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07 July 2010 @ 09:17 am
Back from Chicago; good news in the mail  
Just back from a week in Chicago at the gay square dance convention. The convention, held in the luxurious and historic Chicago Hilton, was fantastic, well run, with plenty of great dancing (and, well, a few Squares From Hell, but into each life a little golfball-sized hail must fall, eh?). We also squeezed in a Frank Lloyd Wright bus tour and a downtown architecture river cruise, as well as a visit to the Art Institute.

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.
We're only at home for two days. On Friday we head to Seattle for the Clarion West party and another session with the Washington Aerospace Scholars. Two weeks after that I'm off to the Washington Coast to be "writer guru," along with jaylake, at the annual Writers' Weekend. Two weeks after that is the Mars Society convention, and three weeks after that we leave for Australia! Whee!
scarlettina: Fantastic!scarlettina on July 7th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the Mars Society invitation, David. Awesome news--as well as the RoF pick and all the rest. Summer isn't sucking, is it? :-)
S-47/19-Jshsilver on July 7th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
Since you were there for Chicon 2000 (note the capitalization), the Art Institute has undergone a major renovation, which included moving the location of several pieces. They also have a tendency to cycle many pieces in and out of storage (in 2000, the painting of Dorian Gray used in the 1945 film was in storage, but I'm told it is currently on display), so the Moy piece you remember seeing may have been moved into storage (or just moved) in the intervening decade.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on July 7th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
Indeed, the painting of Dorian Gray is now on display, right near American Gothic and Nighthawks, and quite an impressive piece it is too. But the Edward Moy piece isn't mentioned anywhere in the Art Institute's web pages; in fact, a Google search on "Edward Moy" and "artist" gets no relevant hits at all in the first several pages. I suspect I pulled the name out of the air.
Luke McGuffholyoutlaw on July 7th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Maybe you were thinking of Edgar Degas?

OTOH, this is the kind of detail that can be really telling, even to someone who knows art and/or the Art Institute fairly well.
tina connollytinaconnolly on July 7th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Wow! congrats on everything. Great mailbox.
Steve Hutchisonfoomf on July 7th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! May I have permission to be vicariously joyful for your rash of good things?

This says something about the way we think, or perhaps how I think. Schadenfreude seems not to require permission, but taking pleasure in the happiness of others seems to be intrusive or rude.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on July 7th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
You don't need anyone's permission to be happy. :-)
Steve Hutchisonfoomf on July 7th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
One would hope. But there's this response I have encountered, "It's not YOUR success, why are you so arrogant as to appropriate it for yourself" ... which misses the point, in most situations.
Deannedeakat on July 7th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on all the wonderful news! I'll have to pick up a copy of Analog now. :)
dd-bdd_b on July 7th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
I'm quite impressed with how much attention the Mars 'trip' is getting you. The fact that you wrote about it well at the time, took interesting pictures, and so forth, might have something to do with it I guess :-). I imagine your talks now are excellent, too.

I want to say something related to "You're getting them and yourself a lot of good publicity here", and feel slightly nervous that you or somebody might manage to read some criticism in somehow (some people have "self-promotion is bad" as a basic axiom, it seems). So, as the professional writer, please try to imagine I said something complimentary in that general area that's unlikely to be misinterpreted. :-)
David D. Levinedavidlevine on July 7th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the lovely imaginary compliment! :-)
Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummondbirdhousefrog on July 8th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
Congrats on ANALOG!!! Go, you! I am so pleased for you. Cover and spine, too. Wow.

(Anonymous) on July 8th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
Thats great! Congratulations!
et in Arcadia egoboo: Chicago (from Adler)apostle_of_eris on July 8th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
The Art Institute seems to have a crew whose sole responsibility is to move things around. It's no surprise whatsoever to find things elsewhere, or not at all, or appearing. At least once an entire hall vanished. The most mutable hall is to the right, a little way past the grand staircase, the Japanese prints. The Institute has, like, 12 or 15 thousand, and puts a dozen or twenty on display at a time, in a more dimly lit hall. The themes of the selections are always wonderful, not to mention the prints themselves.
(I was very sorry when the selection of book bindings by Mary Louise Reynolds went off display a couple of ears ago. Heaven knows when they'll show up again.)
I do like American Gothic in the middle of all the modern wtf's, where it often is. It's quite startling rounding a corner amongst the blobs and smears, and there they are . . .

It sounds like you found the Architecture Foundation, too. They seriously rock. Besides the boat tour, they have a great range of walking tours.
Cheshyre: mess of bookscheshyre on July 15th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
FWIW, I recently read your Analog story and enjoyed it very much. Though I don't know whether this was intentional or not, I was particularly pleased when I realized the story passed the Bechdel test. Nicely done.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on September 24th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for noticing! (What I didn't make explicit in the story is that the alien males become part of the female, like the angler fish.)