Today, I’m on my way to Madison, Wisconsin for WisCon. I attend WisCon almost every year, and wanted to attend long before I had the financial means to do so. For many years, it was the only feminist science fiction convention, and is still the largest.
For me, WisCon is like a giant party, one of those good parties where you run into someone you know every few feet, and have to make appointments ahead of time so you can make sure to see all your friends. As most of the conventions I attend are in the northeast of the United States, traveling to the midwest for WisCon means I get to see friends from that area, as well as friends from farther away, for example California and England. Most of them, I see only once a year, at WisCon.
The convention officially begins on Friday, but like many WisCon regulars, I arrive on Thursday to hang out in the lobby of the Concourse hotel and greet friends as they arrive. It’s a chance to have a leisurely dinner in one of the many nearby restaurants, and hear that year’s guests of honor read at the local feminist bookstore, A Room of One’s Own.
I am on deadline at the moment, and am participating less in the convention programming this year than I usually do: only two panels, neither of which I’m moderating. I decided not to participate in a reading, either. But this year is different for another reason. This is the very first time I will be attending as the author of a published novel.
Last year, I had a single cover flat for The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover, which I brandished and forced everyone to admire. This year, I have an actual published book. I’m bringing a few copies to sell at the Broad Universe table, and will have one on hand for people to look at if they’re curious. Many of my friends who’ll be attending have already read it, but I haven’t seen them in person since last year, so this will be my first chance to discuss it with them in person. So exciting!
It feels like I’m going to show off my book at a family reunion.