Rob and I spent yesterday bumming around San Fransisco, interspersed with me doing drawings for a potential gig and prepping for the Nebula Nomination period to open at SFWA. The sweet boy has been endlessly patient with me.
In the evening we joined the SF in SF group at Henry’s Hunan for dinner. It was like KGB in reverse in that Chinese food preceded the meal. Seeing Cheryl Morgan, Jeff Vandermeer, Jacob Weisman and the rest of the gang was a lot of fun.
Then I was off to Writers with Drinks in the Mission. Oh, my goodness. What. Fun. Charlie Jane Anders absolutely rocks as a hostess and M.C. I very much enjoyed hearing the other readers. In fact, they were so good that I got nervous about my fiction and offered the audience a choice. 1 story, 2 very short stories, or 1 very short story and a puppetry demo.
They chose option 3, so after I finished reading “Death Comes but Twice,” I pulled off my boot and used it as a puppet to demo the 4 principles of puppetry. So, you may imagine my delight when Chris Hsiang, gave me this dollar bill as I walked off the stage.
Rob and I had a relaxed day in SF and are now in San Jose where I will be teaching for the next couple of days.
We spent a good chunk of yesterday and today emptying out our storage locker here in Portland and ferrying things down to McMinnville where a friend has a ginormous locker that he’s letting us put things in. Free!
It was really bizarre looking through the locker as we’d forgotten what a lot of the contents were. Rob said that it was like going through a deceased aunt’s house because all the things in there seem like they belong to another life. Creepy.
I found my box of juvenilia, which I did not bring back to the apartment, tempting though it was. At some point next summer, we’ll go down and sort through things but at the moment it was just too overwhelming.
I’m up waiting for Rob to come home although there’s a chance that he won’t be home until tomorrow.
Confused? He was driving back tonight from California, after driving there yesterday to drop off grapes. He thought he’d make it back by 12:30ish tonight but also thought he might stop and sleep instead. So, I’m waiting up to see if he calls to tell me he’s pulled over for the night.
Meanwhile, to pass the time, I’ve completed a short story, made a peach and apple cobbler, and made vanilla ice cream. I believe the first two are successful. The third is a little… crunchy. If I think of it as snow cream then it’s fine. Note: lowfat milk doesn’t cut it for icecream.
On the other hand, the cobbler really wanted it and… this will tell you a lot about me. I was too lazy to walk back to the store to buy ice cream. It’s okay. I see the crazy there.
Did I mention I finished a short story?
Edited to add: 12:45. He is home safely. Night all!
Aside from the fact that Rob keeps having to drive to California to deal with winery things, I think we are settling into Portland nicely.
Through the magic of Skype, I spent two days reading the rest of Glamour in Glass to the folks back in the Puppet Kitchen. I’d gotten into the habit of reading stories to them when I was finished and they had been listening to me read the novel as I worked my way through it. This makes me happy that 3000 miles will not keep me from using them as a sounding board for fiction. It makes me feel like I’m still sort of there.
The rest of the week was spent trying to tempt Laurel Amberdine and her husband to move to Portland. Now, other people might regard having houseguests a week after moving in to an apartment as a crazy idea, but having company actually helps me feel more grounded. I think it’s a nesting thing.
That helps significantly since I’ll spend the rest of this week being a wine widow, while Rob is off on another trip to California. Thank heavens I’ve got some short fiction to work on. Might be time to call the Puppet Kitchen again…
Rob had to drive down to Sacramento yesterday to pick up so FYB’s for City Winery and is on his way back up. We’ve realized that I can take the train down to Eugene to meet him. Then we can stay at a Bed and Breakfast and then spend tomorrow out in Oregon wine country as he makes deliveries. This does not sound like way to spend the day. So I and my computer are hopping Amtrak south at about 2:00 today.
This will let Chris and Laurel, who are staying with us, have the apartment to themselves for the evening. I’m pleasantly surprised by how well the apartment is working for having house guests.
Because our friends rock, we were able to unload everything from the truck and get it into the apartment today. A hearty thank you to David, Kate, Aimee, Michael, Dave, Don, Yan, Eve, David, Ben, Rebecca, Taylor, Whitney, Bob, and Evan.
After everyone had gone, Rob carried me across the threshold. In a fireman’s carry, to be sure, but romantic in his own way. We never did that when we got married since I already owned the house when we met.
I managed to get most of the kitchen unpacked, which makes me feel a little better. It also gives me a clearer sense of what we’ll need in order to make it a workable space. Actually, the layout, compact as it is, will probably be the most efficient kitchen I’ve worked in. It’s just going to be a matter of deciding where things go.
I believe we saw seven or eight apartments today. Only one of which were we both excited about. Of course, someone else is in line for it. Two of them would work as fall-back apartments. The rest were no goes. Workable, if we had to get something and get it now, but not otherwise.
If we drop the “must have a gas stove” requirement, the field widens. We’re giving ourselves a little longer with the current criteria.
My feet are tired.
It’s also been interesting what things each of us sees in the apartments. I respond to views. Rob responds to ceiling height. He notices how many outlets are in each room. I notice how the windows open.
Did I mention my feet?
When we got home, -e-‘s friend G– was here with her son. G– it turns out is a fantastic baker and had turned up with homemade bread, quiche and a loaf of banana bread. -e- made a salad. We contributed cheeses carefully aged in a vintage ice chest and agitated in a large truck for ten days.
I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July. Rob and I celebrated by going for a walk in Riverside Park. The weather was nearly perfect. We chose not to fight the crowds to see the fireworks and now, at 1:20 am we are still able to listen to them as various neighbors continue to blow things up.
They tell me that Rob is out of surgery, but I haven\’t been let up to see him yet. First they put him in the recovery ward while he\’s groggy. I really wanted to see him like that but, alas, not allowed.
We got up at 4:20 this morning and headed to the hospital for Rob’s hand surgery. He’s supposed to be the first patient on his surgeon’s schedule. We’ll see what that translates to in terms of actual time.
He took his wedding ring off this morning and says that his hand feels strange without it. I think that’s good.
Meanwhile, later today you can look forward to the return of the Giant Block of Foam. Now, here’s the question. Rob thinks I should customize it, but we’re not sure what to do. How do you think I should mod it?
I feel guilty because I haven’t been posting much lately, but at the same time, life has sort of narrowed down into things that aren’t very interesting. Or, rather, that aren’t very bloggable especially not after the flurry of props and puppetry posts.
Yesterday was fairly low-key, largely because I spent the day hanging out in the kitchen. Maggie would eat a few bites at a time if I was in there, so I hauled a chair in and hooked the computer up. She eventually ate some White Chunk Tuna in oil with a fair bit of enthusiasm and even had some kibble.
Today, mysteriously, she likes the kibble and not the tuna. The ways of ailing kitties are mysterious. The kitchen floor has seven bowls of different food set out to tempt her. It’s a kitty buffet.
My big accomplishment yesterday was finishing the outline for Glamour in Glass, the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey. With the help of Michael Livingston, I pounded out some details to make them clearer for people who aren’t in my head. You know how it goes. “Interesting scene with local characters” makes total sense to me it’s just, um, not particularly clear to the rest of humanity.
I actually like outlines and at some point will post the two versions of the outline for folks to look at. There’s the one that’s meant for me, and there’s the one that’s “unpacked” to make sense for other people.
I sent the outline off to my wonder-agent, Jennifer Jackson to see what she thinks and spent the rest of the evening hanging out with Maggie and Rob in the kitchen. Today, Maggie seems to be feeling better, so we are alternating between the kitchen and the sofa.
Today was fairly quiet. Rob had to work at the winery for the spring harvest, but just a partial day. We wandered up to the farmer’s market and then did a little bit of shopping for a show I’m working on. I tried calling my mom to wish her a happy mother’s day but she was out having a good time with my brother and dad.
(Happy Mother’s day!)
Back home, Rob made rhubarb pie while I made a dancing bear. It was very relaxing. I’m taking process shots of the bear and will post them a bit later. Now, I’m off to bed.
(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, […]