Man, that drive to Austin is a long one! There was a big wreck on I-35 about 60 miles north of Austin and that had me sitting still on the highway for about 40 minutes. I left home about 9:15 a.m. Friday, stopped for a short lunch somewhere south of Ft. Worth, had the traffic incident, and didn’t make it to the hotel until about 20 minutes before my first panel. I was a bit frazzled, but in place on time to discuss the differences between Okie weird writers and crazy Texan writers. We decided there wasn’t much difference, so we made fun of East Coasters.
I wore my University of Oklahoma shirt for that one, but not much was made of it. Are people in the hometown of the University of Texas so civil, or are the majority of sci-fi fans not interested in college football? I dunno.
Adrian rode the train to Austin. It took him even longer to arrive, but he got to spend all that time writing in peace, so I have no sympathy for him.
After housekeeping woke us up at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, I spent most of the day chatting with Lee Thomas and Joe McKinney. Both are fascinating to talk with, and great writers. Both guys read from stories that will be published soon. Joe read all his story. Lee, on the other hand, read just enough to make me really want to know how it ends, but I’ll have to wait a while to get the anthology and read the ending of “The Good and Gone.”
Joe and I went to dinner at a restaurant neither of us had been to before. I shouldn’t tell you the name because Joe’s wife might Google his name and find this blog and learn that he ate with me at Bikini’s. Oops! hehe We actually set out for Chili’s, but there was a con party going on at Bikini’s. We skipped out on the party to eat. The food wasn’t great, but the ambiance was.
Oh yeah, the rest of the con. Well, not much to say, really. I’m very, very envious of John Scalzi. The dude had a line at his signing like I haven’t seen since Anne Rice visited OKC. It was constant for the entire hour of our group signing and people were bringing in boxes of books for him to sign. It would have been easy to hate him if he hadn’t been so damn nice. When the hour was over he actually turned to me and apologized that we didn’t get to talk more. Absolutely a great guy.
I met some other really nice people, like Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize, and … umm … the lady who sat on the other side of me during the signing. Crap! I can’t believe I forgot her name. And the folks who run the con were great, too.
The signing was over at 2 p.m., then we started home, Adrian riding with me. The drive home seemed to go much quicker with someone to talk to. I’ve got to find the Jeff Goldblume movie “Mr. Frost” now.
I did a little writing in Texas, but not much. I wrote the first chapter for The Girls Nobody Wanted to Date, but I have to rewrite it because I feel like I haven’t captured that high school chatty girl tone I’m looking for.