Oh, and to wear some awesome 80s t-shirts.
Although I've made great strides in recovering my pre-pregnancy body, a lot of my usual tour dresses still don't fit. So, I decided to kick it Seth Mortensen style this weekend and wear 80s pop culture shirts, like the above "That's What She-Ra Said" one.
I wasn't at the con long enough to have many truly wacky experiences. I didn't even make it to some of the big parties. I did, however, make it to the giant book fair on Saturday, where I got to sign and meet awesome readers for three hours. It was great. I also got to meet childhood hero Francine Pascal, creator of Sweet Valley High:
If you grew up in the 80s, then you know what I'm talking about. If not, you can get recaps of all the Sweet Valley books here. I even brought books that Francine Pascal kindly signed, including Sweet Valley High #82, Kidnapped by the Cult, in which heroine Jesisca Wakefield gets involved with, well, a cult. And yup, I'm wearing a Jem and the Holograms shirt in that picture, in keeping with my 80s theme.
On Saturday, I discovered that the awesome people at Penguin put together this really cool poster showing a timeline of events from the VA series. These were given away at the teen party, and I got to sign a lot of them along with the books.
Despite all the amazing parties going on, I ended up spending a lot of my down time just hanging out with friends. On Saturday night, a bunch of us ended up getting room service and watching the hotel's ambient music channel. Yeah, you heard me. The hotel had an ambient music channel. It was all this synthy techno music paired with really surreal images, like so:
As you can see, we were kind of mesmerized.
When Sunday came, most people went home. Not me. Chicago is only a 20 minute flight from my hometown in Western Michigan. For various reasons, I've really needed to have a visit there, so I decided to hop on over...for the afternoon. I flew over, stayed for 6 hours, and then headed back to Chicago to catch a Seattle plane. At least, I tried to. When I was leaving Michigan, Chicago got hit by a line of bad storms, which more or less shut down the airport and created all sorts of delays for incoming and outgoing flights. Let me tell you, it's kind of terrifying landing in a thunderstorm in a regional jet (that's code for "really small plane"). After a lot of delays and me literally running through the airport to make a connection, I finally got on the plane taking me home to my husband and baby, whom I miss terribly. We're in the air as I type this, two hours behind schedule, meaning I have a late night ahead of me.
Despite the craziness, this was an otherwise great trip. It was wonderful to see people again and be out signing books. This was my first trip away from the baby, so it was really tough in a lot of ways, but hopefully I can find a way to balance it all in the future. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to see me in Chicago. You made my return to signing an awesome time!
Note: the She-Ra and Jem shirts came from 80stees.com.