Epicon Part III
For me, the highlight of Saturday was planning a mystery with the two New Voices young people. What great imaginations! They came up with a plot and characters that would make a great YA mystery.
For me, one of the best parts of Epicon is getting to see and visit with friends you've made at previous Epicons--and meeting people in person you know through email--two of those are Melanie Atkins and Kim McDougall a.k.a. Kim Chatel.
Of course we all looked forward to the awards banquet. The food was excellent and Dan Reitz was hilarious, as usual. All that laughing had to be good for us.
We sat with my Oak Tree publisher, Billie Johnson, Lai and Mike Orenduff, and Linda and her sister, and two lovely women whose last names I can't remember. Mike, Linda and I were all up for the mystery/thriller award.
As you can see by the photo, Mike won but I'm trying very hard to take the award away from him--all in fun, of course.
We told people goodbye that evening as we had to be up at 4 to catch our plane at 7.
When we got to the airport and printed out our boarding passes we got in the wrong security line at first. It dawned on me there might be another so I checked and sure enough, we had to walk a long way to the right one, and of course the line was monstrously long.
Security is a real pain these days, off with the shoes, jackets, baggie with your liquids, computer out of it's case, everything on the roller to go through the X-ray machine, then put everything back on and together. Figure out which gate you need to go to--always the farthest one away--race to get there because you only have about 10 minutes.
We flew from NOLO to Atlanta, Georgia where we changed planes. Again, only a few minutes to race to the next gate which was far away. On that plane, finally, and we bought food because we were starving. We bought two different snack boxes--which are wrapped so tight I couldn't possibly get into them. Thanks goodness for a strong husband.
That was one long and rather bumpy flight. Low clouds when we reached Phoenix and the pilot circled for a long time before setting down. We had to find out where to catch the airport bus because now it was time to change airlines. After being given wrong directions twice, we finally set out on the two block trek to the bus--of course hauling our heavy carry-ons with us. We were dropped off in front of the USAirways terminal, again through security, up the elevator (I hate escalators and don't do well when I'm carrying stuff) and then to figure out which gate we needed to go to. I had an instinct where it would be (husband wasn't so sure), headed off that way and finally found one of those boards that tell about departures. I was right, but of course we still had a long way to walk and about 10 minutes before take-off. We made it.
The flight to Bakersfield is short, but it was also a bit bumpy. Lulled hubby to sleep. Were we ever glad to put feet down on California soil, find our car and head home.
Never again. Oh, don't get me wrong, we'll fly another day, just not go somewhere we have to change planes and airlines. I don't mind changing a couple of times, but this was a hard trip.
Back to Epicon--had a great time and kudos to the organizers. I know how hard that is to do from my work being program chair for the PSWA conference.
That's it for Epicon.