OK, so I didn't win a Nebula, either. Still, there's no shame in losing to Carol Emshwiller, and I even got to hold her lovely piece of lucite for a little while - even had a Locus photo taken with a Nebula (Harlan Ellison's), almost as if I were a Grand Master myself!
We got back to Sydney this morning at about 6.15, and after some unpacking and housekeeping, the past fortnight, seems like a bit of a dream. I slept all right on the plane so I shouldn't feel too unreal, but the weather has chilled down a lot since we were here, so it doesn't seem quite the same Sydney we left 2 weeks ago. Every now and then - as I clean the stove-top, for example - I think, 'God, I met Neil Gaiman!' or - as I sort receipts - 'I sat between Nancy Kress and Kelly Link and signed books! And Harlan came up and introduced himself!' And it would have been nice to come back with a prize, so, yes, there's the odd 'Aww' about that, but it was still an amazing trip.
The little publicity I did was fun, too. The Los Angeles School Librarians Association were a great bunch - hi Caroline, hi Rosemarie! - and the students of Boulder Creek High School in Anthem, AZ, were very attentive listeners too, once we'd all got over the excitement of the fire drill - the alarms went off right as the talk was supposed to be starting, so out everyone went into the blazing sunshine. As well as themselves, the students had evacuated the Dippin' Dots machine, so while we waited for the all-clear - hi Amy, Julie and Stephanie! - they brought me up to speed on Dippin' Dots and freeze-dried ice cream. Neither of which I ended up trying before I left.
The reading at the Nebulas weekend was quiet but good - I was competing against Gordon Van Gelder interviewing Harlan Ellison, so I did well to get Kelly and Gavin and Eileen Gunn and Paolo Bacigalupi and Luke Hannaford along to listen, as well as the people who turned up 10 minutes before the end because they wanted to see the next person on the agenda.
The best part of the trip? It's a toss-up between the people (those mentioned above and many not noted as well - hi Ruth, hi Walter!) and the desert landscape. But the city and townscapes were all interesting, not to mention the supermarket-scapes and the canyons and the Mexican border and Dateland, AZ, and... It was a very quick sampling of many places I hope to go back and spend longer exploring.