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[personal|writing] Miscellaneous updatery

Went out walking at 4 am, from the bottom of Cole Valley to the top of Twin Peaks. Yowza is that some hill work. This part of San Francisco is very different from my part of Portland. Met a skunk coming back down Twin Peaks. She and I had the same ideas about where to go next, and a little sarabande ensued on the darkened roadway as our mutual see-and-avoid routines went into flipping pig mode. No greater mishap occurred, thank Ghu.

Also, I thought of a rather elegant title for a piece of short military SF. So elegant I can’t think it hasn’t already been used, but I’ve never seen it, either.

In other news, is rather nicely moved in, given what amounts to all of two days’ effort. Unless something urgent crops up today, after the Day Jobbe I’m going to commence the Tourbillon revisions, which I need to have done by the end of March. So this does seem like a good time to start them.

Some social stuff tonight, here tomorrow, then onward to Greater Portlandia and Nuevo Rancho Lake tomorrow evening. Y’all play nice til I get back.

[personal] Apres Potlatch, le deluge

and I bailed early on Potlatch today to come back to San Francisco and work on getting her set up in her new living space. The apartment is utterly charming and (she tells me) quite large for San Francisco. Lots of frantic running around today, punctuated by a rather excellent Indian meal. Day jobbery tomorrow, back to Portland Wednesday evening.

[conventions|writing] Potlatch and Endurance

Arrived at Potlatch quite early yesterday. Got some day jobbery done, had a nice lunch with and others, donated to the auction, arranged the limeade Algonquin, hung in the dealer’s room with various Bay Area peeps. arrived about six, and we made a seven o’clock dinner for Japanese with , , , , Peggy Rae Sapienza and Dawn Plaskon. The host at the Japanese place was a Crazy Eddie type, but I thought the food was good. Back later for some partying and a not-early-enough retirement.

This morning we’ve been taking it slow, but I’m off soon to be a pro at the writers’ workshop while gets some wordcount in. I’ve got the limeade Algonquin at three, then I’m off to write until six, hoping to wrap the Endurance outline in first draft. We’ll do a pickup dinner at six with whoever is around and interested, then Tom Whitmore and I are running the auction this evening.

Tomorrow we’re off to Do Stuff, but hopefully I’ll see some, all or none of you today.

[process] Endurance outline

Spent quite a bit of time on the Endurance outline today, got about 2,000 words in. This isn’t an issue of being unproductive, but more like the gears clashing on my process changes of late. I’m adapting a lot of what I’ve learned from The Heart of the Beast and Sunspin, and it’s taking quite a bit of careful thought.

Wound up having something of a story conference with this evening, just to validate my approach and bounce some reality-check type questions off her. She had some shrewd responses which were very helpful. That sort of early sharing is way outside my historical process, which is to keep this stuff close to the vest until the draft hits the page.

Oddly enough, a carefully considered outline requires careful consideration. Still, I can see this sucker moving into shape.

[personal] Home, and the pieces are catching up

My cold and I came home to a house where one could successfully hang meat. (And no, that is not a reference to my dating life.) Luckily I already knew my heating was on the fritz and had scheduled a visit from the heating repair guys (not Robert DeNiro in Brazil drag), and so they were here an hour or so after me. is quite ill with some vicious crud which has been going around her school. Life’s a party here!

At least I’m home. And it’s warm. Now.

I do report some mild success with Writing Related Program Activities this afternoon, while the ever-wise pointed out something in chat which unpacked hugely for me anent Endurance as well as an impending Green-related short story project.

[conventions] RadCon report, and travel

Had a brilliant weekend with at RadCon. Between the vagaries of Con schedule, driving time, and our respective travel schedules, I’m behind on posting.

arrived on Thursday morning. After a tour of the bachelor squalor of Nuevo Rancho Lake, we lit out for Pasco, WA for the convention. It was an ok drive, though the trip ran into the cold dark. Had a simple, quiet evening there, then Friday morning we got in some gym and writing time before heading out in a group for the tour of the Whole Body Count Facility, a/k/a In Vivo Radioassay.

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, and at lunch on the way to the Whole Body Count Facility.

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Atomic pretzel at lunch

That was a fascinatingly weird piece of technology which combined a certain roughcut steampunk elegance with WWII components, the Big Science air of the 1950s, lead bricks, dentist chairs piped for liquid nitrogen, and radioactive human remains stored onsite for baselining purposes. I’ll post a photoessay with some more explanations later, but touched on it here.

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at the Whole Body Count Facility

Friday evening the convention swung into gear, with my usual toastmasterly duties in play. In this case, that mostly amounts to being RadCon Bob’s shill for the annual Prank, though there were some other highly entertaining (to me, at least) moments. That was followed by a rough and tumble forty minutes of improv comedy with I won’t even try to describe, except to note that it was stunningly exhausting. And is brilliant at improv. And kissed me on stage. We had an otherwise pretty light schedule that night, so we were off to the Shimmerzine party, then wound up having a quiet evening with and in our room.

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and , with twins on board

Saturday boxed up a lot harder, but we still made it to the gym and got her word count in, while I chased stuff for my reading later. We had an editorial luncheon with , and , which was delightful company with decent Mexican food, though some serious fails on getting the kind of restaurant we wanted, as well the transportation we needed. I bowled through my reading, through a dead panel on SF as a tool for social change, and through a hilarious panel with , , , and Eve Gordon on the hazards of being a beautiful woman at an SF convention. (I was Exhibit A under “Hazards”.) brought a tiara for me to wear, and filled in for me at the end when I needed to exit early to prep for my role as MC of the masquerade.

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Me, being a hazard to beautiful women.

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Beautiful women and .

Post-masquerade we wound up at the small press party, where poor behavior on all our parts was heavily documented on film and video. Somehow, yet again, and were involved with me and , along with , , and a rotating cast of others. Eventually we peeled out and went down to the dance, where I think I sprained my entire body.

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Con Chair Laura

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Bruce Taylor, Mr. Magic Realism

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with Marta and the killer rabbit

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Andrea of Blue Falcon Editing

Crawling from the wreckage Sunday morning, I pinch-hit for both and on the GoH interview, as they had to leave for the funeral of ‘ dad. I sat with GoHs and while they essentially interviewed themselves about how they got into (respectively) editing and writing, their backgrounds growing up, and so forth. was back in the room writing (she’s mid-novel, I’m between novels), so she missed a few bons mots.

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Our departure after the interview was significantly hampered by the fact that the Genre car’s battery had died whilst it sat in the parking lot over the weekend. , who already had my undying friendship, came out in the wet, fast snowfall and jumped us. I think he earned ‘s undying friendship as well for that.

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Hero of the Revolution

Despite the rough start, we had a nice drive back to Portland, during which we saw a bald eagle up very close sitting on a rock by the highway. We went to ‘s house for a family dinner, with , , her boyfriend, the Niece and mom and dad in attendance. After that back to Nuevo Rancho Lake to discover the heat had quit working sometime over the previous few days, which made Sunday night and Monday morning kind of a challenge.

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Fail number three happened this morning at the airport, where ‘s plane was several hours delayed, and mine delayed about half an hour. Our scheduled departures were staggered, so I was able to keep her company almost the whole time. We saw a couple dancing very beautifully in an empty gate area, each sharing one earbud of a digital music player as they swept each other around.

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Dancing couple

Somehow that silent, private footwork right in the midst of a busy airport seems an apropos metaphor for life these days — on stage with a live mic at RadCon, blogging my adventures and misadventures here, putting my words out on printed pages and glowing screens to be enjoyed and reviled.

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Anyway, is back to the Bay Area, I’m on my way to Omaha, and it was one of the more delightful weekends of my life. Next Con appearance: we’ll both be at Potlatch come the end of the month. See some, all or none of you there.

[links|conventions] Link salad takes a Con break

The Internet connection here at the Red Lion in Pasco is so slow that I can’t seem to load my usual daily browse lists. (This wasn’t true the night we checked in, but has been true all day today — I suspect some of my neighbors are hitting BitTorrent or something.) So, no more link salad til Monday. Con is going well so far, and I just had a lovely lunch with , and . I’ve got a reading coming up, then programming from 4 pm to 7 pm. See some, all or none you around there!