I stayed in for a cuddle, then took the bus to the convention. It was very convenient for me! Just one bus!
As an aside, I really loved the location of the con this year. The hotel was nice, and the rooms were great. It was ridiculously easy to get to, and wonderfully close to the Byward Market, where food could be gotten quickly and easily. The vendor's room was a little cramped, but that's a very small complaint.
Anyway, back to my story. What is my story? Oh yeah, day 2 of Can Con 2016.
I arrived on time and enjoyed an hour at my table in the vendor's room before I had to take off and sit on a panel discussion epic fantasy and whether or not it gets the respect it deserves. I think, in the end, we all more or less agreed that epic fantasy can be quite good and very worthy of respect, and there's also a lot of dross out there. That some circles are slow to coming around, but it is gaining ground with regards to respect. My most excellent fellow panellists were pretty much a dream team; Ranylt Richildis, who is a scholar as well as an author, Peter Halasz, who is extremely knowledgeable and quite brilliant, Evan May, who is a wonderful human all round, and our most excellent moderator, Ed Willett.
I then returned to the vendor's room to meet and greet and hang out and chat with awesome people who dropped by my table, before running away again before the hour was out to go pitch.
This marks my fourth ever pitch ever in my ten or so years of writing. I was a nervous wreck.
I was pitching to Sam Morgan of JABberwoky Literary Agency in New York. That's pretty big agency for speculative fiction. It's a big, big deal... At least it was for me. And I was really nervous. Really, really, really nervous. So, I sat in and said hello to Sam and did the whole pitching thing. I think it went pretty well? I mean, in truth, I don't really remember much of it at all. I do remember that the whole pitch took about seven of my fifteen allotted minutes. We just ended up awkwardly trying to fill the rest of the time, because Mr. Morgan felt badly that I wouldn't be getting the full time otherwise. I don't remember what else we talked about. I do remember that he liked my opening paragraph, so that's good. I also remember that he was the only one all convention to correctly identify where the script of my forearm tattoo came from, so... he gets super bonus points.
I'm not saying this just because I want an agent, or Sam as my agent or anything like that (though, since he recognised my tattoo, I'm thinking I really would), but he is genuinely one of the most laid back, lovely blokes out there. I saw him around, and he seems genuinely cool.
Yeah, so, my head buzzing with 'I think that went well,' mixed with, 'Oh God, I hope that went well,' and a large helping of 'What if it didn't go well at all and I looked like a complete moron? OMG I'm going to cry,' I headed back to the vendor's room to be around yet more awesome folk until I had to dash off to another panel I was sitting on.
Our Monsters Are Us was a fascinating panel moderated by the incredible five-time Aurora Award winner Derek Newman-Stille, who, I just discovered upon looking for a website for him, is also an artist in addition to running a speculative fiction podcast and fan magazine (called Speculating Canada). He is also a spectacularly wonderful human being. You know when you meet someone and you can just tell that they're good people? Yeah, that's Derek.
Also on the panel was the incredible Madeline Ashby, who has one of the driest wits that had me stifling more giggles than I knew what to do with, Erik Scott de Bie, who is ridiculously tall and also extremely knowledgeable and bright, and Peter Halasz once again. I felt like I was the intellectual junior at that table. It's very likely that I was.
And then it was over. I had no more pitches or panels to speak on that day, so I returned to the vendor's room again. By the time five o'clock rolled around, I was so utterly exhausted that I was on the verge of collapse. There were still so many things I wanted to get to, but I just couldn't. I was far too exhausted. So, alas, like a lame duck, I scored a ride home and collapsed into bed shortly after, in an effort to prepare myself for more fun and fabulous frivolity (alliteration FTW!) on Sunday.
Funny story, I was so exhausted Saturday that I started making dinner - I put some left over roast chicken in the oven to warm up - before I fell asleep. A loud clap of thunder woke me, and I smelled burning. Damn it. So much for dinner. So I ate an orange and went back to bed.
Clearly I am a capable, mature adult.