. I love New Orleans.
Or Orlando for all those lovely rollercoasters.
Aug. 4th, 2004 06:48 am (UTC)
Sooooooo want to meet you.

New Orleans and Orlando, check and check.
Aug. 3rd, 2004 04:56 pm (UTC)
Congrats to you all for pulling it off. Wish I could have been there. (Please think East Coast for next time... or at least maybe somewhere in this direction!)
Aug. 4th, 2004 06:48 am (UTC)
East coast request, check and check.
Aug. 3rd, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC)
It sounds like you all had a fabulous time and I am really envious of it. Who knows, for next Writercon, maybe I'll volunteer to be on ConCom, that way you know I'll be there.

Aug. 4th, 2004 06:57 am (UTC)

I really do want to meet you again!
Aug. 3rd, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
Chris, honey, there are no words to describe just how great you and the rest of the con comm are. You did just an amazing job. I'm just sorry that you didn't have the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor more.

Now relax, recover, and start planning the next con. {veg}
Aug. 4th, 2004 06:58 am (UTC)
Ha! We gotta finish this one off first, don't we? (audio, vid, surveys, post mortem, accounting, yada yada yada!).

Thank you *so* much, S., for being there and being just exactly who you are.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 4th, 2004 06:59 am (UTC)
*hugs you back*

Next time, dammit, I want you there!
Aug. 3rd, 2004 08:00 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on pulling this thing off and thank you for doing it with such grace and energy. You caught my girl and me at our most complainy; I had a great time and will do whatever I can to attend the next one.

I'm going to join a few other people in pushing for Chicago for the next Comicon location. It's a big city with lots to do, a relatively safe downtown, and good public transportation. There are inexpensive hotels with good conference services, and the airports are hubs for about five different airlines. The only drawback would be that parts of the city do shut down from late June through early July for Pride Weekend and the Taste of Chicago.
Aug. 4th, 2004 07:00 am (UTC)
You and D. are not very complainy people, then! Meeting the two of you in that beautiful quiet spot was one of the highlights of the con for me. I certainly do hope to see more of both of you in the future.

Chicago, check!
Aug. 3rd, 2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
while I was occupied with other things and didn't get to spend any time with her or hear more than ten minutes of her talk
It was all recorded, and while not the same as being there, the video cameras had the two best seats in the house.

Danced, laughed, joked, partied, threatened to sing, stood on tables, forgot to eat and didn't care, was embarrassed, was proud, and generally just felt completely unworthy of what was going on around me.

You are by far one of the mose amazing selfless people I have ever met. You took and idea and at no profit to yourself turned it into something that has changed hundreds of lives. Forever.

I had fun chatting with you online, but it was a million times better in real life. Any help you ever need, con and beyond, I have your back 154.87%

Come and play in LA for a break. ;)

Again thanks for one of the most amazing experiences in life that has been already full of many adventures.
Aug. 4th, 2004 07:00 am (UTC)
I wub you. You leave me speechless. Why in hell does CA have to be all the way over there????
Aug. 3rd, 2004 10:14 pm (UTC)
it was fantabulous
It really was. You did a truly wonderful job! I'm still processing everything I learned, to say nothing of all the wonderful people I met. You managed to gather under 1 roof 250 of the people I've always wanted to meet. Wow. And the thing ran like clockwork. You all have every right to feel very very proud -and we all thank you for the public benefactors you are!

If you are thinking about next time, or rather, when you start doing that after you take a well-deserved nap for 6 months or so, you might want to think about a major urban centre in Canada. Vancouver & Toronto all have all sorts of direct flights in from all over the U.S. (and elsewhere), and no matter what the exchange rates do they're going to make it cheap for Americans. For example, I'm running a conference for 150 people in Victoria B.C. in February, and the hotel conference rate is CDN$89 for a double room. Which is USD$67 . That's only going to vary by going down (I think the exchange rate has peaked, it hasn't been this high in over a decade). And the hotel throws in 2 conference meeting rooms and a suite for the organizers, for free.

Now, that's Victoria, which is beautiful and a lovely place to visit (and has high hotel prices as a rule, incidentally), but it's a bit of a pain to get there; you have to take a ferry or change planes. But you can get identical deals in Vancouver and something very close to that in Toronto, which has the further advantage of being centrally located on the continent.

Just sayin'! Hold it in Canada, cut all your bills by 25% (the current exchange rate is CDN$1 = USD$0.75 ...)

But don't worry about it now - go get lots of well-deserved sleep :)
Aug. 4th, 2004 07:01 am (UTC)
Re: it was fantabulous

Toronto, Vancouver, check!

So very glad you had a good time, Kly. Your presence, and that of so many others, really made the con what it was. I can't wait to get over to the Ford and check out the reaction.
Aug. 4th, 2004 12:24 am (UTC)
I'm in awe of you.
I mean it.
Before I admired you for your compassion, empathy and patience - La Serenissima. Now? Just wow, woman.
Aug. 4th, 2004 07:02 am (UTC)

(no, I'm not a hugger, either)

We'll talk soon, okay?
Aug. 4th, 2004 12:27 am (UTC)
I think that spicklething said it best;

"chrisjournal is the soul of Writercon."

Yeah. We worked hard and pitched in, and yes, we *do* rock. But you baby, *you* are the reason that it happened. And we love you.
Aug. 4th, 2004 07:02 am (UTC)
Oh Shad... Words fail me again. I'm listening to your mixes in my car each morning. I adore them, and will never, ever forget the magic you made in the con suite.
Aug. 4th, 2004 07:43 am (UTC)
Congrats on a very successful con. I only went to a few of the events, but I was impressed by all the effort that went into organizing it, and it was great to get to hear Jane's talk, as well. Everyone who worked on it ought to be very proud of how it turned out.
Aug. 4th, 2004 04:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jerry. That's an especially big compliment coming from our old-time chat rational man. It was really, really nice seeing you again!

Aug. 4th, 2004 12:17 pm (UTC)
i just wish i'd been of more use, overall!

just remember, no matter how crap you feel at any time about any little thing, i'm telling you that you are 'da shit.

and, i'm always right.
Aug. 4th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
*more* use? Honey, you saved me in ways I will never, ever be able to thank you for.

(will remember where to come when I need proof that I am right)
Aug. 4th, 2004 06:37 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on what sounds like a fantastic con, Chris. You need to go sleep for a week, I think, but at least it will be the Peaceful Sleep of the Righteous.

Since klytaimnestra is pimping Canada, I could try pimping Australia - *really* cheap for you North American types. Well, apart from the airfares, that is ;)

Hawaii and LA are the cheapest/closest to get to from this side of the world. Then again, not promising anything - I wouldn't travel without the rest of the family, which makes it an expensive proposition.
Aug. 5th, 2004 05:07 am (UTC)
West coast request, check! Just remember, you've got two years to save up...
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