My friend Jodi is in town for his sister’s graduation. We only got to hang out about an hour today since he was on his way to see a show. Today was Last Thursday on Alberta St., so we walked and looked at the funky art. I swear, there was a group of musicians on every street corner. Two groups were doing bluegrass even–Dad, don’t ask me what they were playing because I didn’t recognize the tune.
On the way back, we ran into some friends of ours who didn’t know Jodi was in town. It was fun and too brief. He’s stopping by tomorrow to drop off some stuff for us to haul to NYC with us. That should be a briefer and less fun visit, since it will involve hefting boxes. Apparently one of them contains an accordion.
My dear friends Chrissy and Spencer Ellsworth* have just delivered their first child. Spencer says she’s eight pounds, very pretty and somewhat purple. Mom and baby are happy and healthy, Spencer is a nervous wreck. Spencer had his laptop in the room while he and Chrissy were waiting through the thirteen hours of labor. Periodically his status comment on gtalk would change to indicate how many hours into the process they were.
I am so happy for all of them.
*Chrissy creates the wonderful Lucy cartoons for Shimmer and also has done several covers for us. Spencer and I went to Literary Boot Camp together.
One of the chores to do before we move is to clean out the basement. This is my workshop, so I have ridiculous quantities of puppet making supplies down there. I haven’t had to be selective in years and now, suddenly, I do. I’m sorting things into the categories Take, Store, Give Away. My thought is that when I get the Take and Store stuff out of the basement, that I’ll send out an email to all my puppeteer and otherwise crafty friends inviting them to a party. Sure, we’ll have food, but everyone who comes will be expected to take something from the Give Away category. The rest of it will go on Free Cycle.
I’ve got to say, this is fairly overwhelming. I mean, I’ve got a giant Cyclops head in the basement. Do I keep that? Give it away? It’s huge! And what about the mailman’s uniform? Or the bag of plaster? Heck, what about the life-size mold of a Clydesdale’s head? Oh, and then there’s the box of spare parts for the Audrey II puppet that I’ll probably never see again. Choices, choices, choices…
I arrived safely and Chrissy took me off to get sushi before we met up with Spencer and went to the convention.Â As I suspected, I’m running into loads of friends plus meeting new and very interesting people.Â Alas.Â It is late and my brain is mush so I’m going to go to bed rather than try to recount today.
We had a very relaxed day today. I wrote for a bit until I felt the need for a nap. Then we went out and had udon at Rob’s favorite udon restaurant. He took me on a drive up a very long, very winding drive up a ridge, but I can’t remember the name of it. He says that he used to race it with his friends in high school. I’m surprised he’s not dead.
After that, we went for shaved ice, a trip to the Goodwill and back to the house for another nap. Mrs. Kowal is making dinner tonight, but I have dibs on the kitchen tomorrow.
IS THAT the way you go after a job? You may have a fine set of brains but you must have a voice to prove it.
If you are not as successful as you might have been, start out right by confessing to yourself that something is wrong. There is something which prevents you from appealing to those who have an influence on your income.
Perhaps Your Voice is to Blame!
Have you ever considered that the trouble may lie with your voice? Your contact with the world depends upon your five sensesâ€”sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Certainly you try to dress well and to be pleasing in the sight of others. Probably you have developed a fine firm handshake. When you entertain friends at dinner you serve food that will please their taste.
Butâ€”do you do one single thing to make your voice pleasing to others? Remember that your voice is the one thing which puts you in audible touch with the world. Your voice is to you what the telephone is to your community. Your voice can make your future or it can spoil it.
You get but one chance at any big job. Are you sure that your voice wonâ€™t kill that chance?
You should see the illustrations and read the rest of the copy.
I had birthday greetings all day long, from friends online, family calling and getting to hang out with people I adore. Emily and I spent the day making monkeys, which was so fun and so satisfying. You know how good it feels to do something that you’re good at, especially when it’s still challenging and interesting? That’s the kind of work we were doing today. It felt great.
We wrapped up around seven and went to Grand Sichuan on St. Marks Place for dinner. Twenty friends descended on the place, filling two giant round tables. Stephen, Chris, Jenny, Aimee, Kris, Lon, Katie, Emily, Jessica and I were at one table. Jodi, Sam, FabulousGirl, Jed, Preston, Sarah, Kahlua, Jonathan, Julianna and Sue were at the other. I switched tables about midway through.
The food was great. Emily ordered a crispy fish, which was amazing–I’ll post pictures as soon as I’m back to my computer. We also ordered something called Bad Smell Bean Curd, because, really, how could you not? It was like crispy, mild blue cheese served with a pepper sauce.
Aimee read my runes, which was cool and strangely on point.
Afterwards, a smaller group of us trooped back to Jodi and Sam’s for Mom’s pound cake. Mmm mmm good. We talked until my birthday had passed. I like all of these people so much. Some I’ve known for ages; some I’ve just met, and they are all nice, funny and deeply interesting.
What more could a girl ask for on her birthday?
Well…my husband would be nice, but Rob and I got to talk a little bit on the phone. I miss him, but friends help make the birthday wonderful. Thirty-eight is looking pretty good.
The funny thing is, thirty-eight seems fine, but the fact that my twenty-year high school reunion is this summer is just not okay.
I’m sitting in the window of a Starbucks, with my laptop. My palm pilot is plugged into it to charge. Then I had had to make a phone call, so I pulled out my cell phone. A group of elderly ladies was walking past and one of them stopped, pointed. At first I thought she was pointing at Starbucks, but then she grabbed her friend’s arm and turned her to the window. They were looking at me. I guess I looked like a corporate weasel or something.
Of course, they can’t tell that I’m trying to find rattan for a monkey’s ribcage.
I have something special for you today, and something I am extraordinarily proud of. To celebrate the release of “The Sagan Diary,” (which you can get through Subterranean’s Web site and through Amazon) I and Subterranean Press have arranged for a reading of the book — the entire novelette — here on the Whatever. But it’s not me who will be reading the book. “The Sagan Diary” is meant to be the thoughts of Jane Sagan, as she looks over her life after the events of The Ghost Brigades and prepares for the life which will be detailed in The Last Colony. I wanted voices closer to hers than my own.
So I asked some friends if they would speak for Jane Sagan: I asked Elizabeth Bear, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ellen Kushner, Karen Meisner, Cherie Priest and Helen Smith. Happily for me (and for you) they said yes. Each of them recorded a chapter (or more, in the case of Mary Robinette Kowal), and took the words I wrote for Jane and gave them extra dimensions — made more of them than I would be able to make of them myself. If you’ve wondered what Jane Sagan sounds like, she sounds like this. I was delighted to hear her voice coming through these readings, and deeply humbled by the efforts these women provided in letting Jane speak with them and through them. Without prejudicing your own hearing, let me say that I found myself getting emotional listening to these words given voice. Listen to it; you’ll figure out where.
This is a wonderful piece of fiction and I could not be more delighted and honored to get a chance to read it. As a reader, there are some stories which it seems impossible to read aloud without stumbling, and others which flow without stopping, as if the words are part of your tongue. This is one of the latter. With the exception of one notable sentence in the preface, I can not remember a story which was easier to read. I think this is because, besides being beautifully written, this is something which Jane is “speaking” and so inherently wants to be read aloud.
The deadline to submit nominations for the Hugo Awards and for the John W. Campbell Best New Science Fiction Writer Award is not until March 3, 2007. Plenty of time. Howeverâ€¦ in order to nominate someone, you must have either been an attending or supporting member of last yearâ€™s WorldCon in Anaheim, CA or this yearâ€™s WorldCon in Yokohama, Japan by January 31, 2007.
In other wordsâ€¦ if you didnâ€™t attend WorldCon last year, and you donâ€™t intend to trek out to Japan this year, you have until tomorrow, January 31, to pay for a $50 supporting membership if you want to submit nominations. The official nomination page says you must be a member â€œbefore January 31, 2007.â€ I assume that means â€œbefore the midnight Greenwich Mean Time that occurs between January 31, 2007 and February 1, 2007,â€ but like so many other things in science fiction fandom, thatâ€™s not clear.
Among the eligible candidates for the Campbell listed on the Writertopia Eligibility Page are my friends Cat Rambo, Mary Robinette Kowal, Maria V. Snyder, and Joel Shepherd. Other names of note on the list include Brandon Sanderson, Naomi Novik, Justine Larbalestier, Cherie Priest, and Alma Alexander. Also included are some folks who stop by to make comments on this website from time to time, like Elaine Isaak and Marie Brennan. And then, of course, thereâ€™s, um, me, [David Louis Edelman] and thatâ€™s all Iâ€™ll say about it.
Besides the coolness of actually being eligible for the Campbell, I’d like to point out that you can nominate Shimmer for a Hugo as best semiprozine.
ETA: Thanks to Kevin Standlee for correcting my misinterpretation of the Hugo definition of semiprozine.
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]