I have just returned from a very good time in New Mexico! My assistant Julie and I went out for Bubonicon, but before we plunged into con madness, my friend Jane Lindskold, and her archaeologist husband Jim showed us and artist Ruth Sanderson around a bit. We visited Albuquerque’s Old Town (native arts jewelry!) and the Rattlesnake Museum. The snakes are gorgeous–a nation-wide collection of rattlers and other snakes, with tortoises, a few spiders, and a scorpion thrown in. The animals looked to be very well cared for, and when they are milked for venom, the venom goes to the creation of antivenin and research. A wonderful place to see!
Afterwards we went to see petroglyphs. I saw some, but tanked out early due to heat sickness. 8-P Still, I also saw a squirrel (in the desert, the brave fellow), a ground chuck, and a small chipmunk. And a roadrunner! He even came by and posed for Julie and Jim to get photos! I was also able to talk to Jim about local geology among other things.
After lunch, return to the hotel, shower, and brief collapse (it is hot there, though Jane and Jim told us they’d been getting lots of rain, which meant that everything that could flower around us was doing so immediately), it was on to the con. I’d like to say I disgraced myself at opening ceremonies, but Toastmistress Mary Robinette Kowal beat me hands down with a phone sex reading of the names of the others in attendance!
Julie and I had such a *wonderful* time! The hotel staff was delightful (not always the case). I sat on panels with Mary Robinette Kowal and Ruth Sanderson, as well as Catherynne Valente (the theme was Women of Valor, which was why the four of us where there). I said hello to George R.R. Martin (if he remembered that I’d once asked when the next book was due, was gentleman enough not to mention it!), was too shy to tell Daniel Abraham how much I love the way he writes heroic women in his current series, and greeted Doranna Durgin (present with a service beagle) and S.M. and Jan Stirling, all three of whom had contributed to the YOUNG WARRIORS anthology (which is still in print).
And I met and talked with fans, two of whom gave me works of art, one of whom had made a box of DELICIOUS Tortall doughnuts with darkings, Stormwings, Kitten, and shield devices in icing. I also met a group of fans who had dressed up as different characters (Nawat offered me a gummy worm, which I ate, of course!). I was so thrilled and overwhelmed! They were in the costume show later, and I stood up and clapped wildly for them all. They were wonderful–all the fans, and all of my fellow pros, were absolutely wonderful. So was Julie, who snarked at me at vital moments, made certain I was fed and watered, sent in the most recent installment on her master’s thesis, and had a good time of her own.
This is a great small (but growing) con, folks. If you’re ever around New Mexico at the end of August, check out Bubonicon. It’s a blast!