I lied.

Not because I meant to. I was just mistaken about the timeline. There was even more to day 2 than I had previously thought. The perils of getting older. I consulted the schedule to help get my story straight, or at least not so wavy.

Continuing from my last thread…

Prior to the newcomer’s meet up, I went to a seminar on Nineteenth Century Fairy Tale Version and Subversion- What the Grimms did and didn’t do. I was more fascinated by the people giving the presentation than the material itself. There was a moderator and three distinguished professors and/or scholars. These folks did some amazing work on the history of our lore, where it came from and who (mainly the Grimms, but others as well) made it popular by writing it all down. It makes me happy to know that there are places in the world where work like this is allowed to prosper. With all the cuts to the arts in education these days, for these scholars to have their day in the sun was good to see.     

Then, (and how I forgot this in my last post, well, see my previous excuse), after dinner I went to the opening reception. This was basically a meet and greet opportunity for everyone attending the conference. I wandered around the room a bit, trying to get my bearings. There were bars serving very expensive drinks, so I ordered my usual (bourbon on the rocks). There were tables that one could stand at and place your drink down, so I parked at one of them and was quickly approached by someone I saw at an earlier event. Sorry, I don’t remember which event and I don’t remember his name, but he was a very polite and pleasant fellow, which was par for the course. Next, I managed to get up the nerve to introduce myself to one of the guests of honor, a distinguished scholar from Liberia named Mame Boucouma Dienne. I liked what he had to say during the ceremony about imposter syndrome and the Dune movies and told him as much. He was extremely pleasant. Then this guy named Steven Erikson interrupted our conversation. Mumbling in star struck incoherency, I quickly shook hands with him, I think I said my name and excused myself. I went out into the hall in a miasmic fog, wondering what had just happened. I think Steve had something very important to discuss with Mame, but I couldn’t tell you that for sure.

Awakening from my fog, I spotted A.P. in the hall talking to someone. Greeting me warmly, he informed me where he normally hangs out if I ever want to hang out. He then introduced me to Robert Sawyer. Yes, the famous Canadian science fiction writer. Ironically enough, I was unfamiliar with his works. I only knew him as a real-life character in Erikson’s sci-fi novel, Rejoice- A Knife to the Heart. It was quite surreal meeting a person who’s a character in a novel based upon a real-life person. My head continued to spin. 

A.P. was dragged away to talk to other fine folks, so I meandered back into the reception. I ran into Mr. Esslemont (Cam) again and had a nice, short chat about various mundane subjects. Neither one of us is verbose. Small talk is often beyond me in social situations, and Cam also seems on the quiet side. During some awkward silence he wisely suggested we head outside. Sounded good to me.

Bam! We immediately ran into Stephen R. Donaldson. Talk about star struck! Here was an author I’ve been reading and raving about my entire adult life. He has a sharp wit, is pleasant to talk to, and welcomed me warmly to the conference. Through my mumbling introduction he managed to tell us an amusing story about name tags. Funny thing about meeting my writing heroes, they give me so much information to ingest while reading them, and then my mind goes blank while meeting them. Sigh!

Another indeterminate amount of time went by in a haze of trying not to make a fool of myself. Then, I finally retired to my room.

I promise to move onto day three in my next post.  

About Author

Author: Jarrod

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *