wish I'd said that

A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world - John le Carre

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Key Con frantic and fun part 1

Whew! Finally getting around to reporting on Key Con in Winnipeg which was FANTASTIC!
(even though I didn't win the Aurora Award,  I am so very grateful to have made the 5 finalists) 
congrats to all the finalists and especially Eileen Bell who as one of the Women of the Apocalypse, smote us all and took home the prize.)

So the Con...

I had to work at Home Depot on Friday so Arlene and I flew in to the 'peg, Saturday morning. We arrived at the Con at 1:15 and got Arlene registered.

--  Flashback- Friday night - Arlene trying to vote for
Auroras and of course, techno-tyke (that's me) helping out. No go. Tried three times and each time the Aurora voting site told her "the computer says nooo."  
Okay we figured she can vote at the Con when we get there, as voting is open until Sunday Noon. (note to self- get new glasses). Then we discover that techno-tyke has registered her for the Aurora meal but not the Con. In my defense, weak though it is, amidst the flurry of readying my new short story "Mr Go Away", for the 5 minute Read-Off AND preparing my panel on Brit TV vrs US TV, I mistakenly registered her for SFContario instead of Key Con. Hey, could happen to any..idiot.

So at Key Con, she could eat, but she'd have to hang around the hotel room, like a well, you know, like a hmnn, I believe the old parlance was a doxy. But even that word would earn me an icy cold shoulder and glare so let's just say we got her registered, first thing at the Con.

Registration was a breeze. Great staff, sooo helpful (even to shamefaced idiots) All around good folk working the Con. BIG KUDOS!!

 I prepared for some last minute subtle Aurora schmoozing, booklet copies of my nominated short story "Here There Be Monsters" in open, introductory hand, badge proudly announcing 2010 Aurora Finalist (with my name on it, still blows me away) ... and then we discovered the problem with my eyesight, or the brain the eyes are connected to, (which was suspect right from the beginning). Seems Aurora voting had closed an hour before we arrived, yes, that would be Noon, Saturday, not Sunday. 
What a difference a day makes. Game plan goes phhht. Shame face idiot takes another hit.
When you think of it, Saturday makes more sense as award presentation was Sunday evening, but in my defense - see above pathetic excuses.

Okay. Bright side. That pressure was off. No last minute pork barrel politicking.

Time to turn up the heat on my other commitments. I leave Arlene, to get in less trouble than she would if I stayed, and zip off to our hotel room to get Mr Go Away down from 5 min 30 sec, in order to beat the clock. Can I just read it faster? No.
(I quickly discovered that cutting a chunk out of a three page story is like slicing the skin off a grape, especially since I'd started with a watermelon. But that's better than a lemon.)

Should I have a nap? No, focus. Munch on Granola bars and cheese and crackers, courtesy of Arlene, the smart one of the pair. 

Story. Still 15 sec over the limit. Could I have a nap? No! 
Aha. Found a redundancy trying to masquerade as a vital piece of information. Gone! Yes! 4 min 40 sec. Have cookie as reward. Woof! Me and Mr. Pavlov.

Now. Switch to panel. Some pithy quotes concerning US TV. Where's my pith pile? Oh no. I left my quote page in
Toronto. Aw pith.

Bed is still beckoning. Shhhh. Yikes! Clock is louder than bed. 3:10. 

Panel is at 4pm and Read-Off immediately after. Okay that's Good enough. Robbie Bourget, my co-panelist is a good talker, and carries a hatful of experience with her, so... And we'll tet the audience ask questions to fill in the rest. (audience, ha! We had quality not quantity, as it turned out) 

One last read-aloud of Mr Go Away. Ouch! How did it get back to over 5 min? Panic. No. Bed? No? Window? Hmmn. Won't open. Okay. Be brutal! There! Revise the ending and hey! I like that better. Who'd a thunk it?  4min 30 sec. Wow! Done. 
Stick face in sink full of cold water. Dry. Leave the room. Bye bed, I'll be back.

(to be continued)

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