Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Being a Chronicle of Plaus-Fab Wisconsin, "The World's Leading Gynarchist Plausible-Fable Assembly"*

Assembly reports are often problematic; those who were in attendance often read such reports only to see if they are mentioned, and those who were not are seeking the sort of gossip and low talk which no self-respecting chronicler would call attention to in a public forum. There is also the problem of full and accurate recall of the events, which I cannot claim to have. Having said this, I shall nonetheless attempt to recount some highlights:

Thursday afternoon Ms. H.W.B. collected me in her gasoline-powered chariot, and we rode north. I spent the majority of the ride regaling her with tales of Loxodonta Africana and Elephas maximus, which I trust she found endlessly fascinating, as it was my primary topic of conversation all weekend long. "Yes, yes. Your amusing anecdote has put me in mind of a trivial bit of information which I recently learned about elephants. I will now bore you with it share it with you."

Despite the preponderance of chariots fleeing the City of Wind, we reached the Town of Madness just in time for the readings of Ms. J. and Ms. McK. I was introduced to the acerbic Priestess of Chance, and afterwards we dined Chez Meisner, discussing all manner of delightful happenings and entertainments. The tabular contents of the new volume Twenty Epics were made known to your humble chronicler, who squandered few chances over the next few days to mention his own inclusion to cornered captivated listeners. Later, as the evening was drawing towards a close and there was some thought of retiring, Mr. B.R. arrived, and talk turned to the exciting work being done in such Infernokrusher works as Thrown Down a Well Still Burning and Burning Hammer Review. Mr. M., Mr. C, Ms. G., the aforementioned Mr. B.R. and I had an amusing discussion about this which lasted nearly until the hour of thunder.

Next day, an expedition was made to the local zoological gardens, which we found pleasant and distressing in equal parts, and notably lacking in beasts of the pachyderm persuasion. (Pär, you were indeed correct on that point!) Then we dined and found our rooms at the inn. I shared quarters with Misters H., L., and O. After some greetings we made our way to the Chamber of Merchants, where I asked Ms. L. and Mr. G. if they would be good enough to make room for the most recent issue of The Dogtown Review. They graciously agreed, and in return I spent some time hawking their delightful wares, which gathered themselves lovingly into the arms of the freshly arrived Assemblers. During this time Ms. C.M. also appeared, caustic wit in tow. I also made the acquaintance of Lady B. and her brother, a stalwart with a first name I approve of--sadly, they were only able to attend the Assembly for a day and thus I was unable to converse much with either. Later, Colonel R. arrived bearing a bundling of that wondrous publication Say . . ., and shortly thereafter Ms. B., Mr. B. (no relation), and Ms. G. appeared and a passel of us trundled off to dine, joined by Editrix G. and her wonderful companion Mr. W.

It is at this point that my memory of events becomes less clear. A celebration was given by Mr. G. and Ms. L. for their wonderful venture Small Beer Press. Malted beverages were served, and I must admit that I partook of them at perhaps a rather faster rate than necessary. I conversed with many persons, including most of the aforementioned, as well as a long and humorous discussion on editing and names with Rbtd. A. I also made the acquaintance of Ignitrix McM. herself, who has a delightful laugh and a wit to match.

I returned to my quarters in the wee hours, and woke in the late morn feeling rather unwell. A prescription of tea, fresh air and walking eventually revived me. I was drafted by Mr. G. and Ms. L. to read some stories for the sadly absent Mr. M.R.; it was well-received, which I attribute to the source material. I encountered more worthies, such as the luminous Ms. McN., the Rbtds. K.L. and A.D. (whose collection of plausible fabulism is going to be published by the fine folks at Small Beer), and Mr. VanE.. That evening I dined with my new advocate, Ms. C., who is an enthusiastic and charming soul; I look forward very much to working with her. Because of dinner we missed the Tiptree auction, I'm afraid, but since I have been of late only barely solvent it was, I think, for the best. I did attend and enjoy a reading by Women on the Edge including the aforementioned Ms. G., verbal martial artist Editrix M., the modest Ms. C-W, and the resilient Ms. McH.

Then there were more parties--the Rbtds. give a raucous annual event with singers of varying abilities performing with a portable orchestra, and this year held plenty of wonders both good and bad. Among the good was a group performance in tribute to the absent Mr. C.B., and Editrix G.'s rendition of "I've Never Been to Me." I deliberated about performing myself, but as I had a reading to come later in the evening I chose to save my voice and my dignity for sacrifice later.

Our midnight reading--I read with those worthies Mr. L., Mr. H., and Mr. O.--was well attended considering the hour, and went well. I read a new piece entitled "The Whisper, the Wire, and the Worm" which seemed to go over moderately well. All four of us agreed that we felt our own pieces had been the weakest, so thus armed with our modesty we went back to the gatherings. I had the opportunity to chat with Mr. P. as well as several of the above. There was hallway singing, there was gossip, and when the management of the inn decided the Rbtd. gathering must end, the keg was collected and brought down to our quarters. Several persons followed the alcohol, and a good time was had by all, but the party was cut short after the establishment's constabulary was contacted and asked that all unregistered guests be expelled. Thus, regretfully, we retired just short of dawn.

Sunday, a day of rest, began with tea and brunch, marred only by the too-early departure of that worthy Mr. H. The afternoon was spent first at a reading from Mr. P, Ms. S, Mr. VanE and Ms. R, which was quite enjoyable all around. Then there was the rather serious matter of a duel between Mr. M. and Ms. B.; myself and Ms. M served as seconds to the respective principals; in the end, the duel had a rather surprising outcome. Following this I attended the Adequate Plausible Fabulism reading performed by Colonel R., Rbtd. D., Mr. B., and the surprising Ms. McL. Very good, all around. Following the reading many of us adjourned to the Strange Horizons Tea Party, wherein Editrix G. followed her performance of the previous evening with a masterful speech about SH and its workings. Following that I had to run to a panel, but managed to meet Mr. H., a very interesting fellow who said kind things about one of my tales. After the panel a group of us trotted out to dine, including Ms. M.S., Mr. T. and family, Mr. and Mrs. N., and Ms. H.M.M. and family. Afterwards there was a dessert banquet with a long and silly line. I had already bought my ticket, so I attended (the carrot cake was delicious) and listened to the interminable short announcements (Editrix M. and I coped with alcohol) and the speeches by Ms. J. and Ms. McK. Determined to make one final reading, I listened to and enjoyed tales from Ms. B., Mr. W., Dr. L. and Ms. W. (no relation). Very enjoyable, but afterwards I found that I had the energy only for returning to my quarters and falling into a deep sleep.

Finally, Monday, which I spent primarily in the Chamber of Merchants, conversing with the usual suspects as well as others I have as yet failed to mention, such as Mr. G.. Then there was leave-taking to be done, sadly. I felt rather reluctant to leave, as these Assemblies are among the few occassions when I feel almost entirely at home with myself, free to be passionate about the things I am passionate about, if there is any sense in that. There is a childish desire in me to have all my friends live near me, on the same street; of course, if it were so I would likely get no sleep and even less writing done.

Finally, on the chariot journey home I was determined to stay awake, only to find myself passing in and out of consciousness. I had a short dream in which I was perplexed by the question of whether one of the granddaughters spoke French as her sister and grandmother did, and another which required my verbal participation. Ms. H.W.B. was very amused by this, and helped bear my spoils to my abode. Once she had taken her leave I fell on the sofa, exhausted, and slept until it was time to leave for work.

I regret that I barely had a chance to exchange more than a few words with Editor H. or Ms. M., that I did not manage to attend more readings, that I felt as though there were so many people I didn't give enough attention to. Next year, as they say, at the Thirtieth Plaus-Fab Wisconsin.

*With apologies to Ben Rosenbaum


Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Awesome, David. The best con report I've read yet. :)

9:11 AM  
Blogger Celia said...

free to be passionate about the things I am passionate about, if there is any sense in that.

Perhaps if you were passionate about things other than pachyderms? :P

9:58 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

My thanks, Jason.

And Miss Celia, it is most indiscreet to comment on a man's passions. Also, see above.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Elad said...

Man, that was better than the third Lord of the Rings flick.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Hey, thanks for coming to the reading! And you get the badge for best con report.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Sorry about the (lack of) elephants! When it comes down to a disagreement between Pär and myself, I am usually in the right. But not always so. And clearly not to be trusted on zoological matters.

On the up side: if there had been any elephants at the zoo, your description of the weekend might well have been entirely pachy-centric, and then we would have missed out on this fantastic con report. So everything worked out for the best.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Elad: it was almost as long, at least.

(Brief dance interlude of "Maureen McHugh came to my blog!")

Karen, I was convinced they were there as well. Somehow I conflated Vilas zoo with, I don't know, D.C.? St. Paul? Milwaukee?

11:06 AM  
Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

Amusingly droll, Mr S. I do apologise that our reading seems to have pushed you over into the land of nod. In future we promise only to read infernokrusher haiku.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Not at all, Ms. L. It was, rather, the sleep deficit accrued over the four nights preceding. Your reading was most enjoyable.

Infernokrusher haiku is, of course, always welcome.

3:07 PM  
Blogger David Moles said...

shônetsu ni
kemono torakku
haru kibaku

(In scorching heat,
beast trucks.
Springtime explodes.)

4:23 PM  
Blogger Dave said...


4:31 PM  
Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

Write Dr not Ms
Or exploded in pieces
You'll be Mr S

Dr Justine "Yoda" Larbalestier

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still water's mirror,
Rippled by a landing crane.
And my flamethrower.


10:58 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Thanks for the contributions. They will be duly entered into the archives.

Also, Yipes!

11:27 PM  
Anonymous jdbl said...

There is a childish desire in me to have all my friends live near me, on the same street; of course, if it were so I would likely get no sleep and even less writing done.

Maybe it's only because I share this desire, but I don't think this is childish at all. Having one's friends scattered all over the globe is unnatural, really. And as you say, it's so rare for our tribe to find people we can really be ourselves around, it's little wonder that you'd (we'd) want to experience that all the time. It's this impulse from which artist colonies are born, I should think.

I sometimes wonder if other people - those work-a-day, mundane, muggle-type people - have that experience, as I imagine that they do. Do they really go through their days mostly at ease, or at least with their inner lives and outer lives more-or-less congruent? In some ways, I'd like to think that everyone runs around with mysterious, vivid inner lives, much more interesting and complex than they appear, their obsessions with reality tv masking hidden depths. But it's also sort of comforting to imagine that there are people who are exactly what they seem.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

When I say childish I mean it in the best way; idealistic and impractical and stubborn. Which, for good or ill, are all characteristics I still possess. I agree that having one's friends scattered all over the globe is unnatural, but this Interweb thingy makes it a bit less so.

I think there are a few people who are exactly what they seem to be, but not many. Which I think is a good thing for all of us, as far as creating characters.

10:37 AM  

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