I'm glad I went to Denvention. There were some good things and some bad things, but as reports go mine must be anecdotal:
1. Connie Willis is my favorite person in the world. For a long time Doomsday Book has been among my favorites, but what an author is like in real life can be quite different than what she's like through her fiction. As she explained on a panel, she's not one to give writing advice because that's not the way one learns - people learn through the stories of others, through experiences and example. As such she'd tell story after story about how she wrote and came up with ideas and how her real life and her writing life couldn't be more different. She looks like a pretty, aging elementary school teacher - short white hair, conservative dress, charming smile - if she looked you sternly and said, "spit out your gum" you'd have to spit it out - it'd be a Pavlovian response.
2. Connie Willis was naturally on the best panel of the convention. She shared the stage with Joe Haldeman, Mike Resnick, and Dave Zindell. David was out of place and fortunately didn't speak much, but the others were in great form. Their stories of former panels, good and bad conventions, Hugo Award design, and even rejection letters (to which Joe said, "I've never gotten any." prompting Connie to shout, "I hate you.") were hilarious. The dynamic between them is impressive and if you get a chance to see them - do it.
3. Best name of the convention: Raya Golden. She's an artist and when I asked she said it's her real name (first and middle) and that her mother called her Raya Golden Sunshine. She's a pretty good artist as well.
4. Creepiest moment of the convention. Tim and I were out attending the parties on Friday night. There was a local woman there who kind of latched onto us. She was dressed in a skimpy dress that she couldn't really pull off and she had this annoying habit of twisting her face up when she was emphasizing a point (usually a point that she really didn't understand). At the end of the night (11:30, I was tired and needed some sleep) she walked out of the party hotel with us and followed us all the way to our hotel. Tim and I were booked at the same Hyatt. At the door she stood as if she wanted an invitation by one or the other of us . . . or both? We said bye and went into the fortunately secured hotel, leaving her to find another guy to latch onto.
5. I loved the Hugo Awards. I've decided to win one of those. I'll be writing to that end. Wish me luck.
Personal news or information on my own writing will have to wait. I don't believe in tempting fates, so I'm keeping that stuff unpublicized.