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July 14th, 2009

The thing about entries like this one, wherein I need to describe the day before, when nothing much happened, is that it tempts me to write about all the stuff I need to do during the day that lies before me. Which only serves to subvert the next day's entry.

There are a few things about Readercon 20 that I forgot to mention. For example, during the "Meet the Pros(e)" thingy on Friday night, when all the authors in attendance have sheets with peel-off stickers, and each sticker contains a single sentence the author has written. Con guests roam through the crowd, asking authors for sentences. Some authors exchange sentences with other authors. I gave lots away, but only received three stickers this year (I wasn't asking for them in return for my own). One reads, "Obsessives, doubters, workaholics: When the world ends, we will die, too." The second reads, "'We wage our deadliest battles,' Gundack said, 'against ourselves.'" Finally, the last reads, "Our words are the death masks of dreams." A theme is immediately apparent, and that I received these completely at random makes it all the more curious. I do not know who wrote these sentences.

Also, my thanks to readingthedark, who gave me a copy of Placebo's Battle for the Sun the last day of the con. And there were other people I met for the first time, and that was cool. Catherynne Valente, for example, and Jeffrey Ford, and, gods, I forget. My mind is a sieve. Only, it's a selective sieve, which is the way of most sieves, now that I think on it. I expect there are other things I wanted to mention, but now I can't recall what they are. Oh, I did, once again, arrive at the conclusion that I will never be considered a "great" sf author, because I'll never concede that ideas are more important than characters, and I'll never be a technofetishist, and I'll never confuse the purposes and nature of literature with the role and nature of science.

I got the news yesterday morning that Charles N. Brown, co-founder and editor of Locus magazine (begun in 1968), died in his sleep on the way home from Readercon. I didn't know him well. We were once part of the same little dinner gathering in Chicago (2002), but that was about it. Nonetheless, his passing leaves a peculiar void in the world of sf & f publishing, and I was stunned at the news.

As I said, not much to yesterday. We had to make the drive back down to Spooky's parents' place in South County to check on things. Things were fine, except for a catbird trapped inside the netting that covers the blueberry bushes. The netting is there to keep the catbirds out. We call this irony. Spider cat was getting grumpy from all his time alone. More and more, I wish we'd rented a place in Kingston or Peace Dale, instead of Providence. Anyway, Spooky's parents return from Montana on Thursday.

What I was supposed to do yesterday was rest and recover from the weekend, and that's what didn't happen.

So...I have about a billion things to do today. Okay, maybe only about thirty, but still. Too much. July is swamped. Turns out, there will be a re-relaunch of the website later this week. It'll retain the same look and minimalist feel, but there will be a bit more content, especially relating to The Red Tree. So, please keep a weather eye on the website. And there's an interview I have to do, and a mountain of email to answer, and some promo stuff I need to get to for my editor, and preparing to shoot the book trailer, and I have to get started on Sirenia Digest #44. It really is a bit of a train wreck, is July. I didn't think it would be so bad. I was wrong.

Oh, and I should say, it has been decided that my next novel will be only 140-characters long.

Postscript (2:28 p.m.): Thanks to Franklin Harris for bringing this Readercon write-up ("Some important things/people that I saw/met/learned/heard about at Readercon" at Time.com) to my attention. I quote: "I didn't talk to Caitlín Kiernan, but I watched her swanning around in a tentacled mask and grey lipstick, and I felt awe. It is so important that cons have freakish people at them." I'm going to take this as a compliment. Did I "swan" around? There is an Old English meaning of the word, "to wander about without purpose, but with an air of superiority." So maybe I did swan around. Bjork and I, we swan. Also, the lipstick was green. Regardless, good to be mentioned, and yes, I am a freak, and I'm pleased the author included the fada in my name.