By the time Thursday, and the formal launch of the convention, came around, I was feeling considerably less than human. As it turns out, there is no easy recovering from a journey time of more than twenty-four hours, which isn’t really a surprise, but which I nevertheless put to one side. Bumped into several people before things really got going, including Gene O’Neill, Gord Rollo, and Sheldon Higdon – all very fine folks indeed. Managed to track down fellow Hiram author Rob Davies and his lovely wife Sara at the bar, after which we sloped off to eat across the road (I had frog’s legs, which looked and tasted very much like… well… chicken). Rob also discovered that his short story, ‘The Harvesting of Jackson Cade’, won the WHC short story contest, and was printed in the WHC souvenir book. No small achievement, given the number of attending authors that had entered – congratulations Rob!
Caught the opening ceremonies, then went into a bit of a holding action waiting for Tim Deal and Danny Evarts, the twosome at the heart of Shroud Publishing, both delayed by tornado-inspired flight chaos. Were joined by Pendragon Press maestro Chris Teague, and then more beers took place until the small hours, sitting in the courtyard. Danny also brought with him the loveliest of gifts, which I’ll show you when I have time to present them as they deserve. The Shroud crew are, it turns out, every bit as good company as emails suggested.
Day two, Friday, started off fine. Had a meeting or two, which despite the increasing pressures of time displacement went well, and may bode good things to come. Bumped into more people. Hit the dealer’s room late afternoon, chatted with some publishers, and came away with a weighty armful of books, which I’m sure will be added to tomorrow.Chatted briefly with artist guest of honour Vincent Chong, and promised myself I’d go back to his art show and pick up at least one print before I go.
Alas, while dropping my books at my room, all that jet lag hit like a motherload, all at once. Never felt anything like it. My eyes would not stay open, and I’m pretty sure that some local gravity anomaly caused my body to triple in weight. Decided to concede, and grab an hour’s kip. Woke up, six hours later, enormously confused about both who and where I was. After working that out, I gave in completely, and hit the hay properly – bit of a waste of the evening, but at least I woke up finally feeling more like myself than I have since leaving India.
Looking forward to the day ahead – more meetings to come, with some socialising mixed in. Who knows, might even make it to a party or two tonight!