Brain eaten; normal service to resume.

Look, I do a lot less personal detail blogging than I used to back in the glory days of livejournal. I have the urge a lot less. And in general I think this is a good thing. In general I don’t want you to feel like you will know where I am at all times, and who with, and what we had for supper.

Occasionally, though, there’s something that makes a big brain-eating chunk. Like trying to figure out the details of a complicated multi-generational multi-leg trip to Sweden and surrounding areas for later this year. That is the sort of thing that can take up a great deal of a person’s mental energy.

Ideally this will be sorted soon with tickets and hotels and all, and I can go back to theorizing about this and ranting about that and reviewing the other thing. In the meantime if you have any can’t-miss items in Stockholm or Uppsala or even LuleĆ„, do say.

Off adventuring

In the morning I leave for my workshop. It’s the thing I was talking about in this post, where a bunch of people are doing peer critiquing. I love that there are a bunch of ways to work together to get better in this field. The teacher/student model workshops have done a lot of good for a lot of people, and I don’t mean to knock them, I’m just disambiguating that this is not one, this is a bunch of us looking at each other’s stuff and offering ideas. Like my regular writers’ group, basically, only in intensive form.

I don’t actually know any of these people very well. I’ve read some of their work (before the work being critiqued, I mean), and I expect some of them have read some of mine.

So it’ll be an adventure.

Probably it’ll be an adventure I won’t tell you very much about, because critiques are like that. You’re not supposed to talk about unpublished manuscripts you’re critiquing even to say OMG YOU GUYS THIS BOOK YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK, because you can’t read this book yet. So I just get to be smug later, when you can read this book (these books). I will look superior and say, oh yes, I got to that one first. I knew that would be a good one. And also the person who wrote it makes good breakfasts, or whatever it is they do.

In case you were wondering how the vertigo situation is: it is terrible. In case you were wondering how that will go with air travel and a strange house filled with people I don’t know very well: ahahaha THOSE POOR PEOPLE. No, seriously, the great thing about vertigo is that it is not contagious. The worst I am likely to be is, like, parked in the corner of the couch, palely drinking water, which is not my most entertaining but as health concerns goes really could be worse for other people. And hey, as long as I’m going to have a rough go of it, I might as well have a rough go of it trying to do something fun and cool and interesting, right? If you think the answer is no, no, wrong, not at all right, too late now, no one asked you, I’m doing this anyway.

Meanwhile, and the reason I’m writing this: I expect I will have email connectivity and such, but I will not be posting here for the next eight days. So: see you when it’s almost October. Or see you on email. Yes. Onward.

Home and House

I am home from Montreal and digging out from under the mountain of things that will pile up when you take a vacation. It was lovely, it was grand, and now it is lovely and grand to be home. And oh, so much stuff. So much stuff. Presents to wrap, more presents to buy and wrap. Stories to revise, more stories to write. The laundry is starting to feel a bit under control, although I know that this is an illusion, as the laundry hamper is almost full again. There are several things that want cooking, and more that want backing, and…well, most of you know what day it is, Saturday.

While I’m doing all this stuff, the magic of publishing brings you things I worked on much earlier. I have a new story up on BCS today, A House of Gold and Steel. Go, read, enjoy.

Public service announcement from the frozen north

Did you know–I did not, which is why I am telling you–that they sell little compressor dealies that will plug into the cell phone charger slot in your car? (It is not either the cigarette lighter. Ours never once came with a thing that would light cigarettes. It is the cell phone charger.) So that if you regularly go places that are so cold that a) your tires will deflate somewhat and b) the air hoses at gas stations will freeze, then you can just carry this solution along with you in the car, and it is a very small box and reads out the pressure for you so you can tell how long to run it?

Obviously this is not a solution if you have shredded a tire so badly that it is more of a tire fringe than a tire. Very few things are a solution to that, and you probably already know what they are. But if you have a slow leak, or if you are just in the cold conditions described above and your tires are fine, then you can have this lovely little gadget that will set your mind at ease about being stranded somewhere with mildly flat tires. Or if you worry about someone else you know who goes places where this might apply, then you can stop worrying about them. The nice-ish ones are $30. They sell even less-nice ones for less than that. It is a thing that should be known. So now you know it.

Where I’ll be (rest of 2013)

Mostly I will be at home, but not everyone has heard the rest of my plans, and it might be relevant to some of you, so:

I am going to Farthing Party at the end of this month in Montreal. I will show up the Wednesday before and depart the Wednesday after the Farthing Party weekend itself. J’aime Montreal. So many lovely places to return to, so many lovely places I haven’t been yet. And Farthing Party itself! Which is full of excellent monkeys but not in such bulk as to be unmanageable! Hurrah. Am excited. I already have one dinner plan. Poke me if you’re going to be there too and want something else definitive in that time.

I am also going to a family wedding in the Hudson River Valley in mid-October. I will not be going through New York City this time, just in and out of a little local airport a bit further north than NYC. Last time we were going to the Hudson River Valley, we wanted to stop off and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Which I loved, and which I bet I still love. But NYC traffic I do not love, and this trip is all about the family wedding, and since it’s a fairly short-notice wedding, we are not planning any kind of tours or visiting of NYC friends around it. Sorry to be so close and yet so far for some of you.

I will not be going to the Minn-StF fallcon this year, and this is no fault whatsoever of the concom. Fallcon is fun. You should go if you like fun. But following one round of very active con-like participation at Farthing Party and one set of family stuff, this year’s fallcon comes just too soon for me to plan to spend the energy. There is really nothing additionally fun the concom could have done to make this interesting to me; I was already interested. I just have not been overflowing with energy of late, and that’s already kind of a lot.

I will also not be going to World Fantasy Con or Sirens, although neither is off the table for future years when I have different time/energy commitments.

I have no idea where we will be for Boxing Day and beyond, but the odds are fairly good it will be somewhere in the upper Midwest that is not here. I am not in sole charge of that decision, and it’s unlikely to result in visits for any friends, given the other parameters and priorities–that’s Christmas with Mark’s side of the family, which means maximizing niece-time.

And now you know.