Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wiscon

The Wisconsin Science Fiction Convention, the only feminist SF con in the world, was last weekend. Patrick and I went, as we do every year. As usual, I found it a bit overwhelming -- so many wonderful writers and critics and scholars and fans, all in one place. Not that I am complaining, except that it happens only once a year.

We arrived around dinner time on Friday, having taken our time driving down from the Twin Cities, and had dinner together in the hotel's fancy restaurant. Patrick went up to the room to read and smoke his pipe. I hit the Aqueduct Press and Tachyon parties, then went to bed.

I was scheduled for two panels and a reading on Saturday afternoon, then had dinner with Timmi and Tom Duchamp, who are going to publish the sequel to Ring of Swords, once Timmi and I finish revising it. Then Patrick and I attended the Tiptree auction. Ellen Klages is the MC every year, and she is a very funny stand up comic. She's also a fine writer, though not always funny.

Sunday I did very little, except check out the very fine shop in the Madison Contemporary Art Museum and do one panel on what (if anything) a writer owes readers. The panel was prompted by rumors that J. K. Rowling is murdering -- has murdered -- Harry Potter. One of the panelists said she had just been on a book tour. Everywhere she went, she asked booksellers if they had heard the rumor and how did they feel. "Oh, God, we hope it's true," they replied.

I would prefer that Harry live. Frodo did, after all, though he was never the same. Sam lived and stayed in Middle Earth and prospered. Theoden died, but he was old, and he died like the old Beowulf, fighting against something that threatened the people he ruled.

I don't kill important characters, because I don't like unhappy endings in fiction. To me, my endings are never unhappy -- wry, ironic, ambiguous maybe, but the characters are still alive and are going to keep trucking.

Also, Patrick does not tolerate unhappy endings. He has worked with seriously mentally ill people most of his adult life; and for the past 10+ years he has worked with people who are seriously mentally ill and homeless. Many of these people have been likable and admirable. Many have died too young. He doesn't want more death in the fiction he reads.

I didn't make it to the Wyrdsmiths party Sunday night. (They are my writing group, and I really should have been at the party.) I lay down in the late afternoon for a nap before the Guest of Honor Speeches, having watched the Indy 500 with Patrick. He watches it every year. We don't have a TV at home, but there was one (of course) in our hotel room. It was not an especially satisfying race, since it ended early due to rain. Danica Patrick came in 8th and got up to 3rd at one point. Patrick wants to see her win. She's very young and keeps getting better, so there is a good chance she will win sometime soon.

When I woke from my nap, it was 11 p.m. I decided it was too late to go anywhere, except back to bed.

Monday we left a little after noon and drove home along Highway 12, a two lane that parallels I-94. This turned a five hour drive into a seven hour drive, but there was no traffic, and it's a lot prettier to go through forest and fields and small towns.

We took the same route going to Wiscon and saw three wild turkeys, one on a lawn in a small town, the other two crossing the highway. We are very fond of wild turkeys, in part because they are no problem to identify. Nothing looks like a wild turkey except a wild turkey. They can also be very funny, though I don't think they plan to be.

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