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David D. Levine
02 December 2005 @ 11:27 pm
Voom  
Whoa, how did it get to be {Friday, December, Smofcon, Christmas, 2007} so quickly?

Thanksgiving was swell. We stayed in Portland Thursday evening and had a fantastic dinner at the home of our friends Paul and Debbie, then hit the road fairly early on Friday for the Vancouver square dance fly-in. Had a great time enjoying the hospitality of leatherlion and airporter and hanging out with square dance friends from all over, returning to Portland on Monday.

I was supposed to go to Sunnyvale (for some entirely explicable reason I'm always tempted to say "Sunnydale" instead) for business on Tuesday, but when I got home Monday night I had a phone message that the trip was postponed to Thursday. So I went to work as usual on Tuesday to find a sh*t storm of major proportions. My boss had been out of town for two weeks, and apparently several serious problems that had been simmering for some time, and which he might have been able to defuse if he'd been there, burst open on Monday -- people screaming at each other and all kinds of mean nasty ugly stuff. Glad I missed it. But I didn't miss the aftermath, which is still unfolding. None of the serious issues are my fault, but some of the repercussions will affect me. Probably some people will be shifted to different projects.

One of the consequences was that the person who was supposed to go with me to Sunnyvale was diverted to another trip. But then, when he had cancelled his Sunnyvale tickets and was in the process of scheduling the other trip, he was told that the other trip was off. So I had to go to Sunnyvale by myself while the other person just stayed back at the office.

I was really worried about this trip, because the weather forecast called for a major snow storm to hit Portland that day. I packed with the assumption that I might have to stay in the Bay Area for a day or two. But, apart from the fact that I had to get up at 4am to catch my flight, everything went smoothly. My meeting in Sunnyvale was intense and productive and I got home by 8pm.

I had a busy day at work today (Friday) and went from there straight to Smofcon, the convention-runners' convention, which is in Portland this year. Kate and I hung out with SMOF friends, had dinner with Arthur Aldridge, then participated in the traditional Friday night icebreaker. This year's icebreaker was to re-enact the Orycon hotel search (with all the Portland hotels disguised behind names such as Trantor Hilton and Towers and Innsmouth Hotel at the Docks) in fifteen minutes. Amusingly, my team selected the same hotel the actual Orycon did, and for pretty much the same reasons. Martin Easterbrook suggested we write our press release as a pastiche of "The Raven," and we whomped out three verses of pretty good faux Poe (Paux?) in about five minutes. You can see it, along with another poem from one of the other teams, here.

The writing, unfortunately, hasn't been going well. I've been making fitful progress on the rewrite of the Titanium Mike story, but I haven't sold anything since February. Several stories have been published in the last couple months, but there have been few reviews and most of those have been bad (one poster on the Asimov's message board said he wanted to slap me). I'm hoping for some better news in the December Locus. And there's still no word on the novel. The editor said he hoped to look at the rewrite in December, so I'll bug him fairly shortly if I don't hear something soon.

Well. Anyway. More Smofcon this weekend, and that should be fun. And I don't have any more work-related travel until December 12! (Unless I have to go to Sunnyvale again next week, but I think I should be able to avoid that.)