seanan_mcguire: (me)
Because it is written in the stars that 2016 should be a month of near-constant travel, I am about to hop on yet another plane and soar off to New York, where I will do business, hug people, and oh yeah, appear at New York Comic-Con, the East Coast's Geek Prom.

So where can you find me? Other than staring longingly at the Marvel editorial team, trying to literally will them into hiring me to relaunch the X-Men?

Thursday.

Mira Grant signing, 2pm, Orbit Booth. I don't actually have booth numbers, but it will be listed in the program/exhibitor guide as either "Orbit" or "Hachette Books," and I will gleefully sign things for you. With my actual hand!

Friday.

Shipwreck, 8pm. This is a separately ticketed event, but believe me, you want to attend. Come and see several professional word people wreck a great book--in this case, The Princess Bride. Mara Wilson is our guest reader. This is also the launch for Loose Lips, the first ever Shipwreck collection. I wrote the introduction!

Saturday.

Scream Queens, 2pm, BookCon @ NYCC - 500 W 36th St. It's a Mira Grant panel, which means it's a party in a haunted house while the corn is closing in. Come for the fun, stay because we won't let you leave.

Signing, 3:15pm, BookCon @ NYCC 6th Floor autographing area. We will sign things, and probably not eat you.

Sunday.

Seanan McGuire signing, 2pm, Penguin booth. Again, I do not have booth numbers, but this one should be listed in the program book as "Penguin Random House." Come see me, and I'll congratulate you on surviving the convention!
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
By this time tomorrow morning, I will be at the San Francisco International Airport, drinking overpriced airport beverages and waiting for my 8am flight to New York. I will have kissed my cats goodbye and walked through the Bay Area house for what will be, in many ways, the last time: when I get back from New York, the house will still be here, but everything I own will be gone, packed up and pulled down and shoved into the moving truck, already making its way up the coast.

From June 3rd to June 28th, I will be on the East Coast, doing business (numbers, numbers, math math math), doing pleasure (people who know how badly I need to be distracted from what's happening in California have made sure I will have many good distractions), doing appearances (I will be at the Manhattan Kinokuniya on June 11th; details are here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1547988148830559/ ), and doing conventions (CrossingsCon, in Newark, New Jersey, with my beloved Mark Oshiro).

Things I will not be doing: mailing stuff. All my stuff will be a) on the West Coast, and b) in a moving truck. Replying to email with anything resembling alacrity. Sleeping much, between "New York in June" and "did I mention people are touching all my stuff and my cats are very far away?". Breathing.

If you're in the New York area, I hope to get a chance to see you this trip (looking at you, The Swarm). If you're not, please be patient with me while I navigate what has been a huge and stressful endeavor, but which seems to be coming, finally, thankfully, to a blessed end.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
Next weekend will find me in Dallas, Texas, where I'll be appearing alongside my beloved John Scalzi as Guest of Honor at ConDFW! Updates to the schedule will appear on the website (and may not appear here, depending on my internet access), but here's my basic plan:

Friday.

3:00PM, Madison: "Google Maps is Your Urban Fantasy Guide." Join me, along with Gloria Oliver (M), Paul Black, Sue Sinor, and Bradley H. Sinor, as we talk about finding the perfect location for an urban fantasy story. I know none of these people, and I'll still be adjusting to a new time zone, so this should be fun!

5:00PM, Jefferson: "Reading." Right. Apparently, I'm going to "treat" people with a reading from my work. Given how much I hate readings, this is unlikely to actually happen; show up and see what I do instead!

7:00PM, Jefferson: "Opening Ceremonies!" John Scalzi and I get into a slap fight while the con chair tries in vain to control us.

Saturday.

10:00AM, Jefferson: "Don't Quit Your Day Job!" This is a con that loves its exclamation points. Join me, Marshall Ryan Maresca (M), Kathy Turski, Rachael Acks, Melia Newman, and Sue Sinor as we talk about what actually goes into earning a living in a creative field, and what's necessary to survive until that happens.

12:00PM, The Gallery: Signing. I will just be signing. Things. If there's not a filk dealer, this will also be where I sell CDs out of my backpack.

2:00PM, Jefferson: "Q&A with Seanan McGuire." Someone I have never met is going to ask me questions! Because that never goes poorly for anyone!

4:00PM, Jefferson: "Magic vs Technology II: Exploring Technology in Urban Fantasy." This is part two of a panel where part one happened last year, so I'm going to, I don't know, horn in on the party and maybe take a nap beneath the table? Or build a rocket out of paperclips, I guess. Come see me get confused.

6:00PM, Jackson: "Celebrity Artemis." I get to drive a spaceship. Hopefully I can be the science officer. We'll find out!

Sunday.

12:00PM, Hamilton: "The Wand of Deus Ex Machina." Join me, Kristi Hutson (M), Michael Ashleigh Finn, Paul Black, and Bradley H. Sinor as we talk about that time one of my high school GMs wouldn't let my character have a machete, even though you could totally buy one at the local flea market for five dollars, so he was just being a jerk because I wouldn't go out with him.

2:00PM, Hamilton: "Location, Location, Location: House of Horrors." Join me, Katherine Sanger (M), Michelle Muenzler, Aaron de Orive, and Jeff Dawson as we talk about scary places. Like that awesome abandoned slaughterhouse in Tuscon, AZ, where I made my GoH handler take me before dinner.

3:00PM, Jefferson: "Intelligence is Overrated." Thrill as I probably miss what sounds like a really interesting panel about protagonist psychology to run for the airport!

Will I see you at the con?
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
New York is exhausting.

I have been running hither and yon for the past two weeks; people keep being surprised that I'm still gone, and sometimes "people" involves me. I just woke up from a nap where I dreamt that Thomas had been here in New York with me this whole time (just Thomas; even my subconscious can't imagine putting Alice recreationally on a plane), and I nearly cried when I opened my eyes, because I just needed my kitty.

But I am having a wonderful time. I went to a cheese and champagne party in my honor (mine! As if I were a cheese and champagne event!), spent two days at DAW lounging and reading and being home, saw Fun Home and Hamilton on Broadway (and lost my shit when I realized that September from Fringe was playing Bruce Bechdel in Fun Home), and did lots of other good things. And I still have almost two weeks and a convention to go.

I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging. I've fallen out of it for a lot of reasons, some good and some bad and some just overwhelmed, but I'm trying. I think I need some balance, and writing things down helps. So expect another post about Fun Home, and one about Hamilton, and one about the life-sized T. Rex at the Times Square Toys R Us, and please remember that I am not home until December 2nd, so communications will continue to be slow and unwieldy, but I am trying, and trying is a lot.

That is all.
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
...the taxi's not waiting yet (and is also my mother), but in very little time, I will be kissing my cats on their foreheads despite their grumbles and complaints, heading for the airport, and embarking on another adventure. Specifically, an adventure in changing climates and trying not to freeze. Yes: it's once again time for Seanan Goes To New York.

At least it's not February this time.

I have bunches of events while I'm there; so bunches that the best place to find out where I am, when, is by checking the Appearances menu on my website. I try not to steer y'all away from here, since everybody hates to click things these days (so weird to me), but there are too many for me to be sure of not missing one if I try to translate them over. Also, the Appearances page gets updated constantly, and blog posts, well, don't. So if you're in New York, I hope I'll be seeing you soon!

As always, my mother, sister, housemate, and very large dog will all be here while I'm out of town, so the house is not actually primed for robbing. I may be even slower than normal to respond to non-emergency inquiries for at least the next week, while I get used to East Coast time. Thanks for understanding, and rock on New York!
seanan_mcguire: (me)
This weekend I'm pleased to be appearing at CONtraflow 5/DeepSouthCon 53, alongside Julie Dillon, Robert Sawyer, and many others—including one variation of my musical swarm: Dr. Mary Crowell, Bill and Brenda Sutton, and more!

My schedule is as follows:

Opening Ceremonies, Friday, 5pm, Event 1
The Scariest Movie I've Ever Seen, Friday, 10pm, Panel Room 2
Saturday Concert, Saturday, 12pm, Event 1
In Conversation..., Saturday, 5pm, Panel Room 4
Speculative Poetry, 8pm, Panel Room 3, Saturday
Good Habits of Successful Writers, 12pm, Event One, Sunday
Writing Urban Fantasy, Sunday, 3pm, Panel Room 4

I don't have panel descriptions, but those seem pretty self-explanatory, and it should be a rousing good time. Plus, New Orleans! Who could ask for anything more?

I hope to see you there!
seanan_mcguire: (marilyn)
This time tomorrow, I will not only be at Disney World, I will have been there for three hours. So you'll please excuse me if my current connection to linear reality is, um, not so solid. Nope. Not really. Here are things you'll need to know!

To anyone who wants anything from Seanan between now and May 13th:

I am very, very, very much in need of a break, and that is why I am boarding a big metal sky-bird and soaring off to the House of Mouse, where no one who isn't actually in my party will be able to find me with any reliability. I will have Wifi, and I will have my phone, but I will not be tethered to them as I am in the real world, and I won't be home, which is where things like "the mailing supplies" live. At this time, all giveaway prizes and contracts have been mailed, and there are still about twenty shirts pending (not counting the ones omitted from the original delivery). Two shirts have been returned to me due to address issues. This will all be dealt with when I get back.

Mail sent through my contact forms will go through Kate and Vixy, as always, with a catch: Vixy is going to Disney World with me. So if you're using the www.miragrant.com contact form, please expect delays all around.

To anyone who thinks it might be fun to rob my house:

They say not to tell the internet when you're traveling, because it tempts thieves. I get that. I also get that the nature of my life makes it hard to hide when I do something like "I'm going to drop offline for thirteen days and fill my Twitter feed with pictures of Disney World." So...

Please don't rob me, nebulous internet baddies. I have a housemate, a large dog, and a house-sitter. More, I really don't have anything valuable in the traditional sense; my only real electronics will be in transit with me, and most of my dolls are haunted. Save yourself. Stay away.

To anyone who thinks it's weird for an adult to be this excited about Disney:

I think it's weird how excited adults get about professional sports, but you don't see me coming into their space and harshing their squee. I even let Shawn tell me how the Red Sox are doing every season, despite my total lack of fucks to give. So please don't tell me my passions are strange or immature. I don't care.

Disney time! See you all on the rested, refreshed, wind-blown, sunburnt flip-side!
seanan_mcguire: (me)
Here we go again, happy people: tomorrow I shall board a big metal sky-bird and soar away to Colorado, land without air, to serve as faculty for this year's Pike's Peak Writer's Conference.

If you're attending, I very much hope to see you there. If you're not attending, I will be very surprised if I see you there. If you see me there, and I seem a little woozy, it's just the altitude sickness; please don't tell me to drink more water, as I may throw up on you.

Colorado time!
seanan_mcguire: (average)
I am pleased to be able to officially announce that I will be Author Guest of Honor at Minicon 51, held over Easter weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Well, "in or around," so it may be just outside Minneapolis. The hotel info will be posted soon. And let's face it, if you're coming from, say, Oregon, it's the same difference. Hence why I usually tell non-Californians "oh, I'm from Berkeley.")

The Artist Guest of Honor is Sara Butcher Burrier, whom the website describes as providing a "lighter" view of Faerie. It's gonna be the all-fae, all-the-time convention! Very exciting. Join us from March 25th to 27th, 2016, to learn more.

I get to go to Izzy's*!

(*Izzy's is my second-favorite ice cream place in the world, second only to Jeni's, which bought my love with their pear sorbet. My trips to Minneapolis/St. Paul are basically defined by ice cream and roast beef.)
seanan_mcguire: (pony)
10. Seattle is beautiful. I know this, because I am currently in Seattle, at least until Monday (the 30th), when I will fly back to California, have my hair done, do my laundry, sleep, and get on a plane to England. I won't be home for more than a day until April 15th. My accountant is thrilled.

9. Emerald City Comic Con is this weekend! I have posted my schedule. It's very packed and very pretty, and I am super excited about all the good things to come. Whee!

8. Before I left California, Kate and I did a massive post office run, and I mailed another huge batch of domestic shirts, as well as about a third of the remaining international shirts. I will try to send another batch before I leave for the UK (although I can't guarantee it). Also, my mother called to let me know that a box from the shirt shop has shown up, which I presume contains the shirts that weren't printed in the initial delivery. Hooray! I won't be able to sort these until after April 15th, but hopefully this means we can finish fulfillment sooner than later. Thank you all for your patience.

7. Still not writing the X-Men. Give me time.

6. Rolling in the Deep comes out next month! On the seventh, to be exact, and it is fancy. Seriously, this may be the fanciest book I have ever written, at least in terms of awesome production values. What a fancy, fancy book. Also it is filled with murderous mermaids and ill-fated ocean voyages, which are two of my favorite things. Because this is a Subterranean Press book, there's no guarantee it will be coming to a bookstore near you, and it may need to be ordered directly from the publisher.

5. This morning was the San Diego Comic-Con hotel scramble, and it says something about how stressful this is on an annual basis that I was on the Air B&B site shortly after, looking at local condos and thinking "maybe this wouldn't be so bad." I need help, and the con needs a better way of handling hotel assignments.

4. We are getting pedicures today. Because we are fancy ladies.

3. Speaking of fancy ladies, I am seeing so many of my favorite fancy ladies this coming weekend that I can't even express how happy I am. Like, I try, and all the words go away and then the flailing happens and sometimes I just really love my life, okay? Sometimes my life is best.

2. Zombies are love.

1. I will be going to Disney World for the first half of May, so if I seem a little AHHHHHHHHHHHH for the next few weeks, it's because I am literally three conventions and six weeks away from Disney time, and I need Disney time so bad y'all, I need it so bad I can taste it.

What's shiny and new with all of you?
seanan_mcguire: (me)
So as I write this I am in Jersey City, New Jersey, preparing to tear down my computer and head for the airport, where a big metal sky-bird will carry me to Chattanooga, Tennessee, land of the Chattanooga choo-choo, endless Cthulhu parodies, and ConNooga, an awesome media convention with the good taste to ask me to be a Guest of Honor!

My schedule for the weekend:

Friday, 4:00 PM, Room 12: Writing Dialog.
Saturday, 1:00 PM, Room 12: Reading, Q/A: Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant.
Saturday, 5:00 PM, Room 12: Diversity in Fiction: What is it, How to do it, and Why.

I will be in the main exhibit hall a great deal of the time, happy to sign things, meet people, and complain bitterly about the cold.

I hope to see some of you there!
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
Despite some confusion about my flight times, I am packed and ready to depart for New York City tomorrow morning. I have lain in food and litter for the cats, so that they are not forced to kill and eat my mother. I have charged my electronics and synched my iPod and had my sister wash my hair for me, just in case the purple dye sets off the bomb sniffers again. (Seriously. The dye sometimes sounds a false positive on the TSA equipment. So it's best if Youngest Sister washes and blow-dries me the night before I fly, just to be safe.)

I'm sorry I was unable to get the hardship giveaway winners picked and packed before I went; that will happen as soon as I get home. I'll be at ConNooga in a few weeks, and I do hope to see you there. In the meantime, I'll be running around visiting my publishers, seeing my girlfriend, and missing my cats and creepy dolls and bed.

I miss them all already.

Wish me luck.
seanan_mcguire: (pony)
I had never been to Germany before. But since the convention I was going to be a Special Guest at (Filk Continental) was in Germany, it seemed like a good time to show up.

Tom helpfully drove me to the station near the house, where I got a head shake from the station agent, who disapproved of my (admittedly expensive) "take the Heathrow Express from Paddington" plan. I pointed out that I was a clearly foreign woman with a giant suitcase, and that sometimes we pay to not take stairs. He replied that he would have made different choices with his money, and gave me my ticket. Jerk.

Ahem. The Heathrow Express proved to be a quick, pleasant way to get to the airport, and I highly recommend it. Yes, it was more expensive, but the savings in terms of both time and stress cannot be overstated, even if I did promptly get off at the wrong terminal. (This is a big deal in Heathrow, which is one of the largest airports in the world.) I found my way to the right terminal, and then the right gate, and finally the right seat on the right plane, and all was right with the world.

My flight was short and uneventful, and eventually dropped me in Hannover, where I was collected from the arrivals area by Rika and Rachel. I went to sleep in the car. Then I went to sleep on the couch at Rika's lovely apartment. Then I got up for breakfast with some lovely filkers who live in Rika's apartment complex, and whom I would see a great deal of over the weekend (yay!). They had an assortment of cheeses. YAY CHEESES. And then I went back to sleep for several hours. This would prove to be a good thing later.

The drive from Hannover to the convention, which was being held in a lovely little youth hostel near a castle, was lovely, uneventful, and long enough for me to watch two episodes of Leverage. We got there, got checked in, and I went to poke Vixy with a stick, since I had missed her dreadfully during my "out of time zone" adventures. She felt unwell. I still had my cold meds from when I'd first arrived in England. The circle of cold meds closes, and all is complete.

Sunnie and Betsy were in my room when I came back downstairs, making it our room, and the weekend had officially begun.

First up was dinner with the concom, at a local restaurant that had passed their stress test, but did not so much pass the "twenty people would like to be fed and Seanan is about to pass out from low blood sugar" test. Boo. It took about three hours to eat, and by the end of it, I was a murderbunny. I ate half of Betsy's dinner, which helped. Going to bed also helped...although it would have helped more if I'd been able to sleep. Unfamiliar place + thin walls + thin bed = Seanan begins her three-day ordeal of stumbling through life, dreaming of sensory deprivation chambers. Boo.

The next day was Friday, and kicked off the convention. We rehearsed for our various concerts, attended opening ceremonies (awesome), and opening concerts (even more awesome). I went to bed early, in hopes that I would sleep. I did not. Sigh.

Saturday was my concert, followed by Vixy and Tony's concert. Since we both used Sunnie and Betsy extensively, we were basically solid walls of sound, and everything went amazingly. The whole audience stood up and held hands during "We Are Who We Are" (Vixy and Tony's latest song, which is awesome), causing Vixy to wander around looking stunned and asking if that had really just happened. Hee.

Sunday was workshops, more concerts, and the final request concert, where Steve Macdonald and Katy Droege did "Cold Butcher" at my request, I did "Still Catch the Tide," and Vixy and Tony closed the con with a repeat performance of "We Are Who We Are." The Dead Dog that night was awesome, and I even stayed up for several hours to enjoy open filk before staggering off to bed.

The next day, Steve and I got a ride home from Syb, while Katy drove Vixy and Tony home. We all met up in Hamburg, where we had a lovely steak dinner before crashing at Steve and Katy's place. The next day, Steve got me to the airport to begin my incredibly long journey home.

But that's another story.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
I am pleased as punch to report that I will be appearing at the Forbidden Planet super-store in London on Wednesday evening, beginning at 6PM and continuing until they throw us out!

I will be signing whatever people have to hand, although the event is specifically celebrating the release of the first three InCryptid books in their beautiful new UK editions from Corsair Books. There is no charge to attend, although the bookstore would, as always, appreciate it if you bought something. Bookstores are like that.

This is my first big London event, and I really hope to see you there!
seanan_mcguire: (midway)
All my life, I've known that my mother's people were from Ireland, but apart from one very short stop during a visit to England several years ago, I had never been. The country that shaped my grandparents was a mystery to me. Part of why I was so pleased to be invited to be a Guest of Honor at Shamrokon was the opportunity to see Ireland, and because of that, when James (one of the con chairs) asked if I wanted to stay in Dublin for a week and see a bit of the country, I leapt at the opportunity.

The Monday after the con, I saw Amy off and went to the Porterhouse Central with Wes and Mary for the Dead Dog. We quickly ditched out of there and went first to the bookstore, then to grab a quick bite at The Farm (a local food restaurant) before heading back in. I got to see Charlie, Bill and Brenda, Merav, Terry, and Jon, and a bunch of lovely locals (including one very excited boy who came over to talk Skullduggery Pleasant with me, at length) before James scooped me up for the drive to his home in Drogheda (a small town about forty-five minutes outside the city).

I stayed awake the whole way home, but only barely, and collapsed into bed as soon as we'd finished supper. The next morning, he took me to the grocer's for provisions, and we spent most of the day recovering from the con. Come Wednesday morning, the rest was over. He went to pick up his second houseguest, a very nice woman from Chicago named Leanne, and we basically went straight from unloading her bags to the tombs at Newgrange and Knowth.

Newgrange and Knowth are heritage sites, places where passage tombs still stand. Walking around and into them was like walking into history. Here were these mounds, these great gobs of earth and stone, that were there long before America existed; long before the Christians came to Ireland. We went into the passage tomb at Newgrange, and it was so quiet and still, even full of tourists, that it was more than a little sobering. I wasn't sure how exactly to feel about it. I'm still not. Absolutely gorgeous, and I'm so glad I went.

There were blackberries on the way to the tombs, and sheep in the roads. It was glorious.

Thursday we lounged about. Friday we went into Dublin so I could get souvenirs for my mother, and while we were there, we met up with Brian and Shevy and went to the Leprechaun Museum.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It was a really lovely little museum, with some very engaging storytellers who were happy to enlighten us about the sidhe. Also, there was giant furniture I could climb on, and I appreciated that.

Saturday was Doctor Who and laundry and mailing things and bidding Leanne farewell, as she was leaving early the next day. Sunday was packing and figuring out what needed to happen before I could head for my next stop: Glasgow.

Monday morning, James and I both got up early, and he drove me to the airport before heading to work. I wound up in the longest airline line I've ever been in (hooray for always being two hours early), and then it was off to Scotland. Yay, Scotland!

It was a good trip. I'm glad I went, and would like to go back sometime with friends, so that we can explore all the wonders the country has to offer.

Next up, GLASGOW.
seanan_mcguire: (rose marshall)
Amy and I left France on Thursday morning, following a ride in a cab operated by a surly but talented driver (we didn't die!), and some exciting airport escapades that I have already detailed in the "Paris" post. Our flight, operated by Aer Lingus, was short and pleasant, although I had never encountered "pay for your soft drinks" on a plane before (I prey Southwest never starts doing that). We landed in Dublin a little early, and made it to the car park with the assistance of a very nice local wheelchair operator. (Airport wheelchair services, for those who've not used them, generally consist of young, athletic people who are willing to push people who need it from one terminal to another. We tipped well, and everything was lovely.)

Gareth from Shamrokon met us at baggage claim, and loaded us into his car for the first of our odd transits. See, Sheila—my editor—and Betsy—my publisher—had both come to Dublin, and Thursday night was the only night that was really good for us to have dinner together. So Amy and I needed to be dropped off at the restaurant, while he took our luggage on to the hotel. Good thing he's a good sport! We wound up in a Michelin-starred French restaurant attached to their hotel, where we spent four and a half hours eating, drinking, talking, and enjoying cheese. So much cheese. It was a really divine dinner, and I completely understand why people make such a big deal about the place.

So much cheese.

Friday kicked off the convention. I had a panel with Tim Griffin and Jordan Kare, during which we talked about filk and how to be comfortable in the filk community; Kathy Mar attended, as did Teddy and Tom, and we had a lovely time making them do the heavy lifting for us. After that was opening ceremonies, and then, concert prep!

Yes, we did a concert, largely due to the tireless efforts and incredible talents of Dr. Mary Crowell, who herded all the cats so that I could look good. She is amazing. My band consisted of her, Amy McNally, and the Suttons, and everyone was splendid. We did basically the same set as Loncon, which was fine, because there wasn't that much audience overlap between the two cons, and it was really lovely. Brenda sang my part on "Wicked Girls," while I sang Vixy's, and a good time was had by all.

The next item was "In Conversation With Seanan McGuire," the solo version of the panel I like to do with Cat, where I will answer everything I am asked. We ran about ninety minutes over, and it was beautiful. Some very serious topics were discussed, like depression and OCD and the difficulty of talking about feeling suicidal. (One well-meaning man asked "Well, have you tried being sad without hurting yourself?", and while I hate the question, it opened the door for some very good discussion.) It was uncomfortable but important, and no one left the room, so I'm calling it a win.

Saturday, I had my Guest of Honor interview, with Janet as my interviewer, who had smartly brought Kinder Eggs. Every time she felt I'd answered a question sufficiently, I got chocolate. A+ interviewing technique, would be interviewed again. My panel on pseudonyms went well, and ended early enough that Amy and I were able to go out and grab dinner before the Doctor Who season premiere at eight, or the filk jam at nine.

I did not stay up to close out the jam. I am weak.

Sunday, I signed stuff; talked about zombies with great enthusiasm; and talked about toys with equally great enthusiasm. Then we closed the con, and I darted off with Amy and Wes to join the fabulous dinner already beginning at the Winding Stair, where the food was traditional and delicious.

Monday was the off-site Dead Dog at the Porterhouse downtown, and Wes and Mary and I had a lovely time, after bidding our beloved friends adieu. We swung by the nearby bookstore, which had my picture in the window, and bought books, before handing me off to the con chair, James, to go back to his place for a week's Irish tourism.

On the whole, Shamrokon was absolutely lovely. A good con, well-run, by extremely friendly people. Would guest again.

Next up, IRELAND.
seanan_mcguire: (pony)
When I realized that I was going to be staying in Europe between Loncon and Eurocon (I mean, I'm staying much longer than that, as witness the fact that I am writing this entry from a kitchen table in Ireland, but that realization came later), I immediately turned to Vixy and went, "Let's go to DISNEYLAND!"

Yessssssssss.

Brooke, who is a genius of travel planning, used Air B&B to find us a glorious Parisian apartment with four bedrooms, disturbing murder art on the walls, a full kitchen, a hot tub, sauna, and steam room, and wifi, all on the ground floor, which meant I had zero obligate stairs. It was perfect. Vixy and I checked in first, on Sunday, to be followed by the rest of our party (Brooke, Amy, and the Crowells) on Monday.

Sunday was the Eurostar, followed by checking in, a wander around our temporary neighborhood, and dinner at an outdoor cafe, where I had a ham and mushroom pizza that had been very generously outfitted with ham. We showered in The Serious Shower, which I think I will dream about for the rest of my life, and planned our adventures to come. I misidentified the train station we'd need to get to Disneyland Paris. This will be important later.

Monday, we decided to take the train to Disneyland Paris and wander around the Disney Village (their equivalent of Downtown Disney) for a few hours, just to get the lay of the land. We were not going to go into Disneyland that day, and indeed, we didn't. Instead, we walked roughly a mile in the wrong direction in our attempts to find the right train station, and when we arrived, we visited all the shops. I traded pins with a bunch of cast members, who viewed my single-minded approach with amusement and bewilderment. Vixy bought things. I did not. A good time was had by all.

When we got home, our housemates were there, and we gloried in the hot tub and not being at a convention. We spend so much of our time traveling to and from cons that sometimes it's nice to just be together, without a program grid dictating what we do and when we do it. Amy was delighted that we had refrained from going into Disneyland Paris without her, meaning that her first time on the Phantom Manor would also be my first time on the Phantom Manor.

Eventually, we slept.

In preparing for this entry, I had time to give a lot of thought to the essential question of whether I wanted to do one big Paris post, or one Paris post and one Disneyland Paris post. The latter won. So here are the Paris pieces:

Tuesday, Amy, Vixy, and I went back to Disneyland Paris, following what I thought was the correct route. It was sort of very wrong, and while we got there just fine, we had a bit of a "tired people navigating places" tiff on the return journey, ending when Amy brilliantly hailed a cab.

Wednesday, Amy went off to see Paris, while Vixy and I finally went to the train station the right way, which was much, much shorter. We also returned home earlier, content and perfectly tired. Vixy and Amy went out with Brooke and the Crowells to have Fancy French Dinner; I stayed home with Simon, the Crowells' teenage son, and had Leftovers and The Internet. Everyone was happy.

Thursday, Vixy, Brooke, and the Crowells went out to a museum, while Amy and I went to the airport. The ladies at the Aer Lingus counter were pleasant, but recommended we call a wheelchair, given the size of the airport. We called a wheelchair. We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After half an hour, we walked to our gate, since otherwise, we might have missed our flight. We were off and running for Ireland, and our French adventure was finally complete.
seanan_mcguire: (sparrow hill)
When last we left our intrepid heroes, they were arriving at the Aloft, hence to set up base camp for the convention. Hooray! Only...not so much hooray, as my bank had turned my credit card off for fraud after seeing it used at Heathrow Airport and our initial hotel. In England. Where I had told them I would be.

I called the bank and had a borderline hostile conversation, ending when they turned my card back on and I was able to check us into the hotel. Wes and I then went to pick up the wheelchair Amy had booked for me. (My walking difficulties are continuing to improve, but "improving" doesn't mean the same as "better," and we very much wanted to be sure that I would be able to walk both in Paris and at Eurocon the following week.) It turned out that, despite us having put the booking in ultra-early, there were no independent mobility (IE, "big round wheels") chairs left, and I was put into a hospital-style chair that required someone to push me. Not so awesome.

We got me checked in and were off to my first panel, on pseudonyms. While I was there, Wes took the hospital chair back to the mobility desk and got me upgraded to a mobility scooter, on account of I did not have the independent movement I had been promised and no one wanted to have to help me get to the bathrooms. Everybody wins! (Vixy and I did not have a fully handicapped-accessible room, but had decided that parking the scooter in the shower was better than, again, no independence at all.) The panel went well, and we borked off for supper with a lot of my favorite people—Mary and Simon, Talis and Pippa, Brooke and Amy and Vixy and Wes—at the Indian restaurant at the end of the walk. We ran into Wesley Chu on the way back, and a good time was had by all.

That night was I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue, hosted by Lee Harris, and we had a splendid time. It was me and Cat "vs." Paul and Emma, and everyone acquitted themselves handsomely. I was still struggling with the tail end of my cold, and so made plans to tap out if necessary (Heath was ready to be our stunt Seanan), but I was able to get through the whole session, and only coughed so hard I stopped breathing once. Meg was seated in the front row, and was able to interpret my pantomime and get me my cough syrup. Life was very good indeed.

Friday passed in a blur. For my reading, I did half of "We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War," and followed it up with an impromptu hallway signing that lasted no shit half an hour, courtesy of my not having an actual signing. (This was not the fault of the convention; I was the one who mis-booked the train tickets.) The queue was remarkably orderly, and crowned by Hisham walking over and offering me Pokemon. I LOVE YOU HISHAM. Pokemon: the way to my heart.

Saturday's panel on girl scientists was excellent, and I basically used Amanda as my guide. "Does this piss Amanda off?" I would ask myself, and then ask the question.

My concert was splendid and the filk track organizers were brilliant when they forced me to accept the big room (I had said I would be perfectly happy with the normal filk concert space). It held three hundred people, and we near to filled it. Dead Sexy was wonderful, as always. (Dead Sexy is the version of my backing band consisting of Bill and Brenda Sutton, Amy McNally, Dr. Mary Crowell, and Michelle Dockrey.) We scrapped "What A Woman's For" at the last minute, due to concerns about my voice and our arrangement, and dropped in "Still Catch the Tide," because it's something we can do without lyric sheets or practice. Talis was in the audience.

She'd never heard us do it live before.

I made Talis cry.

It was a good night, overall, and I am very glad to have been there.

I stayed on Sunday, just long enough for my panel on fan works, and then it was off to the rail station to catch the Eurostar to Paris. Vixy and I "watched" the Hugos over Twitter from our Parisian apartment (the wireless wasn't good enough to stream), and while I was sorry not to be there, Sunil was so happy to be me that I was honestly glad to have mis-booked the train: he glows in all the pictures I've seen, and I am always happy when I can give good experiences to my friends.

Congratulations to all the winners, solidarity to all the losers (of whom I am one), and I'll see you all next year.

Next up: DISNEYLAND.
seanan_mcguire: (average)
I flew Virgin Atlantic to the UK, as is my wont: when I can stay within the Virgin family of airlines, I am a happy rabbit. I had a window seat on the Lady Penelope. I also had my housemate's cold, which he had handed off to me as a thoughtful parting gift. (Given the length of the flight, I am sure the people around me also had my housemate's cold by the time we landed. I am so sorry. I thought I was done with the cold, until we got into the air and the cabin pressure said "ha ha have some snot.") Lastly, I had Kate's old iPad, which she has kindly loaned to me for the duration of the trip. Loaded on the iPad, I had all of Leverage and all of Fringe.

I slept a little. I read a few pages of my book. I ate the airline food, which was surprisingly excellent. But most of all, I watched Leverage. Ten and a half hour flights leave a lot of room for television. Big, big thanks to Meg, whose clever little portable charger allowed me to top off the iPad every time it started yearning for a bigger battery. I drained that sucker dry, and I have no regrets.

So before I flew, I had been a sensible girl, and booked a car service to take me and Vixy from Heathrow to our temporary hotel in Crawley (near Gatwick). Only it turns out that we hadn't been that sensible, as Vixy called me before I got to the airport in San Francisco to tell me that she was flying into Gatwick, a fact that we had both forgotten. Oops. I wound up in the car alone, and had a lovely chat with Colin, the driver, about spiders and New Zealand and the wildlife of England. A+ car service, would screw up booking again.

Vixy had already landed by this point, about an hour and a half before me. Her name was not actually on the hotel room, but she had a copy of the Expedia booking, and the front desk let her into the room, where she gloried in the presence of a decent bed. I showed up, and we summoned Amy before having a wander and dinner in the (overpriced, under-qualitied) hotel restaurant. Then we went to bed, and when I woke up the next morning? I had become the plague queen.

Amy went to the Boots and bought a bunch of cold remedies, including a cough syrup which turned out to contain, no shit, chloroform. It tasted funny. (Brooke was quite distressed when I told her about it.) Amy spent the next few days looking dreamy and saying "I chloroformed my girlfriend." Of such simple pleasures is the world made. I, on the other hand, spent the next day in bed, yearning for death. The day after that, my fever had broken, and it was time to decamp for LonCon3.

Wes met us at the train station and carried our bags to the hotel. Wes is a god among men.

Vixy and I were in the Aloft, the hotel nearest to the convention, while everyone else was in the Novatel at the other end of the convention center. Oops. Such is the consequence of lottery booking. And as this takes us to the end of the pre-con travel and the start of the convention, I shall continue later.

England!
seanan_mcguire: (indexing)
Well, here I am updating again to say that I'm leaving. This is becoming something of a habit. (I know exactly why. I didn't travel much for like, four years, so this year has become a whirlwind of going everywhere and seeing everything and trying to do it all without losing my grip on things like deadlines and word counts and TV schedules. It'll settle down soon enough. But right now, it seems like I only update this blog when I'm about to hit the ground running.)

And what a run it's going to be! I'm Guest of Honor at Norwescon next weekend, and will be spending the next week in Seattle rehearsing, writing up, and getting ready. This is a working trip, not a pleasure trip, so if I don't reach out to you going "hey let's hang," please don't take it personally; I need to get my balance before I have to be awesome for a paying audience. But I promise lots of awesome on the other end, even if I'll be wracked with guilt over leaving my cats for this long.

(Alice and Thomas continue well, and exceedingly fluffy. Lilly is getting a bad case of the Olds, and is not doing as great, but she endures, transitioning into that stage of life known as "fueled by hate" among Siamese lovers everywhere.)

I have not been seriously ill since leaving my day job, even though I have seriously exhausted myself several times. I'm not saying that correlation is causation in this case, but I think I can make a good case for the two being connected. Hooray for being out of the plague pit!

More to come.

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