Les Semaines

November 12, 2006

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal

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Back From Austin

Last weekend was my annual pilgrimage to World Fantasy Convention, where I spent way too much time talking.

On the way there, just like my last escape from Seattle, I was stressed way up to the wire and it didn't help that I was driving to the airport in traffic backed up by the heavy rains we've been having and I didn't leave that much extra time to leave the car at the airport for Jim to pick up on his way home from a business trip he had to make. But it all worked out and I got on the plane and just relaxed and started reading Cryptonomicon. I may have slept some, too, a skill I'm just thrilled to have picked up. In fact, just getting on a plane makes me sleepy.

The convention itself was a wonderful chance to see people I don't see often, mostly previous years of Clarion West students so that was terrific. Damn, there are some wonderful people who go through the workshop. There were also people there I've met through various mailing lists over the years, including a friend I met on a music list who comes to the convention with a friend of his who is an agent (who has also been very kind and fun and informative over the years). So there's all this catching up to do. Tons of talking. And there are still the people I only saw from a distance but never got to talk to. I went to one panel, and several delightful readings, and participated in a group poetry reading, which was great fun.

Also had several opportunities to eat TexMex food and wander around hotels looking for people. And I got to see Xochitl and Gabriel, whom I haven't seen in three years and damn it was good to see them. So. A trip. And home again.

A busy week, but the only really interesting things: was how startled I was to see Karen at work, even though I knew she was starting her new job just down the hall from me and how I didn't realize we have Friday off work for Remembrance (okay, Veteran's Day to you Americans) until late Thursday morning. I wasn't prepared for that.

November shows all signs of disappearing way too quickly. And then it will be December! Ack!

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

Bats for Lashes' Fur and Gold arrived from the U.K., and we've been appreciating its Bjork/Rachel Smith/Heather Nova/you-name-it vibe.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon has been sitting in my to read pile for years, and it took climbing into the plane to Austin that finally got me started reading it, but once I started it was hard to stop and sleep, though I had to. This is a gripping novel about cryptography and war and the characters mixed up in all of this. Pull it out of your to-read pile and be absorbed.

Likewise I've been meaning to read William Horwood's The Stonor Eagles ever since a friend loaned it to me a couple of years ago and insisted I would love it. This is the story of an artist's life and development paralleling the tale of the near-doom of the North Atlantic sea eagles that become an important subject of his work. The eagles' story is told in a Watership Down-type way, with them speaking in human voices, though as eagle-like as possible to get the feel of their alienness across. It was an interesting cross-fertilization/interweaving of tales, the eagles being loners and as blind as much as the humans in the tale.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Novel tweaking proceeds apace.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Still behind here. Not that it would be so hard to catch up, but I...haven't.

last week's old journal § next week's old journal

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