July 29th, 2013


my Sunday feeling

As I type this, I'm sitting in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, where I'll be spending the bulk of the evening, as weather in NYC has forced a delay. Our 5.35 flight is now taking off at 9.13. Happy fucking joy. I was really looking forward to the nap I desperately needed on the plane, but now I'm stuck. And I can't go anywhere without taking all my luggage with me 'cause I'm by myself (and I'd give up the outlet that's keeping my laptop charged....).

I had a truly spectacular time at OSFest 6. They treat their Guests of Honor very well, mostly by giving us Anton the Magnificent. Anton is the platonic ideal of guest handlers, and he kept me, Gail Carriger, W.J. Hodgson, John Halvorson, Rainbow Rowell, Luke Ski, and the other GoHs happy and satisfied and fed and stuff. On my end, he was very good about making sure I was caffeinated, which is an important part of the DeCandido Being A Guest Experience.

wrenn didn't come along with me, so zarhooie -- whom I haven't laid eyes on in five years -- was my plus-one, and it was really great to see her again. We had a great time hanging out and seeing the Omaha Zoo & Aquarium on Friday -- it's a very good zoo and an excellent aquarium. I took some pictures that will show up here and on Facebook (not as many as I would have liked, due to battery dying), and I particularly loved the tigers and the fishies in the aquarium. The archway is especially awesome as rays and sharks and other fishies swim all around, above you and to the sides.

The con itself was excellent. I was pretty heavily programmed, but OSFest also deliberately puts half an hour between panels, so even though I had something during every single programming time from 9am to 6pm, I also had 30 minutes between them.

Program items ranged from a fannish Match Game, which was hilarious, panels on Klingon culture and the philosophy of Star Trek, two writing panels (one on constructing a scene, one on "how writers write," to which I said, "Generally, left to right and top to bottom"), an Eye of Argon reading (in which I was the ringer, being the only one besides Jesi, the moderator, who'd read the epic awfulness before), four autographings, and a reading (I read "Love Over and Over" from Ragnarok and Roll and "Fire in the Hole" from Tales from Dragon Precinct).

I also had a great time playing percussion at Travis Heermann's launch party, accompanying Travis and Matt Rotundo, both on acoustic guitars -- I didn't have my gear, but there was a small plastic garbage can that made a good substitute bongo/doumbek/conga/whatever. We ended our little jam session with "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," which was done in tribute to jaylake, whose Jay Wake was this past weekend. We also had some bellydancing by Travis's girlfriend Chanelle and the wonderful Theresa.

I met a ton of great people, from Anton and his wife Linda to a bunch of great Klingons, to fellow authors Melissa Ann Conroy, Betsy Dornbusch, the aforementioned Travis and Matt, Lauren Jankowski, and more, plus, of course, my fellow Author GoH Gail Carriger, as well as her delightful assistant Ryvenna, who are both great and nifty people. It was also good to see old friends Peter J. Wacker and Mitch Olbrecht, and finally meet Jim Arrowood in person. The entire con staff was excellent -- not just Anton, but Jason, John, and the art show and registration people who were all tremendously helpful.

Now I'm waiting to board the damn plane. Grumble. The one bit of good news is that a trip to the airport shop to fetch a coffee and some candy to keep my exhausted ass awake until I get in the plane also revealed that there's a new Carl Hiaasen book out. So I am now the proud owner of Bad Monkey, and I suspect that whatever portion of the plane ride isn't spent sleeping will be spent reading the book.....

NOTE: While this was typed in the airport in Minneapolis, the wireless in the airport died before I could post it. I meant to post it on the plane, which had wifi, but I was totally sucked in by Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey (not his best, but still tremendous fun, and which I read from beginning to end on teh flight), so didn't post this until very late Sunday night/Monday morning. Cha cha cha.
  • Current Music
    "London Calling" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Monday music: "Outlaw Pete" and "Zombie Pete"

What is it with guys named Pete? Both Bruce Springsteen and my own band Boogie Knights have done songs about guys named Pete. In Bruce's case, he's an outlaw and in the Knights' case he's a zombie....

  • Current Music
    "Out in the Street" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

self-defense workshops at Dragon Con and Shore Leave

A reminder that I'll be doing practical self-defense workshops at both Shore Leave 35 this coming weekend (Saturday at 6pm) in Hunt Valley, Maryland and at Dragon Con over Labor Day weekend (Friday at 1pm) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Both are limited signups -- 20 for Shore Leave, 25 for Dragon Con -- and you should be sure to wear comfy casual clothes. No training necessary: this is basic stuff that anyone can do.
  • Current Music
    "Waiting on a Sunny Day" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band