Heading home, and not too soon. The last three nights I’ve been unable to get to bed ‘early’ and it’s getting ridiculous how little sleep I’ve gotten each night. On top of which, I’ve watched a lot of TV. My brain is buzzing.

Let me say, btw, that DTW has the WORST security checkpoints – not because they aren’t doing their job, but because the layout is seriously insufficient for the traffic volume. I got to the airport at 6:45, and spent nearly 30 in the checkpoint line. There were literally hundreds of people in line, and it’s the worst I’ve seen since the just-post-9/11 days. 

I’m glad to be going home. Despite being tired, I feel rejuvenated . . . ready to get back into my passion (writing and speaking). I even have some new ideas for future presentations.

What a great pagan convention! This group is very well organized, the people are magnificent, and the hotel is nice, too.

Despite a mind-numbingly long travel day on the 22nd, I managed to find my way to the Hilton Detroit (Troy) fairly easily, although driving in the dark without glasses was quite tough — and I got lost and had to call the hotel a couple of times for directions (both times I was within 2 miles — embarrassing!). My room was very nice — king bed, cozy down blanket, and a really good (fast!) room service brought me an excellent hamburger and a glass of wine.Sadly, I was so tired, I was wired, and it wasn’t until 2am before I could fall asleep.

My first presentation was at 11:30am (MGD) and I was more than a little worried because the funny (and excellent) Dorothy Morrison was speaking next door. Nonetheless, I had 20 people there to hear me talk about the 3 Cs that cause dissension within groups. It was an excellent crowd, too. Lots of examples supporting my points, good conversation and information sharing as well. The one disconcerting note was the laughter from Ms. Morrison’s talk next door, punctuating our more serious discussion oddly. One of the best talks I’ve given, ever. Most of them followed me to my book signing at 1pm and I basically sold out. I even need to mail one person a copy because I needed to keep one of each to display at my next two presentations.

I left the signing a bit early to take a water break and get set up for my Creating Community in Cyberspace talk. Sadly, only 6 people. (I keep telling organizers that people *say* they want to hear about this, but never actually go to my talks.) But they were interesting folks with a nice disparity of backgrounds and experiences.  I almost ran over my allotted time, in fact. Nice to be able to do that with such a small group.

I was pleased to see a couple of offerings at 4pm, specifically “When Love is Gone: Divorce in the Pagan Community” and “Coven Craft,” the latter which is for those who are considering starting a coven, as well as the Candy Ritual for kids.

* * * A note on that: this is a VERY kid friendly convention. There were constant events and workshops for kids that I thought were well-thought-out, education, and interesting. Everytiem I saw children, they were in a group, with a tween or teen in attendance to wrangle them, and it was something the organizers CLEARLY had put thought into.

The classes I missed on Th and Fri (I couldn’t take *that* much time off of work) were: Morrison & Sellars’ Wingnuts, Bobbleheads, and Unconscious Magick; The Magickal Essenc: Oil Crafting; Sheya Temple (Shamanic self-Transformation); Interconnectedness: The Soul of the Web; Give a Reading, Get a Reading; and Jupiter/Saturn Dynamic Pattern.

Sunday morning I slept late and had to hurry to pack a bit and get to my 9:30 talk: Life Cycle of the Magickal Group. Only four people, but it looked like all the talks were small. I guess the Saturday night festivities were a tad too rambunctious! No matter. We had a great conversation and shared valuable insight with one another.

This is a con I will be attending next year — and I’ve told Daystar that it’s important enough that he attend that I will pay for his room. Yes, I’ve got money on the line. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

It’s Feb 22nd and I’m on my way to Detroit (via Chicago) to speak at Convocation. The travel (as is typical) will take pretty much the entire day – a day that started at 4:30am when I woke up, even though I’d forgotten to set the alarm. (It’s a scary power I have). So now I’m in United’s Economy Plus, having failed to get the upgrade I paid 15k points for – and yes, I’ll be asking for a refund. Spending that much (1 point = $1 or 1 mile flown) for 1st class for an hour (Chicago to Detroit) is just not worth it.

I’m quite excited by this event – and also thrilled to see that they are already advertising (and requesting teaching submissions) for the 2009 event. Theme? The Devil (this year it’s Temperance). I am doing three presentations: Life Cycle, MGD, and Creating Community in Cyberspace. The last one is ‘new’ and I hope the presentation I put together goes over well. Of course, I also hope that people will attend. If it doesn’t go well, I’m going to have to stop doing these presentations – it’s too expensive, both financially and in terms of my time and energy.

I have high hopes, however.

A bit of a silly moment here, but I just have to say how much I love my polar fleece slippers. I’d asked for a pair for the holidays, and my mother came through with flying colors from Lands End. These are great and I highly recommend them – especially for flying! They are warm (being fleece) and there’s a stretchy piece on the sides that makes them really easy to get in and out of (perfect for the security lines). The liner is removable, and washable (great for longevity). Can you tell that I really really like them?

Thought so.

Sadly, although I was accepted to speak (“Magickal Group Dynamics”) at Pantheacon this year, I will not be able to present. You see, they couldn’t give me an acceptable time slot although I was able to speak at any time slot on Sunday or Monday, except 9am. Why not 9am? Simply because the first flight out of Seattle into San Jose arrives at 8:50am. So if there are NO delays (unlikely, given that it is winter, and Mercury is retrograde) I would at least be late by about 15 minutes to my own presentation. Why not stay over the night before? Because I can barely afford the $200 for the flight, but adding another $200 for a room and dinner is beyond my means.

I’m pretty sad about it — I like PCon, and there are a number of people I enjoying hanging out with who are going to be there, not to mention bunches of my fellow writers.  But I could only ask for a reasonable accommodation and apparently it couldn’t be granted.