I remember what I did on Thursday for lunch! I had lunch with an editor!

A couple years ago, at Worldcon 75, I got to go to the Hugo Loser’s Party, and I was going around taking pictures of the winners in their silly hats. A Tor editor who was following the party on Twitter asked if I could get a picture of her colleague who’d won, so I went and found the winner, asked if I could take and post her picture, and within about 10 minutes of the request, had done so. Beth said “It’s almost as good as being there!”, and we’ve been friends on FB & Twitter the past couple years. So I felt like getting to have lunch with her at Dublin 2019 was the whole thing coming full circle, which genuinely delighted me. We had a wonderful chat, and I’m so happy to have met her.

Friday morning we had the Word War Meetup, which was an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THING FOR ME! Ten years ago I started this war room to get a book done, and I hoped it would last 6 months, and we had our TENTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY at Worldcon!!! Like whaaaaaat! So that was pretty amazing, and we had a dozen warriors there at the peak, and…yeah. That was great. :)

My Friday morning panel was “Which comic was your manual?”, on which I saw Paul Cornell for the first time in YEARS, which was wonderful. It was being moderated by an Irish friend, Paul Carroll, and the other person on it was (*wheezes*) Sana Takeda, the Hugo-award-winning artist for Marjorie Liu’s MONSTRESS, which is a lovely dark monster story with the most gorgeous art possible. And Sana turns out to be THE. MOST. LOVELY. PERSON. EVER., so I was quite star-struck, honestly. :) We had a great time on the panel (the short answer for me, for the main question, is “Elfquest”, if you’re interested), and I was really happy to be there.

I think I was perishing after that and snuck off–yes, I did. Snuck off for lunch on my own, and saw Aliette and Michelle at lunch but didn’t join them, as they were near the end of the meal as I was sitting down. I have some regrets about that, ’cause I basically never saw either of them again! I snuck back to hand out some fudge, and–oh, Friday was when I met David Coe, in an exchange that went like this:

Me, recognizing him at a bellow: DAVID COE!!!
David: Catie Murphy!!!
[We embrace]
Me: I have to go!
David: I get that a lot.

I *did* have to leave–it was my turn to bring Indy home from his morning at the con–but I’ve known David for, IDK, 10? 15? years, and we’d never met in real life before, so that was very funny and fun and terrific even if I heartlessly abandoned him ten seconds after meeting him the first time. :)

Early Friday evening was my book signing, and honestly, I went up there and there was a line and I thought “Oh, I wonder who that’s for!”

It was for me. O.O

(Ted, who had come up the other way, saw the line, and thought, “Oh, I wonder who that’s for! OMG! It’s for Catie!” #laughs)

It was great fun! There were quite a few people, and I chatted with most of them briefly, and some of them, upon learning there were books down in the dealer’s room, went away and came back again with more or new things for me to sign, BUT THE FUNNIEST BIT!!!

I’d signed for two or three people, and then I looked up and FAITH HUNTER was standing there! She had been HIDING from me (and she’s pretty small, so she could!). As with David, I’ve known Faith for a very long time but never actually met her, and apparently she’d been actually hiding behind people so I couldn’t possibly see her as I approached the table and sat down, and then she’d STAYED hiding behind them as the line moved forward, and I had genuinely never even gotten a glimpse of her until suddenly THERE SHE WAS!!!! So we shrieked and hugged and laughed and it was WONDERFUL!!! I love my friends! They’re so silly and splendid!!!

So the signing went really well, and we had a great time, and post-signing I had dinner plans with Ted and my friend Kate Larking and Glynn Stewart and Jack who is married to Glynn but may have a different surname, IDR, and also ‘my’ Kate, Irish Kate, so between the 3 of us (I’m largely called Cate in Ireland), there weren’t many names to remember but it wasn’t necessarily easy to tell who you were talking to. :) It was a *very* interesting dinner in business terms and just a straight-up lot of fun in general. I was really pleased to meet Glynn and Jack, both of whom I’ve talked with online, and feel like I’ve made some new friends there. ♥

And then, in what became a weekend theme, I just, like, y’know. Went home and after a while went to sleep. :)

After years of preparation, Worldcon was held in Dublin this week, for the first time ever. A month ago I was, I confess, pretty exhausted by the very idea of it, even knowing that I tend to dread, rather than anticipate, big events. By a couple of weeks ago, though, my friends feeds were starting to fill up with variations on “Ireland, I am in you!” and I was starting to get pretty excited about the whole shebang.

I’d been claiming it was CatieCon, and while I *guess* there was maybe an AWFUL LOT going on that didn’t revolve around me, I honestly had an utterly terrific convention. The entire week seemed to revolve around shrieking gleefully at seeing someone, exchanging hugs, managing somewhere between 1/3rd of a sentence and 1/3rd of a conversation, and then seeing someone else and the whole cycle starting over again. I saw–oh, I don’t even remember. Anna and Rowan and Gideon and Peter and Michael and Leony and MY FRIEND ROBIN WHOM I HADN’T SEEN IN LIKE IDK 15 YEARS!??!?! and Mikaela and Lithera and Kris and just everybody and that was just day one and it was amazing!

I had LISTS of things I wanted to go to, and…well, I made it to Diane Duane’s GOH interview, which was more than I’ve done at a convention in years, so I’ll take it. :)

I was on eight different programme items, which, actually, over 5 days, isn’t at all bad. The Thursday I had a morning panel about anti-heroes in comics, which my dear friend Michael Carroll was also on, so we were bound to have a good time. And we did, with the panel going very well and the audience, I hope, as entertained as we were. :)

Most of the afternoon revolved around–in fact of most of *the* afternoons revolved around–squealing happily at seeing people and handing out fudge. I believe I ate. *nods solemnly* (Not fudge, though. :))

That evening I had a reading, and the truth is that you really sort of never know how many people are going to show up to those kinds of things and you basically just hope the audience outnumbers the panelists (or the reader, in this case). But to my surprise and delight I had, IDK, 25-30 people? IDK. One two three many people. :) I read from REDEEMER, and my friend Kate, who has both read the book *and* heard me do that reading before, said she got chills at the end of the chapter, so I think I have to call that a proper success. ♥

I left comparatively early almost every night of the con, although I still managed to not get to bed before 11:30 any given night. But it was good and smart of me to head home anyway, even if people made Disappointed Faces at me. :)

These, like every other molasses cookie I’ve ever had, are incredibly addictive, and are a family favorite that I don’t make all that often because (I realized as I was making them) the dough isn’t nearly as good to eat raw as chocolate chip cookie dough is. :)

Raisin Bar Cookies
3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c molasses
3 3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
1 c raisins
1 c powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp water

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs & beat thoroughly. Add vanilla & molasses & beat thoroughly. Mix in dry ingredients & stir in raisins.

Spread the dough evenly on a GREASED 10×15″ baking sheet, or 2 smaller ones.

Bake 12-15 minutes at 350°F.

Allow to cool in-pan for several minutes, but not entirely. Mix powdered sugar & water into a thin, but not watery, icing. Spread on warm cookies, allow to cool completely, & cut into bars.

Chef’s Notes:
1. I use a pretty generous cup of raisins, if you wanna know the truth.

2. These are easy to both under-bake and over-bake and neither is nearly as nice as Just Right (I feel other cookies have more wiggle room in that regard, but not these ones). Keep an eye on ’em.

3. Long experience tells me that a silicone baking brush is best for spreading the icing over these things, so if you’ve got one, use that.

Here are the formal (and some less formal, but already-booked) places I’ll be for Worldcon 2019 in Dublin! YAY!

The popularity of Anti-Heroes in Comics
Format: Panel
15 Aug 2019, Thursday 11:30 – 12:20, Odeon 3 (Point Square Dublin)
Deadpool, Harley Quinn, The Punisher, Ghost Rider: in many ways insane, evil individuals – hardly what we would call heroes! And yet they are some of the most popular and interesting comics characters around! Are they better-written characters (and if so, why)? Do readers, and creators, need a counterpoint to all the feats of noble heroism to which action heroes are typically inspired.

Reading: C. E. Murphy
Format: Reading
15 Aug 2019, Thursday 19:30 – 19:50, Liffey Room-2 (CCD)

War Room Meetup
Format: SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!
16 Aug 2019, Friday 09:00 – 12:00

Which Comic Was Your Manual?
Format: Panel
16 Aug 2019, Friday 15:30 – 16:20, Odeon 2 (Point Square Dublin)
We ask our panel of comics professionals what comics,  graphic novels, and series they regularly use as reference and for inspiration. Who do they personally consider to be the comic book greats and why? And are these works useful to everyone, or just to comic creators?

Autographs: Friday at 17:00
Format: Autographing
16 Aug 2019, Friday 17:00 – 17:50, Level 4 Foyer (CCD)

Comic art: a buyer’s market
Format: Panel
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 11:30 – 12:20, Alhambra (Point Square Dublin)
There are far more artists trying to get into mainstream comics than there is work for them to do. This means that firms always have the advantage when they’re dealing with new artists. What are the less obvious areas where it’s possible to find comics work, and how do you avoid being taken for a ride?

Saturday Night Dinner
booked :)

Fantasies of Irish emigration
Format: Panel
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 12:00 – 12:50, Wicklow Room-2 (CCD)
Urban fantasy abounds with characters from Irish mythology and folklore, but most of these stories are set in London or America rather than Ireland itself. The panel will examine the influence of Irish culture on urban fantasy and the abiding popularity of Irish mythology across the diaspora.

Trailblazer: Anne McCaffrey’s legacy and legend
Format: Panel
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 17:00 – 17:50, Wicklow Hall-1 (CCD)
Dragons and genetic engineering, psychics and aliens, opera and communication crystals, and even a unicorn girl: Anne McCaffrey’s books were as unique as the woman herself. Join us for a celebration of the first woman to ever win a Hugo Award for fiction and a Nebula Award.

Kaffeeklatsch: C. E. Murphy
Format: Kaffeeklatsch
19 Aug 2019, Monday 10:00 – 10:50, Level 3 Foyer (KK/LB) (CCD)

It wasn’t exactly a conundrum, really, but I couldn’t think of a word that started with ‘c’, meant ‘mistake’, and wasn’t profane. :)

I want you all to understand that I went into this will full knowledge and aforethought and the expectation that I would throw my back out.

My son has been practicing his cartwheels, and can’t quite get the speed he needs to get his feet all the way up over his head. After trying to walk him through it several times, and mentioning that I needed to get my sister over to help him, I thought, well, I’ve got an appointment with my PT next Friday anyway, she can fix whatever damage I’ve done then.

Friends, I did four cartwheels, and to my absolute delight, my back was fine! Who knew!? It was a wonder!

Two days later I went to a movie, and, mindful of the way my right knee had pinched up a while back, sat with my left knee crossed over my right for much of the film.

The next morning my left knee was a stabby focus of sharp pain, and remained so. Honestly, I couldn’t really figure out what had happened to it.

Until about three days after THAT, when I realized that I was paying for my cartwheel sins, and probably also for how I’d sat at the movie theatre.

That was a damn month ago.

I stayed off my feet as much as was parentally possible for three weeks. I took taxis everywhere because the walk between bus stops was Bad For Me. My knee slowly improved, to the point where I knew I had to be EXTRA careful ALL the time because it felt well enough to use pretty normally but I was CLEARLY going to re-injure it with the slightest provocation.

After 3 weeks, I made the cardinal error of turning around, and my knee went SACCALAGLHGALALLALALGHHHHH and I spent the next three days trying to stay off my feet and encountering shooting pains when I didn’t.

On the fourth day it made a leap forward and stopped hurting when I walked. I continued to stay off my feet. (We had guests during this week. I was a GREAT host, yeah. ‘Hi, lovely to see you, I’ll be staying here with my leg up on the couch while you go do whatever, bye’.) I am STILL staying off my feet as much as possible.

This is very tedious, but better than re-injuring my damn knee.

Somehow, though, peoples’ sympathy seems to evaporate when they hear that I hurt myself doing cartwheels…