• CEMurphy


    Loncon was pretty amazing.

    It was well-run, with the only really visible snafu being that they weren’t prepared for 3000 people to show up at 9am Thursday, imagining, instead, that they’d show up more gradually through the weekend. So Thursday there was a Very Long Line to pick up registration materials, but they handled it super well and kept it moving. A highlight was my friend Kate, after walking from one end of the very long convention centre concourse to the end where Loncon was taking place and then discovering the very long line to stand in, tweeting “Nobody told me I should bring a scooter to Loncon!”

    Within seconds Loncon had responded with, “We have scooters. Do you need one? We can get one to you if you need one!”, leaving Kate to say, “No, no, I meant a kick scooter to vroom along with!” Indeed, I saw more than one person over the weekend who had one. :) But they were really on top of their social media and keeping good track of things like that. Kudos!

    I will be here the rest of my life if I try to write out the con as I saw it in detail, so to keep it short, my panels all went pretty well (the moderator didn’t show up for one, causing me to take over, and it went–almost as if I’d prepared to be moderator. There were a couple things I failed to pursue that I hopefully would have if I’d actually prepared, but it went pretty well), and I got to meet a variety of people on them (Mur Lafferty! KELLEY FREAKING ARMSTRONG!!! Kate Nepveu!), which was lovely.

    I got–perhaps because I was there 4 full days–to actually talk to *nearly* everyone I wanted to, often for a quite respectable amount of time. I caught up with a bunch of writers I’d met at previous Octocons (bless you, Irish fandom, for the access to and subsequent friendships with, so many absolutely fantastic and talented people). That was amazing, since most cons involve shouting, “We must have coffee!” at one another across a crowded room and then never seeing each other again.

    I saw my former and current Del Rey editors (and also sat nearby and listened to Scott Lynch talk to said editor about the next Gentlemen Bastards books, all the while thinking, “There are hundreds of people at this con who would flay somebody to be sitting here listening to this,”), which was on both accounts absolutely lovely.

    I also, *finally*, got to meet Ursula Vernon. I have known Ursula online for fifteen or more years (“We’ve known each other what, six or seven years?” she said, and I was like, “No, no, we’ve known each other this entire century, Urs,” and she was all WHERE DOES THE TIME GO!?!?!?!?!) and it was freaking. brilliant. to meet her. She’s just like herself. She was also barely inside the door when she saw someone in a Digger Kickstarter t-shirt and went up to the woman and said, “I like your t-shirt.” The woman said, “Oh thank youGLALGDLSIHSGHAGLHGFFFAAAAAH!”

    It was awesome. *Lots* of people did things very similar upon realizing that That Was Ursula Vernon, and Ursula was bemused while I was amused. :)

    (I did something like that myself, actually, to a woman two people ahead of me on the escalator. She turned to the lady between us and said something like “Are you CE Murphy?” (I have no idea why; I never saw the woman’s badge, so maybe she was a Murphy?) and the woman said, “No,” but happened to be glancing down at me as she said so, and finished, very smoothly, with, “But this is.” The first woman nearly fell off the escalator. :))

    On a professional level I made a couple of contacts, one of which was a renewal of an acquaintance and which may prove very fruitful, so I’m so very, very glad I got to go.

    On a personal level I GOT TO MEET KIM STANLEY ROBINSON OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG ahem and actually–didn’t quite hang out with him, per se, but on Saturday after a panel he remembered me (like, my actual name, not just CE, as it said on my badge) from his kaffeeklatch thing on Friday and invited me to walk downstairs with him for a brief chat and then Sunday I ran into him and happened to know where he wanted to go and he didn’t, so I walked him there and then let him go, but OMG, I actually got to like spend seven or twelve minutes really chatting with him, which was pretty well #diesofsquee.

    Also Lawrence Watt-Evans recognized me (from Twitter) even after having just arrived at the con and being jet-lagged. #diesofsquee

    Okay, who are we kidding, I had a lot of total fangirl moments this weekend. :) (Michelle Sagara introduced me to Tanya Huff. “Oh!” I said, delighted, “I love your books!” “And I love yours!” she said. They had to pick me up off the floor after that…)

    Although actually I think the tip of the hat goes to Kate, who got to buy Brian Aldiss and his wife a cup of coffee and sit and have a chat with them on Sunday, and also had her picture in the Guardian. Twice! That’s pretty well out-of-this-world awesome. :) (She also said to me yesterday, “I was telling Cory Doctorow that my friend CE Murphy had gone to Kim Stanley Robinson’s climate change panel–” but I had to make her stop after the first ten words I had to make her stop and repeat that, because wut. I’m not sure I’d ever seen her quite so pleased with herself. :))

    People I did not know came up to me and asked just how much fudge I was going to have to make. (The fundraiser is down to its last 5 days and 11 pounds of fudge now!) And, as it had been requested, I brought fudge, and was offering it to people. The best one of those (besides the marriage proposal) was when I offered Kate Elliott and my friend Camille a piece.

    Kate said no thanks, she didn’t like fudge, and Camille (for whom I found & tweaked until satisfactory last year’s ginger-maple fudge) took one eagerly and said “She makes incredibly good fudge.” I said, “I do make incredibly good fudge,” very matter of factly, and Camille said, “See, she can’t even be modest about it because it’s so good,” and Kate said, “Okay, I have to at least try this,” and she took a piece and had a bite and said “Oh my GOD. That’s like a brownie and fudge mixed together. Oh my God. I don’t even like fudge and that’s good fudge.” So that was cool. :)

    Um. There was one other really specific thing I wanted to mention and right now I can’t remember it at all, so I think I’ll go ahead and post this and call it good. (Especially as this is a 1200 word post, which, given it’s the *short* version of a con writeup, seems like possibly more than enough…)

  • Uncategorized

    halfway there

    All right, the proposals for WAYFINDER and WORLDBREAKER are off. It’s true this meant working on Sunday, but it’s also true that it means I have no excuse to not start on the DEMON HUNTS revisions tomorrow, and really it should only take the week to accomplish them if I don’t dork around. And now I’m halfway through my list of major work that needs accomplishing this month, which is pretty awesome.

    …this is not how normal people spend their Sundays, is it.

    July Thinks To Do:
    TRUTHSEEKER revisions
    WAYFINDER proposal
    Chance graphic novel proposal
    – revisions for DEMON HUNTS
    – proposal for Walker Papers #6
    – an essay or two for the Chance GN
    – write “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight”

  • Uncategorized

    clack clack clack

    I find writing when there’s music on to be very difficult, but two things are now working against me:

    One, at the moment, I’m huddled in my office working while the landlord and Ted deal with Manly Things (ie, moving heavy objects, cleaning drains, building sheds, etc), and I have the cats locked in here with me. They are slightly less demanding to be LET OUT NOOOOOOOW if there’s music on, possibly because it makes it harder for them to hear the Interesting Things going on outside the office.

    Two, and this is more on-going, the netbook (which has indeed been named Enterprise, what with it being an NC model and me having my Captain’s Chair and all) is VERY VERY QUIET compared to the old desktop, and so I find myself in my office all along with nothing but the EXCEEDINGLY LOUD clacking of my fingers against the keyboard. I had not noticed previously that this is an especially loud keyboard, but it is. o.o

    (Also, three, I just received the new Jim Byrnes album in the mail, and I wanted to listen to it! However, in order to prevent myself from doing nothing /but/ listening to it, I have been obliged topull all my Jim Byrnes music to the Enterprise and create a shuffled play list, because most of the music’s very familiar to me and it’s slightly easier to write to music I know very well. So mostly I’m only distracted every several songs instead of consistently for forty minutes. :))

    So I’m working to music, and it took me about half an hour to get started working because when there’s music playing I /listen/ to it. (Also because I was at the beginning of a chapter I had no idea how to start.) Oi. Anyway, I got started and think I know where I’m going with this, and *maybe* this chapter will turn into one where I can start adding old material back in. Maybe. I’ve written…I don’t know, forty pages? Maybe fifty? Thirty or forty, anyway. Of pretty much all-new material. I swear if my editor’s not happier with this version of the book I’ll fling myself out a window.

    Okay, okay, this is just procrastinating at this point. I’d better go back to work.

    eta: or I could go furniture shopping, which I have just been given the green light to do… o.o (No, I will work. Tomorrow morning I’ll go shop.)

  • Uncategorized

    “Good marnin’, Alaska!”

    I went swimming this morning, and was in a lane with a slowpoke, but he wasn’t getting in my way, so that was okay. The lane next to me only had one person in it, but another slowpoke got into my lane with the slowpoke and me. I got into the other lane, very grumpily, but then it turned out the guy in that lane could swim. And that in fact I had to sort of put some energy into it in order to not be lapped. And after a while when we were both at the wall for a moment, he said, “Good marnin’, Alaska!” to me. It was the swim coach. :) So I had a much better swim than expected. Yay!

    I did not know there was an Alps-sized mountain range beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Apparently it makes no sense, as it’s in the middle of the continent, with no plate tectonics or observable hot spots beneath the land mass to explain its presence. They’re doing a 2.5 month study of it this year during the Antarctic summer, and I am completely fascinated. Someday I’ll get to go to Antarctica. If I’m lucky someday I’ll get to spend four or six months there. I would *love* to do that.

    Yesterday was a day of Doing Nothing*, so today has to be productive.

    – visualization class handout/outline
    – dialog class handout/outline
    – read through all of the critique submissions
    – print out the one that came in late
    – do a critique writeup on 2-3 of them
    – start reading WD for revision purposes

    *Actually, I did study Spanish with Dad. Our class is kind of…scattered…but it’s providing an impetus for us to get together and study, so that’s really good, and we’re having a lot of fun. I sense that in the future I’m going to be obliged to actually learn the future and past tenses of verbs, which I never really did do very well while studying in high school. But if I’m tutoring Dad, well, I need to know what’s right so I don’t mess him up!

    miles to Isengard: 430.7
    ytd miles swum: 27.1

  • Uncategorized

    “You’ve got an Oirish face.”

    I swam this morning. Now I’m all perky. That’s so annoying. :) Yer man the kids’ team coach asked me what club I’d swum with, because anybody who did “tomble tarns” (ie, flipturns) was probably a club swimmer. I said I’d swum in Alaska, where I was from, and he said, “Alaska? But yer parents are Oirish. Ye’ve got an Oirish face.” :)

    Okay, my plans today are mostly South Carolina Writers’ Workshop stuff. I need to:

    – work up a handout for the “developing your writer’s voice” class
    – ideally, although not as critically, also create handouts for
    » visualization class
    » dialog class
    – print out the submissions for critique
    – review at least one of them
    – print out WALKING DEAD, while I’m at it

    That, actually, should keep me pretty busy, although I also need to shop.

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