Someone should pat me on the back. I've been OTP twice in one week and lived to tell the tale. Oh, OTP — that's Atlantian for "Outside the Perimeter." Spooky and I drove up to Marrietta yesterday for the 37th Annual Mother's Day Weekend Gem and Mineral Show, hosted by the Georgia Mineral Society at the Cobb County Civic Center. 30+ dealers hawking everything from flourite crystals to complete dinosaurs skeletons. I had not been to a gem and mineral (and fossil) show in many years. They were a big deal for me when I was a teenager. There was one every year in Birmingham at Century Plaza, and I'd show up with a tray of local fossils I'd collected that year and swap them with people from all over the world. I still have a few of those bartered-for fossils, incluiding a rather nice Jurassic-aged brittlestar from France and a trilobite from the Devonian of Canada. Anyway, I'd not been to a gem and mineral (and fossil) show since at least 1983 or 1982. It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours. The gems and minerals don't interest me much, but I saw all manner of crinoids, blastoids, starfish, echinoids, trilobites, brachiopods, ammonites and nautiloids, fossil insects and leaves and petrified wood, shark teeth, mammoth teeth and ivory, a cave bear skull, hadrosaur bones, and the skeleton of a subadult Psittacosaurus from China (that truly ought to be in a museum somewhere; see the latest National Geographic for an article on this serious problem [May 2005, pp. 48-69]). I was a good nixar and bought no fossils whatsoever. Here are a few pics (behind the cut):
Too many damn people.
The maw of a Russian cave bear.
A pachypleurosauroid specimen from the Triassic of China (ventral view).
Headlong view of the coiling horns of the Devonian-aged trilobite Dicranurus monstrosus (from Morocco; see Threshold), with more large trilobites in the background, Homotelus from North America.
The unfortunate subadult Psitttacosaurus skeleton. This skeleton is about the size of a small house cat.
Today, I am tired. Tired of the words, too. I have to fill my head with words and spit them out, when my head aches and that's the last thing I really want to do — write. It's a myth that all professional writers are driven to write. It's a cherished myth, I suspect, espcially amongst some readers. Anyway, I have to tie up loose ends today. I need to make some "final" corrections to the ms. of Frog Toes and Tentacles, write reviews of Jade Empire and a CD, The Unquiet Void's Poisoned Dreams, and get to an interview I've been neglecting (sorry, Phaedra). Then tomorrow — no foolin' — I truly do have to get back to Daughter of Hounds or else Spooky's going to decapitate me or something. She's first in line. My agent's second, then my publisher. They all have axes to grind in my cervical vertebrae. So, I expect I'll be in this chair all day. *sigh* Maybe this will be an absinthe day. The Green Fairy can work wonders with achey heads.
Please have a look at our eBay auctions. The FULL-COLOUR MONSTER DOODLE thingy is approaching deadline #2, and this place is stacked high with books you should be reading...