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09 June 2009 @ 10:02 pm
State of the me  
It's been weeks and weeks since my last proper blog post. Sorry.

Attended Wiscon, which was tremendous fun as usual. I was moderator for a bunch of panels and I thought they all went well. There was one panel that had some uncomfortable follow-up online but the conversation remained civil and I think we all learned a lot from it.

As long as we were in Wisconsin we hung out with my parents for a few days, and also visited the Mitchell Domes (which always remind me of the film Silent Running), the Forevertron (an amazing collection of junk sculptures), and Ten Chimneys (the palatial home of famous actors Lunt and Fontanne -- sadly, the day's tours of the estate were sold out, but we had fun at the attached museum).

At the con I learned that I'd sold a story, "Family Matters," to Esther Friesner for her as-yet-untitled anthology about vampires in suburbia. This story is the third in a series that begins with "Midnight at the Center Court" in Witch Way to the Mall, Esther's anthology about witches in suburbia, which just hit the shelves. I also got some positive feedback from an editor about another story, but nothing definite yet.

Upon returning home from Wisconsin we both immediately came down with Con Crud, which wasn't nearly as bad as last year's norovirus but still laid Kate low for a week. I wasn't hit as hard but I still found myself completely lacking in energy for a long time and I'm only now returning to full function.

Despite my illness, I gave an interview to local journalist T. K. Gilb which should appear as one or more articles on examiner.com at some point in the future.

Kate and I ran the Great Urban Race, a kind of one-city mini-version of The Amazing Race. Challenges included locating the quote from Mae West on the "Walk of the Heroines" (never heard of it before), decoding a simple cipher and then taking a picture with eight other people at the specified location, and making a fish face at the famous giant salmon sculpture.

It was a fun day out, with a nice mix of intellectual puzzles and the physical challenge of getting around the city as quickly as possible, though having the Rose Parade at the same time meant that we did a lot more walking, rather than taking the bus or streetcar, than we might have otherwise. We completed all 12 clues without any errors, but our time of just over 3 hours put us in 168th place out of 233 teams (roughly equivalent to being eliminated in episode 3 or 4 of the 11-week Amazing Race). We'd hoped for better, but given that Kate was still coughing her lungs out I can't say I'm too disappointed.

On the writing front... for the last several weeks I've been spending 100% of my writing time doing research for my Wild Cards story. Despite the fact that I've already taken over 20,000 words of notes (twice the projected length of the story!), I feel I still haven't done enough research, and yet I'm also extremely frustrated with myself that I haven't started actually writing yet. I'm sure that at least part of the reason I haven't started is that I'm daunted by the challenge of writing in someone else's universe, which I've never done before for money, and feeling enormous pressure to get it right. I should probably just bite the bullet and start drafting the damn thing.

 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
csinman on June 10th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
Your Wild Cards story will rule. I asked my Magic Eight Ball for you. I asked if David's story would totally rule, and it said, "OUTLOOK IS GOOD." Then it told me to get it a cheeseburger and I said it was fat and it should go on a diet, and did you know those things can flip you the bird? I had no idea. I'd never seen that part of the little floaty triangle thing inside, before.

Also, the fishface picture of you guys is so cute I'm trying to figure out how to put it as the background on my cell phone. ^_^
Victor Milánvictormilan on June 10th, 2009 06:32 am (UTC)
That Wild Cards yarn
Whoa! Take a deep breath, relax. Step away from the research materials.

We appreciate that you take Wild Cards seriously: thanks! It's kinda flattering.

It should not be rocket science, though. One - I think the primary - reason the project has endured for so long is that it's continued to be fun for us participants.

So please don't throw your back out. And if you need info on the WC universe per se, don't neglect John Jos. Miller's sourcebook for Green Ronin. Or ask on the list.

It'll be a great story. Please let yourself relax ahd have a good time with it.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on June 10th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
Re: That Wild Cards yarn
Well, the research is fun. And I already did ask, as you know, and I got some great info from Mike, as you suggested. I also got some amazing stuff from the spouse of a friend who actually works for the organization in question. Thanks for the encouragement!

It's been the case for years that I can dash off a story about black holes or neutron stars from what I remember from college astronomy class. But writing a story set in Pittsburgh in 1938? For that I spend weeks in the library. This is just more of the same.
Victor Milánvictormilan on June 10th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC)
Re: That Wild Cards yarn
I know the feeling. Research can be chunks of fun. And sometimes it takes over like kudzu. Or maybe that's just me.

And, dang, I forgot all about the fact the story you're working on now's for the new, expanded release of Wild Cards Book I, not Fort Freak. I am so spacey these days...
Traceytanac on June 10th, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC)
Hmm..
I've been attributing my post-con crud (massive ennervation, sinus infection, coughing) to the three days I spent immediately after wiscon with a friend and her two under-two kids - but maybe it was concrud after all.

hi! *waves*
Katekateyule on June 11th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmm..
from the timing, I either picked it up at the con or the plane home.
Mark William Richardsvolund on June 10th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a fun trip ... congrats on the sale!

... and also visited the Mitchell Domes (which always remind me of the film Silent Running) ...

Not a coincidence - according to the Wikipedia article on the movie, they planned to use the Mitchell Park Domes for the forest environment sequences but didn't due to budget constraints.