I am home again, thank the grim green gardening gods, and should remain home until sometime in late August. Nearly two months of being in my usual routine, and lord, do I need it. All that travel was awesome and I hung out with wonderful people and saw glorious sights and had a great deal of fun—but at the end of the day, I need a lot of time to recharge and garden and also to finish 160+ Dragonbreath illustrations, which will not draw themselves.

I’m tired. I’m…humbled, honestly. I know that sounds weird and cliche, but at Anthrocon, people kept coming up to me and saying “Congratulations!” (on the wedding, on the Hugo, on the Kickstarter) and I kept thinking “Good lord! How did I get to know all these cool people? How is it that they know I exist and care what becomes of me? Why do they keep giving me bottles of wine and painted plates and naughty stained glass? What did I do to deserve so many friends?”

(Very little, of course, beyond babbling about wombats and lawn crayfish.  But as I am slowly learning, the glorious thing about life is how often we do get things we don’t deserve.)

(Honestly, it’s not low self-esteem, I swear, it’s just that I keep thinking that I haven’t spent nearly enough time with these people for them to give a rat’s ass about me. I forget that the internet sometimes means that people spend time with you even if you’re not in the room.)

Anyway. I’m sounding like a maudlin drunk here, and I’m not even a half-inch into my Limoncello. So, onward! It was a pretty good con, better than last year—prints kept selling, which was surprising, and jumbo prints kept selling, which is quite unusual. (I was this close to just phasing them out at cons.) Old art, too, which is unusual—stuff that’s been there for two or three years and suddenly I was selling out of it. Art show was generally slow, but I did pretty well for having not-very-many medium sized pieces (those tend to be where the bulk of money is) and the stuff I brought home, I wanted for the October gallery show anyway.

Kevin has been thoroughly assimilated by Security and is now being Mostly Patient Bald Man for them, meaning that I relied very heavily on Taliabear at the table. (And if you come next year, let me know and I shall draft you as my dealer’s assistant and pay for your membership!)

It was good to see all my artist friends again, all of whom seem to be still themselves, only moreso. I got some very snazzy art, including two masks sculpted by Missmonster and painted up by Sigilgoat.

No significant table weirdos. Did get one guy who began flipping through the print book and telling me how the goal of the environmental movement was to kill all us pissants and leave the world for the elite. Did I know that at least one English lord was an environmentalist? It wasn’t because he cared about the planet, no sir, he just wanted his ancient prerogatives back!

Partway through this screed I became very interested in the sketchbook I was working on. (I did briefly consider saying “Actually, I’m planning to be one of the elite survivors, thanks,” but that seemed like it would prolong the situation.)

I also—I will now shamefully confess—for the very first time, used the Hugo thing to win an argument. I am somewhat ashamed, as this is frankly a dick move, but I still feel a sneaking justification.

So I was at the table and a guy comes up in his…mid-to-late twenties? Hard to tell with some people. Dude studies the Biting Pear intently for a minute.

DUDE: So how does it feel to know that’s the most famous thing you’ll ever do?

ME: Uh….

DUDE: Like, no matter what you do, that piece will be seen by more people than anything else, ever?

ME: Err….

DUDE: For the rest of your life!

ME: Well….

DUDE: To know that that pear is what you’ll be remembered by, forever?

ME: Actually, my comic won a Hugo.

(Strangely, that ended the conversation.)

It was a dick move. I acknowledge that. Doubtless I shall regret it later. But I confess, I’m having a hard time summoning up much remorse.

Anyway, it was great to see everybody, I love you all, and now my Limoncello and I are going to take a hot bath and then perhaps I shall play a little Civ 5 and contemplate that life is sometimes glorious and sometimes strange and very much worth sticking around for.

Tomorrow, I tackle the weeds.

  • reply tanita ,

    *snort*
    bwahahahahahaHA!
    Oh, that dick move you are very much allowed. Wanker. What was he THINKING?! As long as there’s life, there’s art. Who knows what else you’ll do?

    Again, I say: WANKER.

    • reply JenX ,

      Um, no – you answered a *jerk* questioning your credibility with evidence of your ability. *His* was the dick move. I swear, the more often rude people get reminded that they’ve been rude, the less often it happens.

      • reply Valerie Kaplan ,

        I agree with the previous commenters; the Hugo remark was perfectly justified and appropriate in context.

        • reply Mean Waffle ,

          Oh, he was begging for that reply. It was truly a thing of beauty. If you had let that setup hang, the gods of comedy would have been displeased.

          Good to hear that the art sold well, that the crazies mostly kept their distance, and that the limoncello got a good hot bath. It probably deserved it.

          • reply Wolf Lahti ,

            Regarding online “friends”, the Internet imposes an odd sort of intimacy, or rather it gives the feeling of such. I have left many comments on various blog postings (some of which you’ve even responded to), and since I’m pretty sure we’ve been to some of the same cons, I’ve probably even spoken with you, albeit briefly. (I tend not to say much when all I have to offer as my half of the conversation is what you’ve no doubt heard three trillion times form other fans.)

            These effervescent contacts make me feel as though we are friends, though I know they do not qualify as such. They don’t begin to justify the sort of chummy expectations that genuine friendship bestows. Through your comics, illustrations, stories, and blog postings, I feel like you’ve let me into your life, but I know better. And even though I know better, I have to remind myself to rein back and not intrude.

            —Which makes me sound more than a little bit like a reluctant stalker, which was not my intent.

            • reply Liddle-Oldman ,

              That last guy was trying to feel superior by making you feel bad. *Whacking* him with the Hugo would be a good idea. Simply citing it to prove him wrong, when he was being rude, irresponsible, and a snot, was well within the acceptable social rules.

              If you ask me, which no one did. 🙂

              • reply The_Rippy_One ,

                Just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on hitting all the stretch goals. I’m going to really enjoy reading along to your commentary!

                • reply Steve Simmons ,

                  When someone stands in front of you and insults your future potential *four freaking times*, a simple factual statement indicating his is already wrong is not a dick move. It was significantly less than what he deserved, but you kept it to the simple facts. Onward.

                  And yeah, we in security are ever-pleased with your continued popularity. Not only is it wonderful to see good things happening to good people, but it means we feel reduced guilt about borrowing the bald guy. We promise to give him back after every con.

                  • reply Channy ,

                    He was just fishing for an argument, and you won. Wouldn’t feel bad about it if I were you.

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