gnomi and I had a really good time at this year's Arisia. We were scheduled on many, many panels (seventeen between the two of us, but two of those we were on together so that made fifteen), and for the most part, they were fun and entertaining panels. (They were also the only programming that we made it to.) We never made it to the Dealer's Room or Art Show, sadly, but we had a good turnout for Nomi's birthday open house. (We've done that twice now; I think we're going to make it an annual Arisia tradition, given how close to the convention Nomi's birthday is. And I have no idea why we never thought of doing this before last year.) But the best part of the convention was getting to see friends. During the convention, we got to meet and spend time with the family of one good friend. And then Sunday night, we got to have dinner with two good friends and then go out for drinks with three other good friends. And, of course, we got to see so many friends passing in the hall, attending our panels, etc.
I also think I managed to pass out a bunch of free copies of "Paying It Forward" without being too obnoxious about it. I left one copy in the Green Room, and a fan/friend came up to me afterward and paid me a high compliment, telling me that the story had made her cry in a few places. I was extremely touched, and gratified that she would be willing to tell me. Stories get flung into the ether, and rarely does a writer find out the influence of his or her work. I'm glad this person made a point of telling me how much the story moved her.
One other cool note -- my older brother attended the convention. He's a science fiction fan whose work schedule limits his ability to attend cons, so he rarely makes it to Boskone, but he has made it to Arisia a few times. His presence made the con that much more fun, as I got to share my fannish world with him.
By the way, I imagine gnomi will be posting a longer trip report over the next few days. I'll make sure to link to it from here.