Belated RainFurrest Con Report part one

In which our fox flies to Seattle, launches a book, sits on many panels, and records a live episode of Unsheathed.

It’s our fourth RainFurrest, and in some respects things stay the same. We stand by the Sofawolf table in the dealers room, I work on writing panels, and we record a live podcast. RainFurrest was the first con to welcome Unsheathed, and it is always one of our favorite places to visit.

We got in on Thursday and visited with some friends who were opening up their dealer tables. Sofawolf had opted to hold off until Friday, mostly because Kit and I were to be the main staffers and we didn’t discover that the dealer’s room would be open on Thursday until our travel plans had already been set. That just made Thursday more relaxed for us. We went out to 13 Coins with a few friends and had a fun meal that was charmingly inappropriate at times.

I did a reading at 5 pm, starting with the opening couple chapters of “Winter Games,” which was due to be released that evening. I had to elide one of the segments because it wasn’t an age-controlled audience, but at least one person told me that was enough to convince him to take a chance on it. After that, I told people a bunch of different things I had on my computer that I could read (I held off on OOP3 for the moment). The audience chose to hear the beginning of the Calatians novel, and that went over pretty well too, so I was happy about that.

At 9, we made our way upstairs for the release party, which featured amazing catering from Ashe (with an assist from Sparf). Gene Armstrong, this year’s RainFurrest chair, has been one of the main forces pushing the con to be more writing-focused, and he’s the one who’s instituted release parties for books coming out at the con. He officially kicked off the party and then had to go attend to more con business while the rest of us enjoyed the amazing cookies and crudités that had been laid out for us (the oatmeal raisin cookie bars were an exemplar of the form).

A little ways into the party, Ashe revealed the giant red velvet cupcake honoring my Cupcake, and I sliced it for everyone to enjoy. It was a cupcake about as big as my head, in two layers, and it was delicious, with awesome frosting.

So Thursday went pretty well, all in all, and Friday we just had to scramble to get the Sofawolf table set up. Brer and Alo have setup down to a science, but Kit and I aren’t quite as adept at it, and I think we were finally ready at 10:15 or so. We had limited quantities of Red Lantern and Green Fairy, and those were gone by early Friday afternoon. I’m glad there was such demand for Green Fairy; I like that book a lot and I think it deserves as much recognition as Out of Position. Which of course has a new volume coming out in January. But you guys knew that, right?

Friday I also had a couple panels. I talked about Getting Published with Teiran and Rahne Kallon, which went well, and then I got to do a Writing 101 panel with Rikoshi and Caladon. We had a lot of good questions, and Rikky and I have a pretty good panel rapport, so I had a good time there too. During the day, I got to meet Asher, a fan who has a fursuit with a football uniform; he came back in costume and had me sign his football.

In the evening, we ate in the hotel restaurant and then went to our Erotic Writing panel, with Kitsderwulf and K.M. Hirosaki. It was about as spirited and fun as those things usually are, and it got very academic in parts, which always amuses me: the theory of writing blow jobs.

Our Unsheathed podcast went really well. K.M. and I were a little tired, and/or bucket-influenced, but we got some terrific writing questions that prompted a lot of thoughtful discussion. We addressed questions on theme and imagery and planning novels and so on. We both had a great time and you will get to hear that podcast sometime in the next couple weeks.

(I think my highlight was in the middle when the woman asking the question took out her phone and said, “Wait, let me record this,” and K.M. said, “You do know what all this stuff on the table is, right?”)

On Saturday I had only one panel, on Collaboration in Writing, and that was with Sterling, who served as moderator, and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, the writing guest of honor. I have only written a few collaborations, none of which have been published, and so when Ann said, “I’ve written sixteen novels with Anne McCaffrey,” I kind of let her take center stage. She had some great stories, which everyone really enjoyed hearing, and even if I felt more like an attendee than a panelist, I still had fun.

I missed the Coyotl Awards presentation, but Science Friction, the only nominee for “Mature Novella,” won its category, and buni came by the table to give me my certificate.

Saturday for dinner, we revisited the Marriott bar, which has become a tradition since the con left that hotel. Our waiter was a trip, and if he hadn’t been efficient and professional to go along with his patter, I would have seriously thought he was on speed or something (coke? meth?). He informed us that HE always squeezed lime or lemon into drinks because he didn’t think it was right for someone to have to reach into their own drink. And he approved of my choice of lime with my club soda.

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