Wednesday, September 21, 2011


No blogging for a bit -- I have pneumonia. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tachyon Party

On Sunday Tachyon Press celebrated its sixteenth anniversary with a party held at Borderlands Bookstore in San Francisco. Publishers Jacob and Rina Weisman beamed like the proud parents they are. The Emperor Norton Awards were given out. These are named for an eccentric, colorful, half-legendary San Francisco character who declared himself emperor, printed his own money, and enlivened the young city for many years. The awards are given to writers in the Bay Area who "exemplify imagination unhampered by paltry reason." This year's winners were Stephen Boyett and Rudy Rucker. Other party guests included Peter Beagle, Lisa Goldstein, Ellen Klages, Pat Murphy, Jeremy Lassen, and Grania Davis.

The anniversary cake, was baked by
writer Madeleine Robbins ("Swords and Bakery"). The figure on top is the Tachyon logo, a rhinoceros, busily typing:
Here are Ellen Klages and Lisa Goldstein, waiting for cake:

Jack and I finished the evening with a long, catching-up-what-are-you-writing-now dinner with Lisa, Ellen, Madeleine, and Pat Murphy. A lovely weekend -- but NO more traveling for at least three months! I need to remember what I was writing, who's in that novel, what they're doing, and why I wanted to write it in the first place.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

San Francisco

This is the view of San Franscisco in morning fog, taken from the deck of Ellen Klages' house. Jack and I are staying here for a few days. We had dinner with Ellen and a whole slew of SF people, including Terry Bisson, Brad Templeton, Jacob and Rina Weismann. Last night we both read at SF in SF, with Terry Bisson moderating a post-reading panel of sorts. Jack read his short story "Everyone Bleeds Through," and I read the opening of a very long novella that Tachyon will publish as a book in April, "Before the Fall, After the Fall, During the Fall." The whole thing was fun.

The panel considered, among other topics, the question "Where do you begin a story? What occurs to you first?" For Jack, it is an image he wants to explore: "a woman standing at an open window, say, and feeling a rush of cold air on her skin. Who is she? What is going on?" For Terry, it is an idea: "What if bears discovered fire? How might that happen?" For me, it is a character: "What if this fifteen-year-old kid had to carry out a dangerous mission he was completely incapable of understanding? What would that feel like?" It was a good discussion.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery

I goofed! My reading today in San Francisco is NOT at Borderlands! It is at SF in SF, at the Variety Preview Room Theatre - details at

I must not post on Facebook when I am very tired!

Friday, September 9, 2011


How much travel is too much?

I have hardly been home this summer. Teaching Clarion, teaching Taos Toolbox, visiting family, Worldcon, visiting friends. It has all been fun, but the downside is that I have not written anything in eight weeks.

Tomorrow Jack and I read at Borderlands Bookstore in San Francisco, and then attend the anniversary party for Tachyon Press. That, too, will be fun.

But afterwards I am going to stay home for three months. I will be more faithful about this blog. I will work harder on getting my backlist up on various epub formats. And I will.. oh, yeah, write.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happiness and Limitations

I am reading Gretchen Rubin's THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, an odd little book that looks cursorily at the current research on happiness and intensely at Rubin's own, year-long attempt "to make myself happier." She went about this is a very methodical fashion, including the use of spreadsheets, month-by-month resolutions, and progress charts (and I thought I was an organized person!) She tried many different changes to her life, but one particularly caught my attention.

Rubin asked herself: What do I REALLY like to do for fun, as opposed to what I'm supposed to do, or have fallen into the habit of doing, or think I should like doing? She thus realized that she was spending a lot of time doing things she didn't really enjoy (movies, parties) and not doing things she really did (scrap-booking, reading children's literature). Gradually she cut down on things she didn't genuinely like and found ways to do those she did. One way to discover those was a question she asked herself: What did she like to do when she was a child?

This, naturally, led me to wonder how many things I'm doing because I think I ought to like them. Answer: Not very many (too lazy, maybe). How many things do I enjoy that I'm not doing enough of? Quite a few (too lazy, maybe). Those are the things I, too, need to find more ways to incorporate into my life. They include seeing more movies and plays, finding some chess partners for live play (not just on-line), experimenting more with cooking, and finding a good book-discussion group. I have spent most of the summer on the road (like, right this minute) but after one more trip, will be home for three straight months and can tackle this.

What fun things aren't YOU doing enough of?