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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NY Social Diary?

Okay, this is kinda weird. I've just made my first appearance in the pages of New York Social Diary. It's because of the Pen/Faulkner Gala. Check it out - there are photos!

And no, I don't usually travel in such circles...

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

These Things Can Book

I'm just saying. Look at these guys. Like resting monsters....

These trains are fast and furious. I rode them the first time last spring. I was so delirious on my first ride from Paris to Epinal that I hardly noticed. Someone asked me if I'd been on high speed train and I was like, "Oh... I don't know. I didn't notice..."

But I paid attention coming back. It doesn't feel like it's going that fast. It's not loud or jolting or anything, but then again the landscape is slipping by at about 200 miles per hour. And then when you catch a view of a motorway running parallel and see how you zip by the cars like they're not even moving... Yep, I was impressed.

High speed rail in America? Duh. Of course. Let's get on with it!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm Home

That's it. We're home. Drove 16 hours on the last day, but we're home. Now, a million things to do...


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Which Science Fiction Writer Are You?

So, a random thing I've had in my blog queue for a while. Might as well roll it out now since I'm driving across this great nation of ours. (That's the US I'm talking about.)

I am:
Ursula K. LeGuin
Perhaps the most admired writing talent in the science fiction field.

Yes, I'll admit it. I am Ursula. At least, that was the verdict after I took this online survey. Hey, I dig that outcome. I even wrote her a long gushing letter a few years back about how much of an influence she was on me, etc. Didn't hear back. But I'd send it again - since it's true.

But that's me. Which science fiction writer are you?

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Un dejeuner breton avec David Anthony Durham !

Hi. I'm back from France tonight. What a trip. It was really, really nice. Loved it. No kidding. Really.

I need to catch up with family and catch my breath a bit, so tonight I just offer this link to the wonderful folks at Elbakin.net. I met up with them in Rennes for an afternoon of loveliness.

And crepes!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Few Photos of Epinal

I know I've been lame about posting the last few days. I guess it hasn't really been that long, but I've done so much each day that I feels like much more time has passed and I've been seriously slacking. I'm not actually going to make up for that today. Instead, I'll just post a few pics from the town of Epinal, the one that hosted Imaginales. I'm in Paris now, but tomorrow morning I head for home. And then, at some point, I'll say more about the lovely people and the great time I had in France. And I'll explain how I happened to meet up with Patrick Rothfuss at a sidewalk cafe. Pretty good fun...

But anyway, below is Epinal...

Oh, and here's me in Epinal...

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The BBC Penguins

This clip is actually about a year old, I think, but I still find it... just amazing.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Tom's Glossary

This comes courtesy of Elizabeth Moon, who just mentioned it in the writers' group I'm part of. It's good for a chuckle, although also rather insightful about the writing life and business.

Check it out here: Thomas Christensen's Glossary of Book Publishing Terms.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Shawn's Donation Page

Shawn Speakman wrote me recently regarding a fundraising event he's part of for cancer research. You may know that Shawn's a cancer survivor, so he's a great reminder of how important it is to give a bit of our time and energy to fighting an illness that, sooner or later, is likely to touch us all in some way. (Me, I lost my mother back in 2001. Only took a few months, friends. And it wasn't a good few months.)

Anyway, here's a bit of what Shawn wrote:

It's that time of year again -- the time to celebrate that I am in fact still alive!

All kidding aside, most of you know my story of being diagnosed with cancer, fighting it with chemotherapy for three months after surgery, and having since thanked every day for the great medical care I received at Virginia Mason here in Seattle. It seems so long ago to me now but every day thousands of people are faced with what I had to face on March 6th, 2001, and every year I try my best to give back in the only way I can -- asking for your money to support a great cause.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society holds a walk here in Seattle every year and this year it is on September 20th. I know, I know: I am coming at this late in the charity season. But over the last three years your generosity has donated thousands of dollars, dollars that have either helped someone who specifically or take research one step further in understanding this terrible disease.

Please, visit
Shawn's Donation Page and give in whatever amount you can. Times are tough now, but even $5 helps. And those of you who live local: if you want to walk around Greenlake with me in solidarity with hundreds and hundreds of other cancer survivors and supporters, contact me and I'll give you the information!

I'll be making a donation. I'll hope you consider doing so as well.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Over in Tobias Land

I was checking in with Tobias Buckell's site recently. There's always much of interest there, but two pieces caught my eye. One regards a proposition he got from someone wanting to sell him ideas: HERE. (I'm glad I don't get emails like that. Not yet, at least...)

The other was a survey of how many novels authors had written before selling one: HERE. I took the survey. (My answer, by the way, is two. I wrote two novels before Gabriel's Story. I'm very proud of them, and very happy for them to have long lives in suspended animation, never to see the light of day or the eyes of readers. They were my apprentice novels. I love 'em for that. But it's a personal thing, between me and them, ya' know?)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

More on Daemons

I'm so glad Constance reminded me of the Meet Your Daemon feature on the Golden Compass website. We did it as a family, with interesting results on all counts.

First up was my daughter, Maya (8 years in this world). She answered the twenty questions with honest precision. The thing you have to know is that Maya already knew what her daemon was. She is a fan of all things feline. She documents this quite often on her blog, Maya Calypso Durham Talks. But she particularly loves snow leopards. She studies them, draws them, writes poems about them, plays with figures of them, and has even visited with one at the Cat Haven. So, she said ahead of time that her daemon was clearly a snow leopard. But... then she had to answer all these random questions. I was worried. What creature would show up? Would Maya accept it?

Well, duh, yeah she would. Because what strolled on to the page was Brynn, the Snow Leopard! I was flabbergast. Mystified. Just generally surprised. But I'm over it. I'll not doubt Maya's feline knowledge again!

Next up was my son, Sage (walking the earth in all his wisdom for six years). His answers to the twenty questions were somewhat dubious, I thought. But he seemed quite happy to end up with a gibbon monkey.

My wife was not nearly so sanguine with her daemon. Much to her horror, her daemon appears to be a big, hairy spider! She was so aghast at this - please know that she kills black widows daily (or so it seems) and dreams of their revenge on her nightly - that she started over again and did the best she could to give the right ("You've got your math, I've got the math") answers. What was the result?

Big hairy spider. I do have to say that neither I nor the kids found this pairing that strange, but... Gudrun walked away, unimpressed by process.

And then myself. My daemon, it turns out, is Calista, a fox. For a second I wasn't sure what I thought of this, but then I remembered the way I'd described feeling about my unseen daemon in the previous post. Remember that? She doesn't like being inside, wants to walk, preferably in woods and meadows and windswept ridges... and when I do this with her she starts to chatter away with all sorts of cunning plot ideas... Um, well, that sounds quite a bit like a fox to me. I may not be quite as resolutely perceptive as Maya, but at some level maybe I did know my daemon after all...

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