They called it horror because they had forgotten the real meaning of the word, because there was no word sufficient for the harrowing trail, the eternity of butt-numbing boredom punctuated by moments of sheer orange where stalagmites rise up from the asphalt like the flames of Hades and men shuffle listlessly between arcane machines.
So, yeah, there was some travel. Not so much with the men and machines though. I don't mind construction when it's necessary and done right, like in Kentucky where they're out there only a few feet from traffic risking their lives to make sure the shoulders are solid and the guardrails intact so I don't go plummeting down the side of a mountain. I'm totally fine with that. Places like Ohio and Michigan however, where the entire state is down to one lane because that one guy who actually does something is probably going to want to work on part of the road when he gets back from vacation next week, they get on my nerves. But I shouldn't complain, I've been through worse (any given trip through Indianapolis, for example) and the car ran splendiferously. Plus my lovely wife did most of the driving because she's wonderful like that.
We're home now and rested up to the state of exhaustion that we call normal. I'll try to give a few more posts on the details of the trip but the short version is: we went to Michigan, spent some time with family, went to Conclave, and had a great time and a lovely convention.
It's hard for me to give anything resembling an honest convention report because, over the years, 'Clave has gone from a convention to a second home where I visit my friends who just happen to run a convention. That said, I still think this year went very well. FEMA was actively commandeering large chunks of the hotel away from the convention and, if it hadn't been for the signs, you wouldn't have known it. Even the "disaster that delivers" couldn't stop the smooth machine that is 'Clave's staff. Panel rooms were easy to find and in rooms that were the right size for the panel and, if anything, noise and distractions from other events and outside business was less than usual. Very, very impressive.
I was allowed to do a relatively large number of panels, which I enjoyed but I do hope that the people who attended didn't get tired of seeing me. Even better, I was privileged to do many of them with the Guest of Honor Kelly McCullough who has his own very thorough and nice convention report on his site. (kellymccullough.com or facebook.com/Kelly.mccullough Stupid blog will probably mess up the link; you might have to do the usual cut-and-paste thing. I swear, I need a teenager on staff to do the web stuff. I'm not kidding; you want the job, ask for it.) I also was fortunate enough to meet and speak with his wife over the course of the weekend. As most of you are aware, authors get the by-line but the spouses are what really make the books possible. They were even gracious enough to come to my reading of Purple Wings and pretend they liked it.
I'll try to get into more details of trip and convention as time goes by but for now, know that we're home safe from our trip to the first world and go read Kelly's stuff.