I was directly asked last night by someone at my DC appearance whether or not I was going to be at the Nebula Awards Weekend this weekend in New York City. I was mildly surprised about the question because I thought I had already written about it here. But I suppose I haven’t, so, just to clear things up:
No, I’m not attending the Nebula Awards Weekend this year.
The reason: Folks, I haven’t seen my family in almost three weeks. I want to be with them.
To expand on this slightly: If I were to attend the Nebula Awards Weekend, it would entail me flying home tomorrow, spending something less than a full day with my wife and child, and then heading out to NYC for three days. At this point, showing up at home just to leave again immediately has almost exactly zero appeal to me. The alternate plan (going to NYC with wife and child in tow) has only marginally more appeal, and still not very much, because ultimately my focus while I was in NYC would be on things other than my family. I’ve got a careerist streak in me, to be sure, but it only extends so far. What I really want to do now is go home, see my family and have a few days where I don’t have to go anywhere, see anyone else, or be on “schmooze” mode. I’m having a great time doing all those things, but at this point, I’m also looking forward to not doing them.
Will I feel foolish if I win the SFWA presidency and I’m not at the business meeting to accept? Not really. Trust me, if I’ve won the presidency, SFWA will know rather quickly that I have no intention of being an absentee president. My physical absence at the Nebula Awards Weekend will not be an indicator of future results. And in any event, I’m not persuaded by an argument that I will make a great impression as the incoming SFWA president if I show up for the weekend both fatigued and wishing I were home.
I made this decision a couple days into the tour, actually; before then I had reserved my rooms for the Nebula Weekend and had lined up the American Express points for a free NYC trip and was definitely going. Then after three or so days on tour I realized just how tiring touring was, and also just how much I was already missing Krissy and Athena. And — just as I now laugh at the idea I was actually going to get any novel writing done while I was on the road — I realized the folly of thinking that popping in at home after three weeks and then popping off to somewhere else was a viable idea. Regardless of whether I won or lost the election, I was going to be at home for the announcement.
As for the people who think I ought to be at the Nebula Awards Weekend after three weeks on the road, rather than with my family, and would think poorly of me because of it: Well, I guess those people can just kiss my ass. I know where I ought to be this weekend, and it’s with the people I love and miss and can’t wait to see.
I do wish the Nebula Awards Weekend was not so hard by the end of my tour, to be sure. But this is how it turned out, and this is the decision I’ve made, and it’s the right one for me. I hope everyone has fun at the Nebulas without me.