Gareth from Shamrokon met us at baggage claim, and loaded us into his car for the first of our odd transits. See, Sheila—my editor—and Betsy—my publisher—had both come to Dublin, and Thursday night was the only night that was really good for us to have dinner together. So Amy and I needed to be dropped off at the restaurant, while he took our luggage on to the hotel. Good thing he's a good sport! We wound up in a Michelin-starred French restaurant attached to their hotel, where we spent four and a half hours eating, drinking, talking, and enjoying cheese. So much cheese. It was a really divine dinner, and I completely understand why people make such a big deal about the place.
So much cheese.
Friday kicked off the convention. I had a panel with Tim Griffin and Jordan Kare, during which we talked about filk and how to be comfortable in the filk community; Kathy Mar attended, as did Teddy and Tom, and we had a lovely time making them do the heavy lifting for us. After that was opening ceremonies, and then, concert prep!
Yes, we did a concert, largely due to the tireless efforts and incredible talents of Dr. Mary Crowell, who herded all the cats so that I could look good. She is amazing. My band consisted of her, Amy McNally, and the Suttons, and everyone was splendid. We did basically the same set as Loncon, which was fine, because there wasn't that much audience overlap between the two cons, and it was really lovely. Brenda sang my part on "Wicked Girls," while I sang Vixy's, and a good time was had by all.
The next item was "In Conversation With Seanan McGuire," the solo version of the panel I like to do with Cat, where I will answer everything I am asked. We ran about ninety minutes over, and it was beautiful. Some very serious topics were discussed, like depression and OCD and the difficulty of talking about feeling suicidal. (One well-meaning man asked "Well, have you tried being sad without hurting yourself?", and while I hate the question, it opened the door for some very good discussion.) It was uncomfortable but important, and no one left the room, so I'm calling it a win.
Saturday, I had my Guest of Honor interview, with Janet as my interviewer, who had smartly brought Kinder Eggs. Every time she felt I'd answered a question sufficiently, I got chocolate. A+ interviewing technique, would be interviewed again. My panel on pseudonyms went well, and ended early enough that Amy and I were able to go out and grab dinner before the Doctor Who season premiere at eight, or the filk jam at nine.
I did not stay up to close out the jam. I am weak.
Sunday, I signed stuff; talked about zombies with great enthusiasm; and talked about toys with equally great enthusiasm. Then we closed the con, and I darted off with Amy and Wes to join the fabulous dinner already beginning at the Winding Stair, where the food was traditional and delicious.
Monday was the off-site Dead Dog at the Porterhouse downtown, and Wes and Mary and I had a lovely time, after bidding our beloved friends adieu. We swung by the nearby bookstore, which had my picture in the window, and bought books, before handing me off to the con chair, James, to go back to his place for a week's Irish tourism.
On the whole, Shamrokon was absolutely lovely. A good con, well-run, by extremely friendly people. Would guest again.
Next up, IRELAND.