Empire Builder

Amtrak train (by skyler miller)
Amtrak train (by skyler miller)

I leave this evening for Madison, Wisconsin. I’ll be taking Amtrak’s Empire Builder train to Chicago, after which they’ll bus me to Madison. I have a flurry of last minute preparations to accomplish. I’m not freaking out over stuff to get done at the last minute, I’m just not the type who packs and gets everything ready a week in advance. Clean the cat box. Do a couple loads of laundry. Change my reservation to drop me at the right station in Madison (actually just finished that). Get some snacks. Pack.

The one thing I have done is pick out my reading material for the trip. My MP3 player is loaded up with audiobooks. I have four physical books I’m bringing with. I won’t read them all, but since my reading choices generally go with my mood I want options. However, I brought small paperbacks for space. Since I’m going to a literary convention, I suspect I’ll pick up a book or two while there.

The convention is Wiscon, a feminist science fiction convention. Although I’m a feminist, I don’t study feminism. I have no idea what kind of feminist I am, and I have no idea what kind of feminism predominates at the convention. (How very privileged of me to not have to declare!) So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’ll be enough that I find interesting.

I’m going because some of the most inventive science fiction and fantasy writers call themselves feminists, and I’m hoping to find undiscovered (by me) literature that doesn’t fit the mold. In particular, I’m looking forward to hearing Tiptree co-winner Nisi Shawl read.

Photo Amtrak train by skyler miller used under a Creative Commons By-Nc-Sa 2.0 license.