lydamorehouse: (yaoi)
One of the reasons I love living where I do is that Saint Paul has a lot of strong ethnic neighborhoods, and thus has a lot of nifty local celebrations--many of them accessible by a short light rail ride from my house.

Little Mekong District is a neighborhood just up (east on) University Avenue from me. It was heavily settled in the 1970s by Vietnamese, Hmong, Lao, Cambodians, and Thai (and, I suspect Karen speakers, too, since I saw at least one cultural organization for them there.)  For the past four years, the neighborhood has been running a night market.  I stumbled across a listing for the neighborhood night market by chance, on Facebook, I think.  

I've been intrigued by night markets ever since I read the book Ghost Month: A Taipei Night Market Novel by Ed Lin, which I read in order to get a better sense of Taiwan and specifically Taipei, ever since my friend [personal profile] jiawen moved there.  She's posted pictures of the "real thing" on her journal, and so when the chance came to go to one locally, I thought: I MUST DO THIS THING.

The problem is, of course, Shawn is not big on crowds. There is literally nothing about a night market that sounds fun to her. Shuffling through heavy crowds in the heat? Strongly spiced food? Going anywhere after 6 pm? None of these are Shawn's favorite things.  But, Saturday night happened to be a night we were hosting Mason's friend Rosemary for movie night.  So, when she and her mom showed up for drop-off, I floated the idea of checking out the night market.  Luckily, Rosemary and Mason were game. So after we had a quick dinner here, I bundled the kids onto the light rail and off we went.

Street scene of the Little Mekong Night Market

 You can see from this picture that there are booths set up along the street, like at a block party or an art fair.  This particular stretch featured local artists selling prints and cards and the sort of typical stuff you might see at a craft/art fair.  The overcast sky does not do justice to how HOT it was. The temperatures on Saturday, even as the sun was setting were near 95 F / 35 C. Also, this does not really accurately give a sense of the crowds. In places, we were shoulder to shoulder.  I ended up buying a greeting card with a funky demon-woman image on it to send to one of my pen pals (now I have to decide who gets it, Keri or Anna. I think they'd both appreciate it. I should have bought two!)  We chatted with another vender because he had a picture of Grimmjow from Bleach and we had to do the nerd salute of people who are embarrassed/not embarrassed to be fans of that show/manga.

The vendors were interesting, but the real draw was the food. The first thing Mason and I had were dumplings, one of which Mason accidentally dropped into the hot sauce. The sauce was HOT, but we ate them anyway.  Right after that we went looking for something cold and found shaved ice:

mango shaved ice

We saw someone doing the hand-rolled ice-cream thing, but the line to get any of that was far too long.  If I had any complaint, it was the lines. The people who were smart were handing out numbers so people didn't end up blocking traffic with their queues.  The place where we got the amazing dumplings did that. 

There were street performers on stilts walking through the closed off streets, too. Even though we were there when it was still light out, I noticed that the performers all had lights as part of their costumes, since the night market was open until midnight. One of the performers was taking a rest against the closed street sign and I asked if I could take her photograph:

street performer at the Little Mekong Night Market

The array of food choices were staggering. There were lots of different Asian cultures on display.  I even managed to find the one Japanese stall that had "walking ramen" which used dried noodles as a base (and included pineapple kimchi, which I was initially leery of, but quite enjoyed.) Mason got a park-stuffed bun (which he did not like much) and Rosemary got a chocolate-stuffed bun (pictured below), which was mucho nom-nom.  Mason also tried green tea flavored hand-spun cotton candy, which he devoured:

Mason tries great tea flavored cotton candy

stuffed bun with cute creature face

I would totally go back again for the food.  We didn't even try everything, partly because the lines for some things were unreasonably long and slow-moving. We stood in line at one place and eventually gave up because it didn't seem to be going forward at ALL. That was disappointing.  

Mason also ended up bringing home a piece of carved, orange soap made to look like a koi. There were people selling clothing and the quilted bags that you often see at Hmong booths at farmer's markets, and just all sorts of fun stuff.  I think, if we go next year, we'll go later in the evening. I really wanted to see what it looked like at night. It was clear that a lot of people had lights strung up, ready for dusk/evening. I bet it looked spectacular--and maybe it would have been a little less hot (though I suspect the crowds remained the same all night long.)

If I ever write Saint Paul-centric urban fantasy again, it would be fun to set a scene at the night market. People from other parts of the country tend to think of Minnesota as so very "white bread" and the Twin Cities really, really aren't.  Apparently, near Fasika, also just up University from us, there was a concurrent Little Africa Night Market, which would have been a lot of fun to check out, too.  We were STUFFED and hot and exhausted, though.  Maybe next year.

10/10 would again, as the kids say.
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
Ugh, we're supposed to hit 95 F/35 C today.

Luckily, a couple of days ago, Shawn and I performed the annual wrestling of the air-conditioner into the bedroom window ritual. This annual event is always such a huge chore, partly because the air-conditioner is heavy and awkward, but also because we have a HUGE king-size bed in a room that pretty much fits the bed and not a lot else. Oh, and of course the bed has a cast iron frame. So there's always this moment when I have the air-conditioner in my arms and I have to shimmy between the bookcase and the cast iron frame (pulled out as far was we can get it) that results in swearing and bruised and scraped arms (because? This may be a surprise for you to learn, but air-conditioners are less malleable than arm flesh. When something has to give, it's NOT the air-conditioner. I swear I rediscover this fact EVERY. YEAR.)

But we managed the job, so we should be ready when the temperatures start soaring.

Yesterday, I met a friend of mine at Ax-Man. Ax-Man is one of those uniquely Midway businesses, the way Porky's used to be, before it was demolished. Luckily, Ax-Man has hung on through the light rail construction, etc.. Technically, they're nothing more than a surplus store, but they specialize in really odd odds and ends. There is, in point of fact, an iron lung for sale there. They have a sign on their window that says, "Admission: FREE!" and Ax-Man is totally the sort of place where you could just go for the experience--though I'd bet you money, you'll be hard pressed not to come out with at least one trinket or curio. Yesterday, I was only going to hang out with Anna while she shopped, but I ended up buying a little turtle keychain light, because, when you press the light button the TURTLE says, "ribbit, ribbit!" I also found a HUGE BIN of really, really, ridiculously CHEAP (we're talking about 2 dollars a piece!) reading glasses in all of the strengths. Reading glasses are something I lose a lot, so it makes no sense for me to have expensive ones. Plus, these came in all sorts of pastel colors. And why would I not want a pair of hot pink reading glasses, I ask you!?

My friend was specifically looking for props for her You Tube series. She does show about various crafts and goodies she finds at the dollar store. Here's a link to her first show:




This trip she was specifically looking for props that would work as a science-y background because she attempted to grow crystals from one of those cheap crystal growing kits and, a bit of a spoiler here? One of the things we were looking for was a hazmat suit. (And, yes, Ax-Man had them.)

That was a lot of fun. I'm going to go through her videos, too. I mean, this is kind of a neat idea for a show, I think.

Mason is officially a 9th grader!  As of Friday, he is finished with middle school/junior high!  Whoohoo!  In celebration, I made him a steak dinner with all the fixings and he got to stay up as late as he wanted.

Tonight, I'm thinking about going to the Little Mekong Night Market on University.  This is their forth year, and my FB friends describe it as basically a block party, but it looks like they'll have lots of food and entertainment. The friend of mine who lives in Taiwan turned me on to the idea of night markets, and since I probably won't be able to be in Taiwan for a while, this might be the next best thing.  Here's an article I found that describes it: http://www.twincities.com/2017/06/06/little-mekong-night-market-in-st-paul-bigger-and-better-for-its-fourth-year/  Tonight is a night that we host Mason's friend Rosemary, so I'm thinking that after dinner, I might jump on the light rail with the kids and check it out.  If we go, I will be sure to take a lot of pictures and write up a full review!

Hope you're finding ways to survive the heat (if it's hot where you are!)


 
lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 On Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis at 7:00 PM I'll be doing a "Writers in Conversation" with a number of other Twin Cities authors !  

It'll be the day after the election and I'm sure you need an excuse to dig yourself up out of your blanket fort and be social with some really cool people!

From their events page:


Wednesday, November 9, 7:00pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
 
 

 

Writers in Conversation: Local authors Victorya Chase, Kelly Barnhill, Abra Staffin-Wiebe, and Lyda Morehouse discuss women in science fiction and writing female protagonists, along with a brief reading

Victorya Chase is a writer and educator living in the the Midwest where she works in medical education teaching the importance of narrative competency and understanding the various cultural and personal stories at play in the exam room. Her writing has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Lamplight, and The Unlikely Journal of Entomology. She is the author of Marta Martinez Saves the World.

Kelly Barnhill writes novels for children and short stories for adults and poetry that she whispers in the dark when no one is listening. Her first novel, The Mostly True Story of Jack, received four-starred reviews, and her second, Iron Hearted Violet, received a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her most recent novel is The Witch’s Boy. Kelly lives on a city street in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a field and a creek behind her house. A coyote runs by every morning at six a.m. and a heron flies over her yard just before the sun sets on slow summer evenings. Kelly is a fast runner and a steady hiker and a good camper. She also makes delicious pie. She has received grants and awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, Intermedia Arts, and the Loft. She has three very smart kids and one very smart husband and a dog who she believes might be one thousand years old. No one can say for sure. (The dog, incidentally, is very smart too.)

Abra Staffin-Wiebe has sold stories to publications including Jim Baen's Universe and Tor.com. She specializes in optimistic dystopian SF, modern fairy tales, cheerful horror, liquid state steampunk, dark humor, and heartwarming grotesqueries. She spent several years living abroad in India and Africa before marrying a mad scientist and settling down to live and write in Minneapolis. Discover more of her fiction at her website, http://www.aswiebe.com, or find her on the social media site of your choice.

Lyda Morehouse writes about what gets most people in trouble: religion and politics. Her first novel Archangel Protocol, a cyberpunk hard-boiled detective novel with a romantic twist, won the 2001 Shamus for best paperback original (a mystery award given by the Private Eye Writers of America), the Barnes & Noble Maiden Voyage Award for best debut science fiction, and was nominated for the Romantic Times Critic's Choice Award. She followed up Archangel Protocol with three more books in the AngeLINK universe: Fallen Host (Roc, 2002), Messiah Node (Roc, 2003), and Apocalypse Array(Roc, 2004). Apocalypse Array made the short list for the Philip K. Dick award. She lives in Saint Paul with her partner of twenty years and their amazingly adorable son, Mason.

lydamorehouse: (chibi renji and zabi)
Let's see, I guess I have a lot to report.  First, link salad:  Mason and I did a Halloween podcast in which we did our usual reviews but also sang too much and put on bad "vampire" accents:  31st on the 31st.  Then, if you forgot to check out the Thursday installment of the School for Wayward Demons, it's up on the Enter The Unseen web site: "A New Home for How Long?"

Mason and I did our usual pumpkin carving/pumpkin seed roasting last night.  This year, for the first time, Mason did all the carving and scooping of his own pumpkins.  I'm going to get pictures of all of the pumpkins we did tonight when the candles are in them, but here are some "action" shots from last night:



The pumpkin above is going to have a bunch of knives sticking in its head when we're finished with it, which is why he looks a bit like he's wincing.  

Here's a shot of us in progress:




There will be more pictures, particularly once Mason is in full costume tonight.  He's decided to take up the long standing Morehouse tradition of preferring to stay home and hand out the candy.  As part of this, Mason has made a featureless black mask and plans to dress all in flowing shadowy robes in order to 'haunt' anyone who shows up to the door for Trick-or-Treat.  So you could say he's going as the Trick in Trick-or-Treat.

My only hope is that he doesn't make too many little kids cry.  But, you know, he's a good kid. I know that's not his intention.  In fact, it would break his heart if he made some little Elisa cry.  I'm pretty sure who he has in his sights are the neighbor boys and those late straggling teenagers.  

We've also been invited to a neighbor's costume party so I might struggle on my Renji cosplay and head over to try out their appetizers and such.  As a bonus,  I can bring along about six zillion roasted pumpkin seeds, because OMG we had so many this year.  They were big and juicy too, so they're delicious!

I have a few other announcement to pass on.  First and Foremost, I was invited to be the Guest of Honor at MarsCON again for 2015.  MarsCON is going to be held March 6 -8, 2015: MarsCON 2015: Heroes and Wizards & Fae--OHhh MYyy.  

Secondly, I'll be reading at this year's Minnesota Speculative Writers' Showcase.  It's Sunday, November 9th from noon to 3 PM at Acadia Cafe.  The Local Author Showcase has a Facebook Page with more information than you'll ever need!  But, if for some reason, you can't see that, the salient bit of information is that Acadia Cafe is located at 329 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis.  The event is FREE and open to the public. I was told I'd have only a very short period to read, so I think the idea is kind of like the Broad Universe Rapid Fire readings.  You'll get a tiny sample of everyone work.  It should be fun.  Hope to see some of you there.


lydamorehouse: (Default)
Mason and I just can't seem to figure this timing thing out. Because we podcasted on Wednesday afternoon, I swear all my monthly manga decided to up-date at once. I wrote up Blue Exorcist yesterday, and this morning I have a review for you of Chapter #61 of Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan.

In other news, I tried to sign both Mason and I up for Japanese, but the class through Community Ed. had an age restriction--you had to be 16 or older.  I considered faking Mason's age, but then decided that while he might pass for 13, no way he looked 16.  I'm very bummed about this as you can imagine, because Mason is my big otaku colleague.  He's also WAY better at languages than I am--at least he is quick to remember names and pronunciations of our favorite characters.  However, I told him that I was still counting on him to be my study buddy, so hopefully he can learn along with me.  

That starts up in October.

Speaking of things coming-up, you can now register your teen for the "Teen Writing Conference" at the Loft, where I will be teaching "Capturing Kudos: Pro Tips for Improving Your Fan Fic." https://www.loft.org/programs__awards/educational_programs/writing_conferences/  I should note that the conference is actually FREE.  So, if you have someone who is 13 - 17 years old in your life, who normally doesn't have the money or the time for a Loft class, this is a spectacular opportunity.  I won't even be offended if they're not interested in my class!  

If you're a local adult looking to learn more about fan fic writing from some grizzled pros, Rachel and I will be teaching a class for adults in the winter season.  As soon as you can register for that, I'll post info here.  (The problem there, of course, is that those classes are NOT free, though it should be noted that he Loft does provide scholarships for reduced class fees.)

I will also, should enough students sign-up, be teaching science fiction to adults at the Loft again in the winter.  

Also, if you just miss seeing me about town, remember I'm going to be at Common Good Books doing this discussion of the Hobbit Book v. Movie: http://www.commongoodbooks.com/event/“‘-wasn’t-book’-discussion-hobbit-page-and-screen” here in September, on the 22nd!  


lydamorehouse: (Default)
New and Improved! Now with 50% More Authors!

Breaking News: I will now be sharing my Saturday, March 26th signing from 1:00 - 2:00 pm at Uncle Hugo's with Neve Maslakovic. I already want to love her book REGARDING DUCKS AND UNIVERSES, for this line in the product description: "On a foggy Monday in 1986, the universe suddenly, without warning, bifurcated."
lydamorehouse: (Default)
First of all, I actually went to the adult class at kuk sool wan last night. Mason had the sniffles (we kept him out of school) and I figured he would only make one class this week. As we pay a pretty steep price per month, I thought I should at least do my two times. Plus, everyone harrassed me at the cooking class and I completely bought their LIES that it wasn't so hard.

It was pretty much as awful as I expected. AND there was a quiz, which I failed as I can not count to 30 in Korean. Seriously! A quiz! Okay, really they were just doing some excercise, but everyone else, even the other yellow stripes, knew how to count to 30 in Korean. I was the only idiot who had to do it in English. Grown-ups is crazy. Foregin language AND sweating. Because they work out for a half hour before doing the already rigorous martial arts stuff. AND the class lasts longer than the kid's class. AND they play _NO_ GAMES.

Have fun! I'll be back with the ten year olds playing Space Invaders, suckers!

However, I can see why people go back. There's a much greater sense of comraderie among the growed ups. (Perhaps, it's a kind of Stockholm syndrome where everyone bands together against the evil overlord...) If I was twenty years younger (that would only make me 23, kids!) and single, I'd totally go to the adult class.

In other news, I need to announce that I talked to Don Byly last night and we've arranged not one, but TWO signings at Uncle's for the upcoming months. If you're local, they are:

Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 1 - 2 pm at Uncle Hugo's, I'll be signing RESURRECTION CODE.

Saturday, MAY 7, 2011 from 1 - 2 pm, I'll be back at Uncle's as Tate, singing ALMOST FINAL CURTAIN

You can find Uncle's at 2864 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55407. If you would like directions or any other information about the signing or the store, you can call (612) 824-6347. Also, if you are out of town or otherwise unable to attend and would like to still get a PERSONALIZED, signed copy, Uncles will fill mail orders. For information contact Don Byly at UncleHugo@aol.com

If you know people who might be interested local or otherwise, please, PLEASE feel free to boost the signal.

My signal totally needs a boost, btw. Because as I was creating an event on FB for the RESURRECTION CODE signing last night, I got a comment from a reader who seemed genuinely surprised to hear that the book was coming out. I feel like I've mentioned RC a zillion times on Facebook, and even had Tate post about it on Twitter. It's ALL OVER my website. I blog about it here, of course, but also on Tate's blog *and* the Wyrdsmith's blog. I can't think of what else to do other than beg all of you to pimp me anywhere you can. I would even hand out a prize to the biggest pimp... like original fiction with you/your favorite character in the AngeLINK universe, or anything else, like, a free copy of RC or whatever. Slash! Just tell me what would motivate you, and I'd do it. I mean, seriously, I'm concerned that there are people who like my work who I'm not reaching. I don't expect y'all to go out and find me new fans, but I, *at least*, need to get the word out to people who ALREADY like my stuff.

Anyway, I need to go to Walgreens to pick up Children's Tylenol and a number of other things we sneezed ourselves out of last night. Then it's off to the coffee shop to hang out with the women of Wyrdsmiths.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
If you missed listening to me blather live on KFAI's "Write On! Radio" you can catch it in the archived files: http://www.kfai.org/writeonradio.

Actually finding the file is kind of confusing. You have to click on the archive for 7/20/10, and accept the terms and conditions. Then it looks like you got nowhere because there's a list of all the guests, etc. BUT, if you scroll down past the announcements you'll find a tiny little header "Previous Shows" and a reddish button for either .mp3 stream or real audio. That's the show. I'm in the second half. As far as I know there's no good way to skip ahead, alas. I'd say I'm worth the wait, but I'm not sure that's true. (I felt like SUCH a dork.)

People who listened live said I did okay, but I felt stupid to the point of being giddy and I'm disappointed I didn't get a chance to mention my up-coming gig at Uncles or Resurrection Code by name.

Speaking of feeling like I'm all over the place, I've hit the ground running for the second day in a row. I had a couple of birthday related errands this morning (for the little boy, who won't be so little soon. On the 24th he turns 7!) One of which took me out to the Maul, which is always insane. Then I zipped home long enough to paint about four more slats of the neighbor's side of the fence. The white house to the south of us is under new management. The landlady is very nice, but has an inspector on her to improve the property (yay!). One of the things they wanted done was for the fence to be painted, and since it's technically ours we promised to do it. But, it's a bigger job that it sounds because sections are quite rotten (it was a fence we got second-hand -- one of our first big house projects and like a lot of our first jobs, we didn't really know what we were doing yet.) So I had to replace a few boards, prime them, etc. All in between bouts of torrental rain and the roofing trauma.

I'm making slow progress on that. Plus, I just got a call from Steve, our roof guy, and I need to run back home because I took the pictures of the roofing process off the front porch and he needs them to be there for the inspector. Oh, yeah, and the gutter guys come today.

As well as a photographer from the Pioneer Press.

The only time the photographer could come was 3:00, which is when I usually leave to pick up Mason. So I very cleverly arranged for a playdate for Mason with his friend Ava, and Ava's family is going to take them directly to their place. Normally, Mason would be over the moon at this sort of thing, but he's been going through that phase I remember clearly -- the one where you finally sort of realize for the first time that things DON'T ALWAYS WORK OUT. Suddenly, the world become full of horrible possibilites. What if while I'm at school the Russians drop a nuke? Will I see my parents again? (That was my big one.) But for him it's what if ima doesn't come to pick me up because she's in a car accident?? Or, more strange to us, what if ima and mama just decide to suddenly leave me alone and drive away and never come back?

This new phase first presented with the latter question, which baffled Shawn and me. I mean, what? Why would we abandon Mason and, what, fly off to the South of France? I don't know if he overheard us joking about that sort of thing when we thought he was asleep (which I will admit to likely having done) and took it seriously, or if, as I now suspect, it's all part of this bigger nebulous fear of THINGS GOING WRONG.

I used to have nighmares. Mason, so far, doesn't. I wonder if this is just the outward manifestation of what my subconcious tried to deal with.

Anyway, I have to run. More later.

Busy, Busy

Jul. 20th, 2010 02:57 pm
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I apologize to my friends and family who use this blog to make sure I'm still alive and breathing. I am. I've just been, you know, busy.

Yesterday, I had to scurry home to wait by the phone like a love-lorn teen, waiting for Mary Ann Grossman from the Pioneer Press to call. The Pioneer Press still employs actual reporters who, like, do research and stuff. I've been interviewed by Mary Ann before, but she never fails to impress me (though I think I managed to insult her twice. Once, by trying to bring up events that involved her direct competator _and_, at another point, completely confusing staff of the Press for those over at the Star Tribune.) But, unlike me, she was both prepared and charming. It was clear she'd read BOTH Honeymoon and Almost, and, you might thing that would be required for someone doing an interview, I can tell you for a fact it is NOT. Anyway, despite my couple of gaffs, we had a lovely half hour conversation about St. Paul, vampires, and the writer's life. All the while I could tell she had her phone on speaker, because I could hear her fingers clacking on her keyboard. The sound of which sort of freaked me out. It was like being able to HEAR someone taking notes. Anyway, if all goes according to plan, you should look for the interview in the Press on Sunday, August 1.

Then I took off for Uncles to meet up with my potter friend Frank Gosar and his wife Denise. They were in town visiting relatives over the weekend, and I happened to get their email in enough time to meet up for bookshopping and lunch. Both of which are marvelous. Frank was the first bit of fandom I ever experienced, because he ran a science fiction book club I attended in LaCrosse. Now he's a professional potter and a volunteer radio show host. I've actually mentioned Frank by name in one of my novels. It's in one of the first Garnet books (maybe even _Tall, Dark & Dead_, though I may be mistaken.) Garnet laments having lost a hand thrown goblet made by her friend Frank in Oregon.

That chewed up most of my day, though one of the things I bought at Uncles was "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog," which I watched last night for the first time. Now I really want to get into the Evil League of Evil. I have to say that one of the things I'm re-appreciating about Joss Whedon, having finally seen this, is how much he trusts me as a viewer. In this case, he probably didn't care if a massively popluar audience got how funny-yet-accurate the Evil League of Evil sounds to a long-time comic book reader. I mean, I grew up thinking nothing of the fact that Magneto must have said to himself, "I know, I think I'll call my organization, The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants."

Today, I've been getting ready for my radio show tonight. Don't forget! If you happen to be near a computer at 7:00 PM tonight (or are local and can get in either 90.3 FM in Minneapolis or 106.7 FM in St. Paul), tune in to KFAI's "Write On! Radio" show (the live streaming button is on the sidebar at www.kfai.org/writeonradio. I heard from my host, who informed me that I will be on in the second half hour. So, if you can't be there exactly at 7:00, you haven't missed me!

I'm going to be reading from both ALMOST and HONEYMOON and hopefully be my usual bubbly, goofy personality.

Anyway, I have much more to tell you all, but it's going to have to wait. I have to go pick up Mason from school.

Hork-Hork

Jul. 13th, 2010 11:23 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Does your family have shorthand phrases? One of the ones in our family comes from a time when Shawn was sitting, minding her own business on the couch, when Ms. Ball our black-and-white kitty hopped up onto her lap as though to settle in. All of a sudden she made a tiny little "hork-hork" sound and deposited a hairball right in Shawn's lap. She, all cat-like, primly hopped away as if that's what she meant to do all along. Leaving, of course, chaos in her wake.

We use "hork-hork" as short hand for those overwhelming OMG/I-just-want-to-barf moments. Like, whenever we think about all the insurance/hassle/etc. to do with the new roof, we just catch each other's eye and say, "hork-hork."

Today has been as series of hork-horks.

A happy hork-hork was that I delivered the final manuscript of ALMOST FINAL CURTAIN electronical to Anne exactly two WHOLE days early. Which for me, constitutes a minor miracle. I was one of those students for whom time deadlines were invented. You know, instead of just saying "the paper is due on Tuesday," professors have to add "BY midnight." Because, inevitibly, mine would land in his or her in-box at precisely 11:59 pm. Anyway, delivery always stresses me out just a tiny bit, because, you know, now I can't take it back and fix it, etc. It's out of my hands. hork.

I'm currently hiding at my coffee shop because the roofer guys are delivering materials. Due to the weather, they probably won't start the job until Thursday, but my gardens are currently being mooshed and smooshed and trampled by all the guys bringing in shingles, etc. Our contractor contact, Steve, was actually very nice about it and we agreed to the smooshing and mooshings, but I don't really need to see it, you know? Hork.

Anyway, while I was sitting here with the fabulous internet connection and a yummy cuppa, I checked my e-mail. My publicist informed me that KARE-11 wants to interview me LIVE on Tuesday, August 3 around 10:00 am. (For "Showcase Minnesota"?) Live??? My first response to my publicist was... have they SEEN me? I'm not what you'd call terribly photogenic. I have, what they might call, a perfect face for RADIO.

I mean it's cool to have five minutes of fame and all that, but, dude, HORK.

Speaking of radio, I've neglected to tell you all that I have an upcoming radio gig. I'll be on "Write On Radio" (KFAI -- 90.3 Mpls/106.7 St. Paul) on Tuesday, July 20th. They've moved to primetime, so the show starts at 7:00 pm and runs for an hour. I don't know which hour I'll be in, though I'm often the last. For those of you who aren't in range of the gerbil-wheel powered antenna KFAI has, they stream live at: http://www.kfai.org/writeonradio (sidebar button). Also, since I know many of my friends are in other time zones, you can also check in at their website. It looks like they have a running archive of previous shows at the bottom of the page.

Anyway, the deliveries are probably made so I can safely return home. I also need to paint the neighbor's side of the fence sometime this week -- hopefully before the rain comes again.

hork-hork.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
...after this brief commerical interruption.

I just wanted to let everyone know that SHE NAILED A STAKE THROUGH HIS HEAD: TALES OF BIBLICAL HORROR in which my short story "Jawbone of an Ass" is reprinted has an official release date: October 19. It's also available NOW for pre-order on Amazon.com

"Jawbone of an Ass," of course, first appeared in that second Wyrdsmiths' chapbook, NEW WYRD, which is also available for purchase in the sidebar of the Wyrdsmiths' Blog. It's not an AngeLINK story, per se, but it's very much in the style of. I've described the story to other people as my IRA/Samson story, but a niftier blurb might go like this: "What would it be like to know that God is absolutely *not* on your side? 'Jawbone of an Ass' is a modern day retelling of the story of Sampson’s first wife (known only as the woman of Timor), who slowly comes to realize the horror of knowing she, through no fault of her own, is on the wrong side of the wrath of angels."

"Modern" is actually a slight misnomer because, if you know your Irish history (and I'm sure you do,) it's quite clear that the story takes place in the early 1980s / death of Bobby Sands in London/Derry, Northern Ireland.

Also, if you happen to be in the Twin Cities area for CONvergence next weekend, you can stop by my editor Tim Lieder's signing at 2:00 pm on Friday, July 2 at CONvergence and pick up an early copy. (Note: I won't be there this year, as we'll be driving through Gary, IN on our way to visit relatives in Valparasio.)

//end advert

I'll probably compose a short day-in-the-life blog later tonight/tomorrow to catch y'all up on my daily news. I need to get writing now, though, because I'm going to be picking Shawn up soon to go grocery shopping. We haven't been to the big store since sometime in April. Our cupboards are very old Mother Hubbard.
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I adore rainy days like this one, especially since yesterday was so beautiful that I was distracted. I sat on my front porch, writing, but when I think I look up... and I saw the outside, calling to me to plant a boulevard garden. Which I did.

We went to Shady Acres Herb Farm on Sunday, which is all the way out in Chaska or just beyond, and bought a ton of herbs. Mason is a big fan of parsley, so we got two whole flats of curly parsley for his garden and mine. We got sweet basil, dill, thyme, garden sage, greek oregano, and (because my grandmother used to grow them) ground cherries. Shawn got some hot peppers -- Thai and jalepeno. Mason got a pumpkin (which I still need to find room for somewhere in the back).

But in the new boulevard garden -- which is one of the few parts of our yard that's not completely shady and not already occupied -- I planted two butterfly bushes, Russian sage, and a group of lavendar. None of which, I should say, I've ever had much success with before, but I'm hoping that their new super-sunny location will suit them better.

I wish we had the kind of room that Shady Acres has out at their farm, because they had the coolest "faerie garden" out there. They'd put a tiny castle (probably meant for an aquarium) in the middle of this circle of all sorts of thyme. The thyme happened to blooming and was this gorgeous riot of pinks and white. It was really something. I was really hoping they'd have a picture of it on their website, but I didn't see one. Anyway, it was totally worth the drive. Mason and I also spotted three painted turtles having a conference in the little pond they have out there, as well as a few bull frogs and one humming bird.

Just thinking about humming birds makes me freaked out about the oil spew in the Gulf. So many birds go through that area during their migration, including the Minnesota loon. What's it going to be like when our loons and hummingbirds come back all oil slicked... if they come back at all?

I just donated a small amount to the Gulf. I'm sure all you savvy Interwebs people have already seen this, but Cherie Priest has a lovely list of things you can do to help. Check out her post: Things You Can Do About the Oil Spill.

Today is apparently World Oceans Day and the Huffington Post is encouraging people to Meetup Everywhere to Work Together to Help the Oil Spill.

I know people have oil spill fatigue/disaster, but our ocean is probably the single most important thing to protect and preserve. Everything depends on it, and in so many ways we don't even really understand. More people have been in space than have been to the bottom of the ocean. We've only explored 1% of the ocean -- so much of its life exists at depths below one mile. It's almost incomprehensible....

However, in a more microcosom view, I wanted to tell everyone about my fish disaster averted. Just before we left for LaCrosse, I bought a new whisper-ma-phone (air compressor) for my tank, and the sudden influx of oxygen caused a mold bloom on one of my oldest fish, Joe. I quickly dosed the tank with fungicide and did a lot of feverent praying. The next day I thought he looked a little better, so I cleaned the tank and left for LaCrosse. We came home to happy fish and a mold-free tank. It was really rather miraculous.

Also, in the good news department, I have a radio gig lined up for July 20 at 7:00 pm on KFAI's "Write on Radio" show in their new time slot. Cool Yule, no?

Well, I need to go home and get writing on the novel due July 15.
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The problem with vacations is that they do something funky to my sense of passing time. I knew I had a reading at Dreamhaven scheduled for some point this summer, but guess what??? It's TONIGHT!!!!
----

Friday, June 4, 2010 I'll be reading from RESURRECTION CODE at Dreamhaven Books at 6:30 - 7:30 pm as part of the Speculations series. Dreamhaven is most recently located at 2301 East 38th Street, Minneapolis. You can find out more information at dreamhavenbooks.com. SPECULATIONS is a co-production of Dreamhaven and SF MINNESOTA, a multicultural speculative fiction organization that also sponsors DIVERSICON.

------

So I suspect that unless you heard about this from some other channel, it's going to be me and the crickets tonight. *sigh* Normally, I try to be MUCH better about letting people know about my gigs, but between Mason's month-long vacation, the trip up North, then off to LaCrosse, and a lovely visit from our friends from Colorado... I totally spaced.

Anyway, I need to go home now and write a whole ton (2,000 words to be precise.) Because you know what else snuck up on me??? My deadline!!!!

Argh! Oh! Ah! (Imagine me running around like proverbial headless chicken.)
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If you weren't at Uncle Hugo's at Saturday at 1:00 pm, you missed out on a rare sighting of Tate Hallaway in full, er, drag. Probably the best picture is actually up on Facebook provided by [livejournal.com profile] haddayr. Maybe if you ask her really nicely, she'll post it on her LJ as well. But here is me, pre-event:




Take a good look at those heels. They're genuine f--- me pumps, clocking in at four inch heels, at least. Yes, I could stand in them.... walk, not so much, but I mostly sat at the signing -- giving everyone an awesome view of my not-unsubtantial cleavage.

The signing itself went pretty well. At this point in my career, especially with the last book in the series, I'm happy if anyone comes. I probably pulled in a dozen or more, which is okay, though nothing like a diva like me dreams of, or like I drew when it was the first novel. I guess the blush has worn off. *sigh*

It was respectable enough, apparently, for Don to invite me back in August. So ALMOST TO DIE FOR will have a signing venue. Hooray.

Other than that the weekend was pretty nice. Mother's day went well. Long ago, I decided that I was too selfish to share Mother's day, so we made up a holiday for me:
"Ima/Adoption Day" which is Dec. 5th, the day I legally adopted Mason. So yesterday was all about Shawn. She got breakfast in bed -- crepes, with homemade lemon custard and fresh strawberries -- and a booklet that Mason made in school, complete with pictures of mama's curly mop-hair. (Super-cute!) I remembered to call my own mother. Shawn called Grandma Margaret. Then for dinner, Shawn requested jambalyah (sp?) and homemade bread, which I made. It was a lot of yummy food, which is what I think Mother's day should be all about.

Friday was Mason's teacher conference day. That went well enough, too. Perhaps you will be stunned to hear this, but Mason isn't perfect. His handwriting needs work and he tends to opt for the quick and dirty solutions to English homework, (ie., where he could write a paragraph, he'll instead write something short and that barely fufills the assignment.) We're going to work on that with him, of course, but I recognize it as a problem with kids who are bright, but not necessarily what they call "high achievers," which means motivated by grades and getting teacher approval.

But, you know, if he were perfect what would we have to do, right? :-)

Hope y'all had a great weekend.
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Today is the official release day for Tate's book HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD. It is the last of the Garnet Lacey series. If you are at all a fan of Garnet (or Tate), please consider purchasing this book today or sometime within the next couple of weeks. I'd love Penguin to be impressed with the sales of this last book, if for no other reason than they might consider continuing to employ me.

Also, a reminder to my local LJ friends who may not be on Facebook, this weekend is my signing at Uncle Hugo's:

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On Saturday, May 8, 2010, in my persona as Tate Hallaway, I will be signing HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD, the last in the Garnet Lacey series, at Uncle Hugo's in Minneapolis starting at 1:00 pm. The Uncles are located at 2864 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407. You can call for directions or more information (612) 824-6347. If you are not able to attend, but would still like a signed copy of the book, you can find information on how to mail order on the bookstore's website: www.unclehugos.com.
----

If I get my act together and get over to Goodwill, I may ACTUALLY WEAR A DRESS to this event, as it is one of my last appearances as Tate (at least with this series.) Tate is, of course, still contracted for two more young adult books in the ALMOST series -- the first one is out this August (ALMOST TO DIE FOR) and I'm working on the second (ALMOST FINAL CURTAIN) which is due at Penguin July 15, and then there is one more contracted after that. So Tate has a job until 2011.

Tonight I need to write a couple of promotional blogs, which is, btw, something I absolutely dread. Also, I need to work on the WIP mentioned above. But, hey, it's work.

Oh, and if some of you are thinking "what about Lyda's projects" after reading all this blather about Tate, I'll tell you. Last I heard from those Mad Norwegians, RESURRECTION CODE will be coming out in December 2010. Just in time for Yule/Christmas/Channukah/Kwanzaa!

Also, just yesterday I found out that a story of mine, "Bright, Bright City Lights" has been accepted for inclusion in the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Anthology Project. "City Lights" is a story I wrote several years ago when I was yearning for a fantastical reason for Senator Paul Wellstone's untimely death. It's a story I *thought* I'd sold to Black Wisdom, but I never got a contract, payment, or any indication that the story appeared in print. I recently started putting that piggy back to market. (I'd gotten the yellow reject from Realms. That's the "you suck" one, right?) Anyway, I'm happy it found a home. I write so few short works that are successful, I'm glad when I can place one of them ANYwhere. (That sounds like a dis on the anthology project, but it's not. It's meant as a comment on my short story writing ability).

That's all I have right now in terms of news. I'm still trying to find my motiviation after the exhausting/fun of May Day weekend. I did buy my lawnmower and I spent a good portion of today getting some much needed lawn and housework done today, but no writing so far. The dishes are done. I guess that counts for something.
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I'm trying to decide whether or not to go to the TOTU benefit tonight at the Loft.

----
TOTU Benefit Reading / Launch Party

We will host a reading by some of our authors at the Loft Literary Center on March 31, 2010, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The Loft is in Suite 200, Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415.

Eleanor Arnason, Kelly McCullough, John Calvin Rezmerski, and Bryan Thao Worra will read from their respective works.

$5 will be collected at the door. Our current issue, back issues, and all will be discounted at this event. You can purchase the current issue for only $11, any of issues 2-19 for $2.50, a new or renewed subscription for $24, or a copy of everything, from #1 to the end of time for $199.

---------

It's normally a "sure thing" sort of deal for me, except that tomorrow is Shawn's birthday and that means that I'd have to abandon her with kid duty right before the big day. This is one of those relationship points questions I sometimes fail. So I left her a message: is this cool or if I go am I being a relationship dummy?

Even if I don't, you should go (if you're local, of course, that is.)
lydamorehouse: (Default)
What the f**k? Where did my week go? What, you mean it's almost Friday? How did that happen?

Well, I guess I've been busy. What the heck have I been doing with my time? Let's see, Tuesday, Shawn had off work so we, uh, didn't doing anything I can talk about here. Yeah... that was a nice day. I liked Tuesday. I *can* report that we went to Michael's (the store) and bought some crafty-bits. I'm designing our Christmas card this year (did anyone say recession?) and Shawn is making a lot of gifts (yes, they did).

Wednesday was class, which was good, although I think everyone looked a bit shell-shocked as we're beginning the whole business part of the class syllabus. Last night was: how do you find markets for your work (short stories and novels.) I also worked out like a fiend, and cooked a truly awesome dinner (barbeque chicken drummies, some kind of extremely non-heart friendly German potato thing with bacon and onions, and freash snap green beans. Yum!) I think I did a little writing, but I know it wasn't nearly enough.

As I'm waiting for the plumber guy to show up today -- our new bathroom has sprung a very, vert slow leak, probably where an old pipe meets a new one -- I'm hoping to get more writing done today.

Oh, and I signed up for Witch School with a friend of mine. Because, you know, I don't already have enough to do, so I thought I'd take an on-line course about Russian paganism. :-)

Tonight, I have it on good authority, is actually Wyrdsmiths, and this weekend is shaping up to be kind of insane. Though I probably won't go see Samuel Delany at the Walker Art Center, I highly recommend it. (It's free!) But, I need to get ready for our out-of-town visitors, and Shawn just made a LEGO play date with one of Mason's school friends. I AM hoping to go to the march against Prop 8 on Saturday that starts at noon-thirty at the Minneapolis City Hall, so maybe I'll see you there? And the Sunday MinnSpec "Meet the Wyrdsmiths" really is "sold-out," but you may still be able to get on the waiting list if you sign up now!

Oh, yeah, and tomorrow Shawn and I have another spa date. Funny story, we were actually an hour late for the one we were supposed to have two weeks ago. Damn my dyslexia! But, the folks at Sanctuary Spa were very understanding and let us book this Friday, and as Shawn was standing there we SHOULD be able to get the time right this go-round.

And "creepy" aka. "South Africa," our female betta is looking kind of green around the gills (though not literally). She's been sitting on the bottom a lot more than usual (bettas will sit periodically on the bottom, but she's not zipping up to get fed which is a bad sign.) My fingers are crossed, but there may be a gucci, gucci in our future.
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I've got an hour left before I have to go pick up the little guy from school. So far my first day on my own has been pretty productive. I wrote a little over a thousand words on the Mouse prequel, did the dishes, worked out at the gym, took a bath, and mopped the kitchen floor. I also started formatting the next Tate book, BETTER DEAD THAN WED.

I think this whole writer thing is going to work out. What I find fasciating about myself is my tendency toward rituals and routines. You wouldn't guess me as the type to really like the idea of doing the same sorts of things at the same time every day, now would you? Of course, technically I've only done this whole routine once, but I dunno... I have a feeling.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who jumped in with resources for my Polish/Czech/Bohemian Goddess question. What I'm looking for isn't anything specific, alas. That's my heritage -- yes, my people are ACTUAL Bohemians -- so I'm curious about the indigenous goddesses of those places. Oh, anything I find will very likely find its way into one of my books (probably a Tate one,) but you know, this is just the sort of thing I do every once and a while. I mean, I got curious about the origin of the fall of Satan story once... and well, hundreds of resources later I ended up with Archangel Protocol. So who knows.

So I guess Dreamhaven is all moved. Anybody been there yet?

Oh yeah, and I should probably meantion that I'm going to be at Amazon Bookstore Co-op on Saturday at 3:30 pm if anyone wants to drop by and buy books.
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For a report on the booksinging last night, check out Tate's blog: Booksigning Woes. Mason, in case you were wondering, was a complete angel. He managed to impress the other moms because he spent nearly the entire time with his nose pressed deep inside a book. (I LOVE having an early reader.)

The Northtown Mall in Blaine, where the signing was, is one of those places that the faeries routinely hide from me. I've had a signing at the Waldenbooks there since I first sold Archangel Protocol all those many years ago, and damned if I can ever drive right there. This times I was determined to not get lost, so we planned to leave early (an hour early, in fact,) and to have a printed Yahoo Map in hand. Well, best laid plans of mice and all that... right around 4:00 when we were getting ready to leave, I rememebered that I didn't know where I was going so I fired up the computer. I, of course, forgot that we have dial-up, so twenty minutes later the maps still hadn't completely materalized on the screen. In frustration I gave up and called the store. Emmi, the bookstore manager (and event planner), confessed to actually not knowing how to get from St. Paul to Blaine, which just made me laugh in utter and complete desperation.

Armed with what little Emmi could tell us, Mason and I took off in the direction of Blaine. I forgot, of course, that much of highway 280 and 35W North are under construction, so we got slowed to a crawl. Meanwhile, I'm watching the clock click closer and closer to 5:00 (show time!). We finally make it up to "speeds at posted" and...

... drive right there for the first time in my life. Many times people have talked of these mystical highway signs that actually point to Northtown Mall, but until last night, I'd never seen them.

Maybe Mason had some kind of spell to ward off the direction faeries, but it was almost surreal. Northtown Mall also has this weird entrance off the highway, which almost always ends up with me turning around in the Toys R Us parking lot, but this time I drove right to the door closest to the Waldenbooks. We arrived with five minutes to spare.

Mason thought the whole adventure was a great deal of fun. He kept counting down the clock for me with great glee. "Nine minutes, ima!" and then when we arrived he said, "We'd better run like the dickens, ima."

I have to say that I'm proud of myself for doing so well in Shawn's absence. I'm one of those people who sometimes gets a little weird when her partner isn't around. I talk to myself more, and get less done than I'd like to because I'm wandering around the house with a general "things aren't right" feeling. Yesterday was a little iffy at the beginning because half way to Mason's school, we had to turn around and go pick up his backpack, which I'd forgotten -- despite having set it on THE CHAIR on the porch (THE CHAIR is where everything that needs to go with us in the morning is set up.)

But in somewhat more distressing news, one of my tetra bit the big one last night. It was a complete shocker. I mean, I knew there were two tetra that were seperated from the herd, but they'd both been coming out regularly to eat, so I didn't think much of it. Just before we left for Northtown Mall last night, however, I checked on them (which I do often, because this is the tank in the bedroom), there was one poor fellah stuck to the filter grates. We gave him (her?) the traditional, "Gucci, gucci, you were a good fish" toilet farewell, and his/her death added to my general franticness about finding the Mall. Though perhaps her/his death was a sacrifice to the "travel gods" that my folks and I like to joke about. I hope not. Given how lost I've been in my own city lately, I could be up for a lot of fish loss.

Oh, yeah, and yesterday I delivered AngeLINK books to Dreamhaven and walked off with a boatload of titles, including one print anthology of post-apocalyptic stories for Shawn called WASTELAND. Here are the comics I bought, in no particular order (this, by the way, represents over $100 worth of comics):

SECRET INVASION: Who Do You Trust #1 (multi-author/illustrators)
SECRET INVASION: Avengers, The Initiative #14 (Slott/Gage)
SECRET INVASION: The Mighty Avengers #15 (Bendis/Romita, Jr., et al.)
SECRET INVASION: Ms. Marvel #28 (Reed/Melo)
SECRET INVASION: The New Avengers #42 (Bendis/Cheung)
SECRET INVASION: Runaaways/Young Avengers #1 of 3 (Yost/Miyazawa)
SECRET INVASION: Fantastic Four #2 of 3 (Aguirre-Sacasa/Kitson)
SECRET INVASION: The Incredible Hercules #118 (Pak/Van Lente)
SECRET INVASION: Captain Britian and MI13 #1 (Cornell/Kirk)

Plus, because I had store credit to burn, I rounded out my Civil War collection with...

CIVIL WAR: A Marvel Comics Event (Millar/McNiven, et al.)
CIVIL WAR: Frontline (Jenkins/Bachs, et al.)
CIVIL WAR: Iron Man (Gage/Haun, et al.)
CIVIL WAR: The Return (Jenkins/Raney, et al.)
CIVIL WAR: Choosing Sides (multi-authors/artists)
CIVIL WAR: Chronicles numbers #1, #9, #10 and #11

and, outside of "Marvel Events," I picked up:

IRON MAN: Director of Shield #? (Knauf/de la Torre)
CAPTAIN AMERICA #39 (Brubaker/de la Torre)

...so I've got a little reading to do.
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Ugh, a lot has happened in the past few days. But first, if you find yourself at loose ends tonight and are local, feel free to stop by my signing tonight. The details are below:

On Tuesday, July 8, 2008 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm I'll be signing at the Waldenbooks in Northtown Mall with Lois Grieman and Michele Hauf. Waldenbooks is located at: 212 Northtown Drive Blaine, MN 55434. For more information call (763) 780-1264.*

Okay, let's see. This weekend was an embarassment in social riches. I ended up having to turn down and/or miss several cool events because we ended up being booked solid. First of all, we got invited to a potluck at our friend Rosanne Bane's house for the 4th. We had every intention of going, but Shawn, who is out of town this week in Washington, D.C. on business, got her traditional ack-I'm-leaving-I'm-sick upset stomach, and we had to spend much of the weekend close to the bathroom. But, she took a lot of immodium and we cooked the traditional hamburgers on the grill. A few years ago I learned a clever trick. You can put cast iron skillets on the grill. This has made for really yummy grilled onions and mushrooms. (Shawn loves the onions, and I love both). So that was really quite tasty, and thanks to the poor economy and the Chinese fireworks shortage our neighborhood only very briefly sounded like the warzone. Most people were done blowing things up around 11:00 pm, which is actually pretty sane for the 4th.

I realize I'm fairly unpatroitic to suggest this, but I've never understood what explosions have to do with the birth of our nation. I spent a lot of this 4th wondering how freaked out returning soldiers from Bagdad and elsewhere must feel everytime they heard that whistling overhead. I mean, to my untrained ears they sound a lot like incoming mortar bombs. Which made me wonder if the 4th is a particularly bad time to have post-traumatic stress syndrome, you know?

Then on Saturday, I met up with Lars Pearson and his wife from Mad Norwegian Press, as well as Lynne and Michael Thomas (I should look up their LJ handles, but I'm really lazy and sleepy today). That was a great deal of fun. Turns out we had a bunch of fandoms in common -- comicbooks! -- so I had a blast chatting with everyone. So I only grazed the edges of CONvergence, though it sounds like it was a good con. I'm sure to go next year when Wyrdsmith's own Kelly McCullough will be one of the literary GoHs.

Speaking of the prequel, I've figured a few things out and I think that project is finally getting some wind in its sails.

Sunday we hung out with our friends Dave and Rachel Hoffman-Dachelet. Dave just finished his epic fantasy novel SEA OATH and was looking for a reader, and I would have done it without the lunch, but Rachel's spreads are always worth it. Though it was a bit hot, we ate outside in their gianormous and incredibly lovely garden/backyard. They have the kind of backyard that Shawn and I strive for, but haven't quite achieved. I do want to take a picture of the johnny jump-ups that have self-seeded in our herb garden, because they are Legion... but otherwise, a lot of our gardening is on hold until Mason can really help out.

Yesterday, Shawn took off for D.C. and Mason and I spent our after school time overdosing on our newest obsession: Bookworm Adventures. Have you ever played this game? It's awesome and totally addictive for anyone who likes Scrabble and other word games. We were in the middle of defeating the big boss from the first adventure (each adventure takes place in a book, and the first one is a cross between the Illiad and the Oddessy) when Sean M. Murphy stopped by to chat. We took a break from the game long enough to chat a bit, but then we sucked him into playing a few rounds in the Arabian Nights adventure. Much fun.

Today, I'm going to drive over to Dreamhaven with another load of AngeLINK books, which I'm surprised they want since they're moving house... but it must be e/mail orders that they're filling. I was checking my records and I must deliver an armload of books once a month. My sales since going out-of-print are small, but steady.

I should be going to work out now, or at the very least getting my hair cut (which is starting to get beyond shaggy), but there's air-conditioning in the coffeeshop and did I mention the lazy I have going on?

-----------------------
*Note: if you've always wanted to meet Mason, this is the event to attend. Since my usual booksigning babysitter flew off to D.C. yesterday afternoon, I'm bringing him with me. I know this sounds crazy, but if I buy him a Garfield book he'll be so deep in it he won't be able to bother anyone until he's finished reading it. Love that kid!

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