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The Cliff Notes Version of My Summer

Cliff-notes version of my summer:

MisCon: laid back with good ol’ friends, sold lots of books, ate lots of restaurant food

Home one day, taught last class of the semester, did some work, packed for Phoenix.

Phoenix: semi-laid back, but really too hot. Rita joined me so she could lay around the pool. She might have attended one of my panels. Sold a lot of books, ate lots of restaurant food.

Home two days, moved into the new studio downstairs, did some work, apologized to the kitty

Drove down to Portland, Oregon, for a reading/signing at Powell’s bookstore and visit with friends. Stayed the first night with Ken Scholes, an author friend who I got to know better at Miscon, spent the next day with Lee and Venetia. Sold a lot of books, ate a lot of restaurant food.

Home three days. Apologized to the kitty some more. Drew the next Marie Brennan cover and sent it out for approval. Packed for Amherst.

Left at 5 a.m. Sunday, arrived in Amherst about midnight Monday. 40 hours for an 8-hour trip. Weather in Dallas had things fubar, and American Airlines didn’t help with truly shitty service. I spent 30 of those hours in Dallas and thought I’d gone to hell. About twenty of those hours sitting in airplanes. At some point, my credit card was accidentally swapped with another passenger’s, and I didn’t notice it until I tried to pay for drinks with it in the airport bar.

It was grueling, but events in Florida the night before gave it all perspective. And luckily I’m really good at sitting.

Class in Amherst was fascinating: 12-hour days, from 10am to 10pm or later, plus party time after. I don’t think I slept more than 4 hours a night the entire time. Met a lot of enthusiastic and talented young artists, hung with friends. Sold a lot of books. Ate a lot of cafeteria and restaurant food.

Caught a ride down to visit with Audrey and Michael Whelan for an afternoon. Amazing house full of amazing and iconic artwork. My editor Betsy Wollheim and her hubby Peter Stamphel joined us and we all had a very pleasant visit. Sold no books, ate some good restaurant food.

Drove down to NY City with Betsy and Peter and stayed with them in their eclectic and exotic loft apartment. Met with the staff of DAW Books and Penguin/Random House, had lunch with Jim Killen, who buys ALL the sci-fi and fantasy nationwide for Barnes& Noble. Learned that he and I share a love for the most obscure comic book hero ever, so obscure that few über-nerds have heard of him: Magnus, Robot Fighter. Learned that I’ve sold a lot of books, and then ate a bunch more restaurant food.

Rita and I visited the Trade Center Memorial—very tasteful and sobering. We walked around the southern point of Manhattan, ate some restaurant food, then made the two-hour trip to the airport, and flew home.

Kitty has not left my side since I got home, apart from last night, when Rita and I went out for some restaurant food.
Date night—traditional! And who wants to cook after all that?

I have five days at home, then I’m off to Chattanooga Tennessee for Liberty Con. I will hang with friends, sell some prints and with luck a lot of books, and prolly eat a lot of restaurant food.

Then I’ll have six days at home before two weeks of SDCC and a San Francisco signing at Borderlands. Rita and I will rent a car and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway—something we’ve always wanted to do, and here’s our chance. I’m sure there will be lots of restaurant food involved.

I’ll have almost all of August to myself, to catch up on work.

And start a diet.