Courtesy of the lovely Lesley, this past week was one that was incredibly, I guess you could say, literary.
It began with a book launch for the anthology "Under Cover of Darkness" published by DAW books, where Lesley and I gathered with some other folks to listen to some readings and then get our books signed (and also to eat yummy things - free yummy things, which always makes yummy things even yummier).
Then last Wednesday we went to the Harbourfront Reading Series to see specifically Jon Clinch read from his book "Finn". We had met him on an online writers' forum called Backspace, and since we were the only people he sort of knew in Toronto, we went to be supportive, and then more importantly for drinks after. For a more detailed account of the event, read Lesley's blog.
And then on Saturday I fulfilled my destiny as the next Vanna White at Ad Astra (a literary convention in the genre of Sci-Fi/Fantasy), located at the Crown Plaza in the way east end of the city (way way east).
It was a heck of a lot of fun. But I have to say I am not sure I truly got the whole convention experience.
See, yes I did spend a few hours showing off items to be auctioned, and yes in the evening went to listen to some music based on the books of Guy Gavriel Kay and Caitlin Sweet, but really most of the hours from between 11:30am to 12:30am (that's just after midnight folks, not the lunching hour), were spent in the hotel bar sitting with a large group of people, writers, editors and the like, having some food. Having some drinks. Having some chat. Taking goofy pictures. And that's really it.
It was very university common room of us. Sitting on big couches and comfy chairs, or on the floor and laughing like very very silly people. I went to no panels (aside from the one that directly preceded the auction which was about the history of the Sunburst Awards, for which we were raising the money in the first place). And aside from the odd Jedi Knight passing by the bar, saw little to no costumes for the masquerade that night.
But who cares! I had a blast!
As for the auction itself. Well let me just tell you. I rock at being a prize girl.
I mean, for some reason my body knew exactly how to pose, and how to hold the various prizes and show them off to the audience. And it wasn't even done tongue in cheek, a bit of making fun of the whole prize girl concept. No. It was really quite good. If I do say so myself. Which I do. But only because I am so surprised with me.
Lesley, Caitlin and I were dressed in very fab tight red dresses.
The two of them got to be all sparkly and stuff, my red was more matte, but that was okay. We looked hot. And slightly ridiculous. The auction itself was an hour and a half, and I am quite grateful I was just the prize girl because all the talking that Lesley and Caitlin had to do just seemed exhausting. By the end of the whole thing we were pooped and starving (the auction ended at 4:30pm and we hadn't eaten yet). Quickly we changed and then met with the others again in the bar.
Some of the guys asked why we changed and didn't stay in the red dresses. I replied they should try wearing heels and a thong for several hours and then ask me that question again. What do men think? That somehow our tolerance of discomfort is higher? That we don't ever get uncomfortable? Sheesh.
And then we ate. And then we hung out. And then it was early the next morning and Lesley and I went home.
It was fun! And I highly recommend going to a conference if you get the chance. Though I'm not really sure what it's like to actually attend some panels and stuff. I imagine it could be quite interesting.
Anyway, that's my story. Caitlin has so kindly provided a link to some pictures from the event (some of which you have already experienced here). If you feel so inclined check them out here!