As I write this, I am finally home and very bleary, not having been able to sleep for days due to partying, caffeinating, aviating, and general keyed-up excitement.
I did not expect to win this Nebula, Best Novella for "Fountain of Age." I genuinely did not. But it happened.
The Nebula banquet was very well-run this year. During the pre-ceremony cocktail party, I met Michael Chabon, who is unpretentious and charming, even in the always difficult position of both being a celebrity and not knowing anyone at the party. Once we all filed in to the banquet room and sat down, Joe R. Lansdale, toastmaster, kept the audience roaring with Texas tall tales. That man can really spin 'em. John Moore, emcee, was his usual elegant self in black tie.
Ardath Mayhar, author emeritus, gave a warm, homespun speech, the only literary acceptance speech I have ever heard that featured much discussion of compost toilets. Michael Moorcock, accepting his Grand Master Award, recapped the history of SF, especially the changes brought about by the New Wave. Michael Chabon, winning for Best Novel, said that he had read SF as a boy, loved it, and in writing The Yiddish Policeman's Union, "I am coming home." (I have not yet figured out how to insert pictures in my blog, but here is the URL for one of me and Chabon, courtesy of Mary Turzillo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/katiecowden/2445604067/in/ set-72157604761416813/
I had not prepared a speech. But I had a secret weapon: the black lace handkerchief. Sheila Williams had given me this object over twenty years ago, to sob into gently when I lost a Nebula that I was then nominated for, and I have carried it to every Nebula since. So I carried it up to the dais and talked about that. Sheila was having a very good night: Karen Fowler's "Always," also published in Asimov's, won for Best Short Story. Sheila sat at the Asimov's table between me and Karen, exclaiming, "My girls!" We felt like preppies with a happy headmistress.
The other winners were Ted Chiang, Best Novelette for "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," Guillermo del Toro for Best Script for Pan's Labyrinth, and J.K. Rowling for the Andre Norton Award for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. None of the three were present to accept in person.
At the post-awards party, I played pool against Kamela Dolinova, possibly the worst pool match ever played in public. I lost, despite being ably coached by both Jack Skillingstead and Steve Gould. Nothing can make a klutzy, drunk, elated Nebula winner perform a decent bank shot.
The next morning, after a too-early breakfast, I got the shuttle to the airport, riding with Barry and Jean Longyear. We discussed movies. Barry said that when he first saw the script for Enemy Mine, made from his award-winning novella, he offered to write the movie company a different script for free if they would only not film that one. They declined.
Flight to Atlanta, six-hour layover in the airport -- yes, six hours -- then home just before midnight. And here I am up at 7:00 a.m., blogging. (why?) The Nebula is being shipped, a lovely service on the part of the Austin committee that saves juggling one more thing on an airplane.
I leave this morning to visit family -- bad, inescapable timing -- and will resume blogging on Thursday. Meanwhile, thanks to all who sent congratulations.