The Art Institute visit was particularly interesting to me because my story "A Passion For Art," which I wrote after visiting the Art Institute during the ChiCon 2000 worldcon, was just published in Interzone last month. It took ten years to be published because I waited a long while after getting it critiqued before editing and submitting it, and then it spent a few years kicking around various markets before being accepted. Touring the Art Institute I was surprised by a number of details that I had either mis-remembered or completely fabricated (and forgot I'd done so) in the story. For example, the statue of Pocohontas that plays a prominent role in the story, which I had remembered as being life-sized (and this is important to the plot), is actually only about four feet tall. Another piece that appears in the story, a pencil sketch of a ballerina by artist Edward Moy, is nowhere to be found at the museum or anywhere online; I guess I must have made that one (even the artist) up out of whole cloth. And Tuesdays are no longer free, though they were when I wrote the story.
When we returned I found a whole bunch of good stuff in the mail/email:
- My contributor's copies of the September Analog, with my name not only on the cover, but listed first on the cover and spine! That's a first for me.
- The June Locus, which not only included my photo (in the group shot from the Nebulas) and my name in the news section (for having won second prize in the Baen/NSS contest), but also three photos I took at Wiscon, along with a check for same! Another first!
- A note from douglascohen that my Realms of Fantasy story "Joy is the Serious Business of Heaven" was selected as an Honorable Mention by Gardner Dozois in his Year's Best SF.
- An invitation from the Mars Society to give my Mars talk at their annual convention (August 5-8 in Dayton, Ohio). I'll be presenting to the whole convention right after Robert Zubrin opens the event!
- Page proofs for my story in Esther Friesner's "werewolves in suburbia" anthology Fangs for the Mammaries (don't blame me, or Esther, for the title; it was the winner of a contest).
- A short story rejection, just to keep me humble.