The plan was to sleep for as close to 12 hours as possible, to reset my brain for local time. My brain, as usual, had plans of its own. I woke up after about four hours, and before I fully realized what was happening, I'd solved a fairly major story problem on this project I've been stalled on for months.
I got out of bed, wrote down everything I could, hoped it would make sense to me when I woke up for real, and went back to sleep. About 8 hours later, I woke up and felt great. It was just after 9am local time. I hopped out of bed, and while I made my coffee, I checked my notes from the middle of the night. They all made sense, and now it's just a matter of time before HOUSE OF CARDS is written.
My first day at FedCon was a lot of fun. We did a press conference in the morning, which was pretty much everyone who was not named Richard Dean Anderson listen to Richard Dean Anderson take questions about Stargate, which is incredibly popular here. I sat next to RDA, which is what I figured out his friends call him, and I was quite impressed with his humor and intellect.
After the press conference, I ate lunch with Marina Sirtis, Kates Vernon and Hewlett, and Paul McGillon. I caught Marina up on the last ten years or so, and made new friends. It was awesome.
I had a break after lunch, so I came back to my hotel room and did some writing and Redditing before going back downstairs for my first photo session. The photo sessions are a little unsatisfying to me, because I always want to talk to everyone, but can't because the line just has to keep moving. I did my best to share at least a few words with everyone, though, and I think the fans I took pictures with all had a good time. At one point, the photographer was saying something in German over and over again to a girl who was posing with me. She said to me, softly, "I don't understand what he wants me to do!" She had a Scottish accent. I resisted the urge to say "Come along, Pond," and just shrugged. "Neither do I," I said. One of the photographer's assistants heard us and said to him, "English!" Everyone laughed, and he told her that he was trying to get her to tilt her chin down, so her glasses didn't reflect the flash.
When my photo session was over, I did my first Q&A in the main ballroom. It was more heavily-attended than I expected, considering that it was 9pm on a Thursday night, and I guess there were about a thousand people who were just awesome. I got a standing ovation when I came out! I told them that Anne asked me if I was going to learn German before I came here. I said that I wasn't going to try, because I didn't think I'd learn enough to be useful, and it would take valuable time away from playing Portal 2. I said that it wasn't that important, though, because we'd all be conversing in the universal language of nerds this weekend. For the rest of the hour, that's what we did. I had a great time, even though I was way out of my comfort zone just answering questions instead of performing something from one of my books. I haven't done that at a Trek con in over ten years, and I didn't know if I'd be able to not suck, but it was like riding a bike, and I left the stage feeling like I'd entertained everyone there, and made it worth their time to see me.
When I was all done, I went to the bar downstairs with Garret Wang and got a local Alt Bier, which is a darkish beer that's not as hoppy as what I usually drink, but is the local specialty. While Garret and I traded "We worked on Star Trek" stories, a DJ played incredibly loud American rock music. It was delightfully surreal to hear about two hundred Germans singing along in accented English with KISS, while colored lights flashed along the walls and ceiling.
I fell asleep listening the the FAX compilation on my iPad, and had dreams that I was a super hero who could fly.