Oct 31 2019

Somehow still trying to catch up


Summer and Autumn have been unusually busy for me — a lot more chunks of travel than I generally do in so short a time.  I seem to be having a lot of trouble getting my feet back under me…

I’m one of those introverts who can happily operate as an extrovert — for a limited period of time.   But after a certain point, I need to go off, be alone, and sort reassemble my personality.  But by stacking up my social interactions this closely, it looks like the down-times between events just aren’t enough.  I’ve basically overloaded my central processor and am operating at a decidedly sub-0ptimal clock speed.

But everything I was doing was so very interesting!  Couldn’t miss out on any of it, right?

Well.  One more spate of socializing, and I’ll basically hunker down for the rest of November.

November is National Novel Writing Month (AKA NaNoWriMo), and no, I’m not planning to sign up for that.   But what I will do is take the month of November off from working on Book 5 (and/or Book 6, and/or the linked &YA novel), and work on a completely unrelated short-ish story.  Because I need to think about something else for a while!   Something with a definite endpoint.  I’ve been banging my head against the issues in Books 5 and 6, I seem to be going in circles.  Clearly, I need to step away for a bit.  November sounds good for that.  Plus: hey, short story!  Well, short-ish.

I generally forego big Thanksgiving holiday trips and extended visits, so November is my traditional time to shut out the world and let it eat turkey without me.  Although, I will show up for leftovers.  If it doesn’t involve an overnight.

Some of what’s been keeping me busy:

This was my second year attending Scintillation in Montreal–  actually, it was only the second year of Scintillation’s existence.

This is a lovely small convention, with an excellent  collection of  guests.  The hotel is a Holiday Inn right at the edge of Montreal’s Chinatown, with fascinating walking areas, and great food and sights. Although, this time I didn’t do as much walking around town as last year.   I do think I want to make sure that I don’t skip that next year.

Hotel lobby with convenient restaurant and koi pond. Plus: labyrinthine paths over the water.


Friendly fishies.

Some standout moments:

I attended a reading by A.E. Prevost, who is also one of the proprietors of Argo Bookshop. I had never read anything by Prevost, and came to their reading completely cold, and was absolutely delighted.  I do wish I could recall the name of the story, however; it’s a work in progress, and I do not want to miss it when it’s published.

I was on a panel about designing aliens, with Alison Sinclair, Diane Kelly, Jim Cambias and Ferret Steinmetz, which was a lot of fun — and later had an especially interesting conversation with Diane, who is a biologist at UMass Amherst, and Jim, who it turns out is her husband.  (I nabbed one of Jim’s books, but I’m so incredibly behind in my reading!  So I cannot speak knowledgeably about A Darkling Sea yet, but I do possess a copy!)

Jo Walton‘s reading was especially wonderful.  She read from the start of Or What You Will, a book certain to break the heart (in a good way) of any writer who reads it.   The excerpt certainly did that for me.  And she also read some of her best poems, so… I was blown away on two entirely separate fronts.


Or What You Will by [Walton, Jo]


Ruthanna Emrys had a reading as well, from an upcoming work (whose title escapes me, darn it!).  It’s the second time I heard her read from this book, and I keep liking it better and better.  You know, it just makes sense: when you’re meeting the aliens, if your baby’s diaper happens to need changing, you just stop and change the damn diaper.  That’s life.

Su J. Sokol read from the sequel to Cycling to Asylum.   The section she read was compelling enough that I instantly bought the Kindle version of  Cycling to Asylum so I could get up to speed!

Cycling to Asylum

Su and I were also on a program item together, which was, um, an interview of me.

This is the third time in my life that I’ve been in the spotlight in some way, and it felt a bit unlikely, a bit unreal… until it actually started.  Su and I just basically had a conversation; she made the whole process quite simple and enjoyable.  And the audience was full of wonderful people, and I was amazed, and touched by their attention and appreciation.   I want to say more about this, but — later.  I need to mull this over a bit.

For my own reading, I read from the beginning of Book 5 — and then did a change-up and also read from the beginning of Book 6.   Alas, I had forgotten that when reading the start of Book 6, it’s a good idea to practice it out loud first; there’s a specific rhythm to the way people in The Crags speak, and when I don’t prepare, my delivery can falter.  Which it did.  But it was still fun

I’m going to have to pause here, since (as usual; will I never learn?) I’ve left blogging to the end of the day and the end of the day has come and gone, and the beginning of the day already looming.  Must sleep, and then prep to leave again, and then leave, and then come back.

So, more later.  (Unless that short story is going really well, in which case I will be busy!)


View from the footbridge just outside my office building.