Wiscon: The Rest

I decided to come down from the rankled feeling left to me from the Magical Realism panel. Back to the room, I relaxed and finished The Dead Zone, so now we’re ready for June 9’s reading group. Dan came up after the Realism panel, and he told me that I had been right to leave, because things didn’t get a lot better. We tossed around a few ideas that eventually became yesterday’s treatise on the subject.

Of course, the most important piece of the afternoon was the Las Habladoras reading. I spent the rest of that time getting ready. Cat came up to the room and helped me transport the equipment downstairs. While we were waiting in the reading room, we caught Andrea Hairston reading from her work in progress. She was spellbinding, and we were both really interested in the book, and heart broken when she told us it wasn’t out yet. Both of us caught her later in the con, and gave her information on where to find us when the book came out.

The reading went well. Yo’s reading was funny and light, and the audience appreciated the pop culture references. Jenn’s was something to chew on, dense and descriptive. Julie’s was also vivid–not dense like Jenn’s, but each image was a clear snapshot. Cat’s art work off set the work well. I read last, we took some fun pictures and struck set, and then we had celebratory champagne and talked about the Las Habladoras site around drinks. There will be podcasts and goodies up there soon. Soonish.


We split for dinner. Because I was on the bland train Saturday, I had tofu and veggies a la Nepali. Half of us ate there–half of us ate Greek. Then, back to the convention. Among the parties on Saturday, Girl Wonder had some lovely costumes and good games. I always enjoy checking them out, and seeing clever young women talk about a wide variety of pop culture issues. Other parties meant snippets of conversation here and there. Sarah Prineas was releasing The Magic Thief, so I stopped by to wish her well, as I also did with Phoebe Wray and her release of Jemma.


Sunday found me feeling better, but the rest of the convention feeling worse. Wiscon had an outbreak of the flu. I didn’t know it until dinner, but Cat was down.

The morning started with a YA reading at Michelangelo’s, a nearby coffee shop. Sarah Prineas read. She was kind enough to sign The Magic Thief, which I read at the convention, and will talk more about as we discuss the book in July. It’s great for kids and parents together. One of the other readings stood out. Another author, exactly in the same spot as myself in terms of agents and publishers, read her piece about an Italian family of demon exorcists. It was interesting and captivating, and again, one of those pieces that I can’t touch. She has my contact information, and I have hers. I’m not sure how to handle the etiquette of getting to read it, but it was VERY good.


I took some time then to go to the dealer’s room and go shopping. I bought many books and had several of them signed. I had a good talk to the Electric Velocipede folks, and told them how much I enjoyed their work, especially what I’d heard the day before. I went hot tubbing. I went to another very good reading. Most notably for me, Caroline Stevermer read from her new piece, Outside of Enough, and yes, Jane Austen fans will approve.

A very good panel I attended, which deserves its own write up, rather than a short blurb, was a description of what happens to your book after it is accepted, hosted by Shana Cohen, John Klima, and Sean Wallace. It was very interesting, and conveyed lots of useful information. You’ll see a write up as soon as I’m done with the overview of the general convention.

We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant together, and took Cat back some minestrone soup. The convention took serious steps to combat the flu, from little plastic gloves to careful food handling, to even making a flu questionnaire to try to pinpoint the causes. After dinner, dessert salon and guest of honor speeches. Julie wasn’t there. She succumbed to the flu as well. My friend Laura just happened to be in town but not with the convention. She and I strolled over to the overflow hotel and picked up some Immodium. Jools is a tough woman, and headed back to California the next day. Yo and Jenn called it a comparatively early night. Dan, Lisa, and I stayed up late and went to the Battlestar Galactica panel. Well,yeah, I am a geek. I do have an eerily accurate Laura Roslin costume. How could I say no?

I thought that I would write up a separate Monday entry, but I realized I could summarize Monday fairly quickly. Yo and I had breakfast and good conversation. I presented Azazello’s Cream, which was very well received by a surprisingly large audience. My co-presenter was Pamela Freeman, who presented her exogesis on kings in fantasy fiction, which was captivating. People ate my feminist hypothesis about Margarita with a spoon. Both presenters were feisty, the audience was lively, and all in all, it was a solidly positive experience.

Sign out was also great. Lisa showed up with a surprise copy of Interfictions for my birthday, so hey, another excuse to get signatures. Pat Wrede signed Sorcery and Cecelia, and I just glowed. Met a lot of nice writers. Must bring more books next year…

And then we drove home, and I sat around in a coma all night. Well, I did laundry in a coma too…


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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