I was sitting at lunch with Mary and Kimmi. For them it was a discussion about Mary’s upcoming GoH interview with Kimmi as the interviewer. I was along for the food. The con was not in full bustle around us, but there were lots of interesting distractions. This was when my phone rang. The kids at home had locked themselves out of the house. I directed them to our backyard neighbor who has a key. I also spent several minutes calming a distraught Gleek, who was afraid that she would have to spend the night without the backpack full of security objects which had been locked in the house. They got the key, liberated the all-important back pack, and the kids went off to their aunt’s house for a sleepover.
I’ve gotten phone calls from home mid-convention before. I have one pretty much every convention I attend. It is often quite hard for me to stay calm because the calls bring out into the open whatever guilt I may be feeling about leaving the kids to attend the convention. This time I was not rattled at all. While the fate of the backpack was in question, I knew that two responsible adults were right there to help the kids deal with whatever outcome there might be. It was more amusing than anything else and gave me a story to tell when I got back to the table with Mary and Kimmi.
Mary’s signing here at the convention was pretty much the antithesis of the perfect signing. It was held during the dinner hour, wasn’t in the program book, the dealer’s room had already closed (so no one could buy books), and she was tucked away in a corner room far off the beaten path. Mary was cheerful and amused about it. She and I sat and talked for an hour. We were joined after awhile by a member of the convention staff with whom we had a lovely conversation. He took notes about how things should be different in other years. As Mary said it, conventions always have troubles of one sort or another. Things get mis-communicated, double booked, or overlooked. The key is for everyone to learn from the errors. And the Baycon staff have been wonderfully attentive in every interaction I’ve ever had with them.
I sat at a table in the lobby next to the bar with an ever-shifting group of authors and editors. I’d been there for several hours already and never once been bored. As people came and went I always had someone new to speak with and learn about. I had several quite-extended conversations with people I’d never met before, but with whom I hope to keep in touch. The night extended into early morning and I was still in my chair half from inertia, I finally pulled myself from the group and made my way upstairs. Tomorrow I have plans for tracking down my new acquaintances and visiting more.