The Horror Writer's Association Stoker Weekend started yesterday morning, and we are having a great time. People are very friendly and it has the kind of pleasantly serious mellow vibe of World Fantasy Cons and Necons I remember from about 20 years ago. There are about 250 attendees and the hotel space has areas for easy gathering both inside and out.
First thing Friday morning, we checked out the pool.
We talked to Scott Edelman over breakfast, and then I hung out in the lobby meeting new people before opening ceremonies.
At opening ceremonies the guests were introduced, including my husband, David Hartwell, F. Paul Wilson, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
Afterwards, it was time for a glass of wine (Ron Larsen bought me a really nice glass of white wine) and I drew Quinn Yarbro outon the subject of how she came to be a shuttle bus driver for the 1968 WorldCon. (She'd seen a call for volunteers in IF.)
At 2PM, I was on an anthology panel moderated by Ellen Datlow with Bill Breedlove, RJ Cavender, Chad Helder, Stephen Jones, and Vince A. Liaguno. I've known Ellen and Steve for 20 years, but the rest I think I'd never met. It was a wide-ranging interesting discussion of anthologies and anthologists, one of the better panels I've been on on this subject in a number of years.
After that we headed for the Gauntlet Press Party, where Richard Matheson (in a wheel chair) and his son Richard Christian Matheson were to be found.
At the party, I had a long intense conversation with Alan Rodgers and Amy Sterling Casil (whom I hadn't seen in ages).
We had a quiet family dinner of comfort food in the hotel restaurant (by this time we were all quite exhausted). Then we took a nap for an hour, because tehre was more to come.
The Gory Ghoul Bar was the event the kids had most been looking forward to. The kids and I put on our costumes and David put on a David outfit (it involved a purple shirt and an yellow tie). There was loud ebullient rock and roll of fluctuating key performed by mostly costumed authors and publishers. My kids danced a lot, and I danced too, mostly to help keep little girls from skinning their knees or colliding with something.
F. Paul Wilson did a fine job of "I'm an All Right Guy" by Tom Snyder. Scott Edelman has posted the performance to YouTube. (My daughter Elizabeth is the dancer in the unicorn pegasus costume.)
Peter and I both won costume prizes. he won as Goriest Ghoul or most Horribly Horrible or something, and they made up a special category for me: Best Tim Burton movie refugee. I was wearing one of my mother's 1950s party dresses (carefully preserved by my grandmother, which I received as part of the settling of her estate in 2008) plus a black velvet hat.
I am looking forward to the Non-Fiction Horror panel this morning. So far, it seems a good time is being had by all.