I started this con with several rejection letters, a headache and a cold sense of failure--and I ended it in a state of exaltation and elation. Once again, spending time with about a thousand brilliant and fascinating people, talking about the thing that matters most to all of us, has had the desired effect--and so this post is a long, and highly incomplete, thank you note.
Thank you to the friends I saw as soon as I walked in the door--Jennifer Brinn, Scott Andrews and Mike DeLuca--who swept me up and into a bar conversation that continued for the whole weekend, and ended spectactularly with Jennifer handing me the solution to my problem novel.
Thank you to Elwin Cotman, who agreed with me about the superiority of metaphor in fantasy and also ran a fucking fantastic panel. Thank you to Gemma Files, who was awesome in Elwin's panel and later showed me the most beautiful fan art--someone had given her careful and lovely ink drawings of all of the major characters in her Hexslinger series.
Thank you to Stephen Geigen-Miller, who put up with my caffeinated ramblings for ages, and said wise and hilarious and kind things in return. Thank you to Leah Bobet and Chandra Rooney, who grounded me with some discussion of Kensington Market and delicious foodstuffs--and invented the Motivational Kitten.
Thank you to my Viable Paradise tribe, Katrina Archer, Christian Klaver, Tiffani Angus, Julia Dvorin, Heather McDougal, Eric Griffith, Tucker Taylor and also tons of other people. I am beyond grateful for all of you--your warmth, your great ideas, your shared loves of Sherlock and Paul Gross and the Age of Sail, your dapper fashions and your dinner stories.
Thank you to the people who asked me to sign their copies of Imaginarium! I don't think this will ever, ever get old.
And of course, I can't forget to say thank you to Peter Halasz and the con crew for such a fantastic experience.
There were a hundred other hallway conversations, quick connections, generous gestures, thought-provoking quotes and fascinators. I can't enumerate them all, and it will take me weeks to unpack them. All I know right now is that I have my will back, and my joy.