Not dead. Not carried off by the camelback crickets that insist on taking refuge on the ground level of our home (and some of them are HUGE this year!) Not king yet.
But, um, where did the past ten days go?
We had houseguests visiting from Canada — the charming Julie Czerneda (in the midst of her book launch tour for A PLAY OF SHADOW) and her husband, Roger. They arrived with flavored coffees (blueberry! maple!) in hand and a ***gorgeous*** matted photograph of a unicorn ice sculpture, taken by Roger himself. We enjoyed long conversations about writing, books, publishing, politics, music, travel, and I don’t know what else.
Julie and Roger were in town for the World Fantasy Convention, which took place in a hotel just a couple of miles from our house. I didn’t attend the con as a member (I’ve been publishing too little fantasy!), but I did hang out in the hotel lobby and bar for two days, visiting with friends and catching up with folks I haven’t seen in far too long. I also had a chance to meet some Book View Cafe members for the first time in person — I’d love to have a chance to visit each of our co-op members, because communicating face-to-face adds so much more to our online chats!
With Julie and Roger in tow, we went to hear Suzanne Vega play at a small venue in DC. Stranger to music that I am, I only knew a couple of her songs, but I loved her performance. Stevie Wonder was playing a huge arena show just a couple of blocks away, and I think we *totally* made the right choice for the evening
I’ve begun outlining my next book, JOY OF WITCHCRAFT, which will be the fifth Jane Madison book. I’m having a wonderful time getting back into Jane’s world. Poor librarian-witch! Nothing goes easily for her!
We went to an amazing Smithsonian lecture on Istanbul, taught by Nigel McGilchrist. Alas, I knew very little about Istanbul prior to the talk, but I learned a great deal of history (and some information about art and food and geology and, and, and, and…) One of the great things about Nigel’s lectures is his ability to fold together so many different disciplines as he speaks. His slides illustrate his points beautifully, and he speaks without notes, making everything feel very real and immediate. And now, alas, I have more travel destinations to add to my list
And I’ve been preparing for a writing retreat next week. I’ll be stealing away with Maria V. Snyder. We’re heading off to a state park, where we’ll rent a cabin (just as the first major blast of arctic air is set to hit the region!) I intend to get about a third of a novel written while I’m there — and to have great conversations about writing, publishing, etc. (Maria and I keep somewhat different schedules — I wake up early and go to bed before midnight; she wakes up after noon and works until the wee hours of the morning. That gives us both some “alone time” to get a lot of work done and some “social time” to talk. A great arrangement!) I’m generally very productive on retreats — I have to justify taking the time away from Mark and the cats!
So, that’s the past. And I’ll be scarce for the next week. But after that, I hope to be back in the usual swing of things!
What about you? How’s the autumn treating you? Tell me something wonderful about November!Read More