I’m writing from an extended stay hotel on the outskirts of Madison, WI. Clouds are beginning to clog the sky, but I am happy, happy, happy. I’ve just completed another WisCon, the premier convention of the feminist science fiction and fantasy community.
Every other year when the con ended, and my temporary tribe broke apart, so did my heart. It hurt to feel us scatter, each to her or his destination, so that once again we would be separated by hours or days of travel we could not afford to undertake. With the breaking of WisCon came the breaking of a spell: No more ecstatic conversations at 1 in the morning. No more solid sense of coming home to people who finally, blessedly understood me. No more exaltation of writing and the need to comprehend and tell the stories of our limping, absurd human existence.
This year, though, instead of tottering back to Lawrence, KS, and a bereaved exile, I’ve stayed. With three friends, I’ve adjourned to a nearby hotel to write. I have time to take a breath, (sleep!) write and think, but the conversations continue. The feeling that we share a mission continues. The feeling that I really am not alone continues.
Thank you, Nancy Jane and Therese, for setting up the retreat and nagging me to come. I am in your debt.