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David D. Levine
09 June 2009 @ 10:02 pm
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.