Can*Con was, in fact, absolutely exceptional this year. There was just this energy about the place. It was lovely. For me, it felt a little like a homecoming. Though I arrived just before the dealer's room was officially open, and I was feeling rushed, AND I forgot my float (mate, the panic of not having any money in your cash box... OOPH), I was immediately happy. This was my place. Surrounded by my people.
I was fortunate in my placement this year, as I was beside my good friends JenEric Designs (and managed lots of snuggles from my goddaughter as a result), and across from Can*Con newcomer Heather Chambers, who not only has a really interesting-sounding debut novel, but was a lot of fun too. By which I mean, my stupid dancing and other antics didn't irritate her.
As always, Can*Con was busy and wonderful and exhausting. Friday saw my meeting with Lee Harris, from Tor, who was the editor guest of honour this year. Mr. Harris is a lovely man, quite British (he was wearing a waistcoat, people), and really helpful. It wasn't a pitch session, which was great, because if it was, I might have died. Instead, he kindly gave me some pointers on my synopsis, and some things he might want ask for if he was interested in a manuscript. They're also handy exercises to do in general, so you can really get a good grasp on your story for yourself. I'll be doing those exact things in the coming weeks. The first thing I'll be doing is fixing up my synopsis properly, though. Then, I think, this manuscript is ready for the multiple rejections that come from putting it on the market. It's submissions time.... or will be, when the folks I want to look at it are open to submissions.
Saturday was particularly trying, as I spent the morning teaching marital arts, then fled to Can*Con to make it time for a panel at 1:00pm. There I sat with the exceptional Sylvain Neuvel and Adam Shaftoe (who moderated exceptionally well) and we talked about endings and what, if anything, we owed our audience. It was a great discussion, and I really enjoyed it. It was also nice to meet the people I've been seeing in my online socials in person. Kudos to the audience, who asked some really thought-provoking and interesting questions.
Afterwards, one of the audience members came up to me and very kindly said that she enjoyed me on that panel. It's always lovely to hear that from people, and it made my afternoon.
The panel concluded just before 2:00pm, and, not having had anything to eat since 9:00am, I nabbed my friend Sue and we escaped for lunch. I was back at my table shortly after 3:00pm, and managed to stay until the dealer's room closed, at which time I headed down to the venue for the Aurora Awards to set up for the live stream. As I had a panel starting at the same time as the start of the Aurora Awards ceremony, I did a test, handed everything off to Tyler, who is on the Can*Con organising committee, and returned to the hotel to sit for a bit before heading into the panel.
In this panel, we talked about villains and why some villains gain cult followings and devoted fandoms. That, too, was an exceptional discussion, and I had a lot of fun. The audience here, also, was incredibly thought-provoking with their questions. I adore audiences that ask, and posit, and give us something to feed off to fuel the talk. Damn that was a good one. A special shout out to Helena, who I think was the person in charge of the room. She really did go above and beyond in making sure we panellists were looked after. I was too tired and disorientated from running about like a mad thing to really make sure she knew I was grateful. But yes, I felt very spoilt that panel. Thank you, Helena!
I had intended to head back over to the awards to get the news and join in any post-award celebrations, but the ending of my panel also announced the end of the night for me. Exhaustion hit like a truck, and so instead I went home. Funnily enough, while waiting for the train, a man asked me in German if I spoke German. When I said I didn't, he informed me that I looked European, not Canadian. I... I'm not sure if that's a compliment, but it does make me wonder if all European women look exhausted and are covered in cat hair.
Alas, most of the people I was most rooting for to win did not, except for one. Can*Con won for best fan organisation. I am beyond thrilled that Can*Con won. They've been deserving of the award for many years now and it's about damned time. Can*Con is now an Aurora Award winning convention! AHHHHHHHHH! I'm so proud of the convention, and of Marie Bilodeau and Derek Kunsken and their team, without whom I wouldn't have this annual gathering of my people. I'm so, so happy with this news.
Sunday was a much gentler day, thank heavens, and I spent the majority of it behind my table in the dealer's room, zoning in and out, playing with my goddaughter, and generally trying, and likely failing, to not make a nuisance of myself. At the end of the day, I was interviewed for the Just Joshing podcast, and that was a great discussion, too.
Then it was home time. I didn't have the means to attend the post-con party, which made me sad, but it's probably a good thing, as I needed the rest.
Rest I did. I spent the majority of yesterday in bed, in recovery. I left only to go vote, and then treat myself to a post-vote brunch (is it still brunch if it's past 2:00pm?), and went home again and starting binging the most recent series of The Great British Bake Off.
I did not stay up to watch the election results. Instead I went to bed hoping against hope that Canada would, at the very least, not elect a horrible person as PM. I'm pleased to say that we seemed mostly sensible.
As to the election results, most of me is incredibly happy to see that Scheer did not win. He is a terrible person. However, not an insignificant part of me is mourning that I cannot yet say, Prime Minister Singh. Yet. The NDP even lost seats, but Mr. Singh has managed to establish a base, one which I hope will grow. Perhaps in the next federal election... perhaps then, I will be able to refer to him as Mister Prime Minister.
The Liberal minority government will do for now. Trudeau has been disappointing, but he's also dealing with a lot of shite left over from Harper's terrible time at the helm, and I don't believe in my heart that he's a malicious person. So, I'm alright with him for a while longer. At least he's not Scheer.
Right, I've yapped on long enough. There's a lot of work to be done today. A lot of post-con catching up, some submission prep, and thence off to write some more.