Friday morning I ate breakfast in the green room, chatted with some people, and then headed down to Artists Alley to my table. I had shipped books up to a Dallas-area friend, Lee Martindale, who has graciously and generously offered to be the destination for friends' books; she and her husband bring them to the con, where we lay them out on our tables. I had been busy with Computer Hell for a couple of weeks (and other things that got tangled in it) so I had an assortment of titles from the latest Paksworld group, nothing else. Had i been thinking more clearly (and had more time) I'd have brought twice as many of the first book in that group, Oath of Fealty, but I didn't. All the Oath of Fealty volumes sold out the first day. My first panel was around noon (surely you don't expect me to hunt up my convention badge and the exact times....and if you do...sorry. Have to do something shortly, so this is hasty.) and the second followed right on after. I was on with a great bunch of other writers this year: Lee Martindale, of course, Jack Campbell (John Hemry, friend and fellow SFWA Musketeer), Elizabeth Anne Scarborough, Esther Friesner, Robin Wayne Bailey, and charming guy name I will get wrong until I find the convention program again (it's somewhere. Don't ask.) Then back to the table until late afternoon. Thanks to the enormous crowds (Friday, IIRC, topped out at 21,000) the way out of this section was not the way in, to encourage a one-way flow of traffic, sort of, and the restrooms were farther away because of it. However...they were clean and not too crowded, considering.
Saturday was a rinse-and-repeat of Friday except that foam-sword bouts were going on outside on the grass. Lots of them. I saw them as I walked to and from my panels (which were in the main hotel, not in the building we used for Artists Alley and the Dealers Room) because I took the less-crowded outside option instead of the very crowded winding hall. Nothing arouses my desire to fence like seeing others fence, so after we closed down the tables, I wandered over to the group and looked hopeful, and finally someone asked if I wanted to try it...and did I need to hit someone. YES. Not to hurt them, just to work off the twitchiness I always get in large crowds and lots of noise (inescapable during big conventions.) So the kind young man offered me one of his foam covered swords and we sparred some and I felt much, much better. I have not completely forgotten how to parry and my point control isn't as bad as I feared, from the time away from fencing. Saturday night was a cocktail party for the A-Kon guests at the top of the tower block of the hotel, with great views of the surrounding area, including a storm front moving in from the northwest.
(Errands call. Back another time.)