proves that I was there at the World Fantasy Awards banquet on Sunday, half a world away and nearly a whole week ago. I'm still waiting for parts of me to come back down to earth, like the sleeping-at-the-right-time part.
Sorry about the big chunk of missing detail about the trip. Round about last entry I came down with the cold Steven's been carrying around for the last 2 months, and it was a little hard to think through the snot and the coughing; instead, I floated around New York on a cloud of Sudafed, Echinacea/vitamin C, multi-vitamins (although I didn't go as crazy as Trevor with the vitamins) and throat lozenges. Oh, and anti-jetlag coffee.
Let me see how much I remember. We went on the Staten Island ferry. We also did the around-Manhattan-Island boat trip, the full three hours, which was wonderful. We went to Fred's at Barney's one afternoon. We weakened and bought books, so many that when I carried my suitcase down the three flights from the apartment on the last day, I stretched all the muscles in my right arm and had to add painkillers to my cocktail of drugs and supplements!
Then we went to Saratoga Springs and bought more books - I mean, had a very productive time at the World Fantasy Convention. The train trip up there was great - our carriage and half of another one was almost all Australian WFC attendees, the view of the autumnal Hudson was fantastic, and every now and again we stopped at another station with a name straight out of a short story. We learned that you say Per-KIP-sy for Poughkeepsie, and Ske-NECK-t'dy for Schenectady, neither of which I'd dared to even try to pronounce before. (The train trip back was even better, because the leaves had changed colour even more dramatically.)
At the Con, I gave a (fabulously well-attended - thanks, Ellen K!) reading with my by-then-very-husky voice on the Friday, and was on a panel about archetypes on the Saturday that went surprisingly well, considering the vague noises we'd made about the topic when we conferred beforehand. Tim Powers moderated us - masterfully - and all of us (Sarah Beth Durst, Elizabeth Bunce, Mark Ferrari and me) turned out to suddenly have all sorts of pithy, fascinating things to say about archetypes! And it was a good big crowd there, too.
I went to hear Greer Gilman and Ellen Klages read, and heard some of the panel on Australian speculative fiction, and went to the banquet, of course, and made sure, with the rest of the Australian table, that appropriate amounts of noise were made when Shaun Tan won for The Arrival
. And the rest of the time was a combination of walking about admiring Saratoga Springs (oh, all right, there was a spot of shopping involved) and sitting at breakfasts and lunches and dinners and bars, and lounging in lounges and lobbies, with old friends and new, listening to outlandish stories and laughing my head off. I believe this is called networking, and that all associated costs are tax-deductible.
I didn't socialise quite as much as I'd thought I might, because my voice was going and the noise levels at the party places were generally pretty hard to shout over, but that was probably a good thing, healthwise and liver-wise, although I have as long a list of glimpsed-but-not-properly-met people as I have of properly-met-at-last ones. I'll just have to go back some time, won't I?
We had a great time. I think Jack and Harry grew another inch while we were away, with Steven's mum Merle's cooking. It's good to be back in rainy Sydney, but rainy New York City and chilly Saratoga Springs were a whole lot of fun, too. Thanks to everyone who made them so.