Well, that was quite a weekend at ICFA in Orlando. Though it was a working trip — two interviews, a reading, book signings, networking, writing — I also took more down time and relaxation than I’ve had in a long time.
Part of that is because the last couple of years haven’t much lent themselves to relaxing, even when down time is available. Also, most of my trips, even nominal vacations, involve going to conventions or conferences, and doing a fair amount of work there in the form of programming, workshops, networking and so forth.
ICFA is an academic conference, and the writers are there to interact with the academics, but we don’t have to meet the same expectations of a classic style of SF convention. We’re exhibits, in a sense. The conference is very well-run, contained in a single venue, and filled with old friends and new that I’m very happy to spend a lot of time with.
But mostly, for me, I was feeling healthy, being warm in the Florida sunlight, and really enjoying the people. Everyone from dear friends like Deanna Hoak and Farah Mendlesohn to familiar faces like Peter Straub and Joe Haldeman to interesting new acquaintances such as Karen Lord and Cecelia Holland.
It was just fun. I really want to thank Sydney Duncan for going well out of her way to encourage me to be there and enable my presence. And everyone at ICFA for their generosity, good spirits and best of all, their company. If time, health and finances permit, I’ll definitely be back next year.