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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.

Comments

( 35 comments — Have your say! )
jtglover
Jul. 14th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I should say, it has been decided that my next novel will be only 140-characters long.

You jest, but Google "twovel" and see what happens...

The pictures and accounts would suggest that it was a lovely con! And the mask was lovely -- thanks for linking to the maker's site.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
You jest, but Google "twovel" and see what happens...

I am aware of these farces.

Edited at 2009-07-14 05:03 pm (UTC)
readingthedark
Jul. 14th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
You, of course, are very welcome.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)

You, of course, are very welcome.

I quite like it.
(no subject) - readingthedark - Jul. 14th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Jul. 14th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
martianmooncrab
Jul. 14th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
How does one "swan"

I always think of ballet at this point...
greygirlbeast
Jul. 14th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)

It sounds marvelously graceful.
To swan or not to swan - ruby_star - Jul. 14th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: To swan or not to swan - greygirlbeast - Jul. 14th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
sisyphusiren
Jul. 14th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
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

This gave me pause for thought, as I was reading your entry. I believe I came to the conclusion that (for me) ideas might be as important as characters, but no more, or I'll become completely disinterested in the novel (or what have you) no matter how good the ideas might be.

I think I tend to swan around the room at parties, mostly to avoid social contact. The masks are a really fantastic idea.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 14th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)

The masks are a really fantastic idea.

Thank you.

This gave me pause for thought, as I was reading your entry. I believe I came to the conclusion that (for me) ideas might be as important as characters, but no more, or I'll become completely disinterested in the novel (or what have you) no matter how good the ideas might be.

It may be I did a poor job of saying what I meant to say. Being around and talking with a lot of sf writers, especially hard sf writers, there is the distinct impression that the characters are, at best, secondary.
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(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Jul. 14th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
You were indeed "marvelously graceful" and mysterious looking. A bit aloof.

Thank you.

For contrast, we got the same vibe from Peter Straub those first two days -- and we already know him a bit from NeCon! We waited until he seemed more relaxed and happy. By Sunday he was quite jolly, indeed. :)

One of the many reasons that I love Peter so much is that he has style. Another is that he has this genuinely scholarly mind, and is capable of great seriousness, and yet also the good humor you mention. He just rocks.

At these functions, common courtesy goes a long way and is usually rewarded.

Indeed.

Edited at 2009-07-14 07:58 pm (UTC)
robyn_ma
Jul. 14th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
'swanning around in a tentacled mask and grey lipstick, and I felt awe'

Oh, gods, you've reached your grande dame stage. Next you'll be spotted at the swankiest conventions, a goblet of absinthe held lackadaisically in your hand, muttering 'Have that androgynous person washed and brought to my tent.'

And the worst part is, you'll actually have a tent at the convention.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 14th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)

*snerk*

It's becoming obvious that Tilda Swinton must play me in the biopic.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Jul. 15th, 2009 04:13 am (UTC) - Expand
tsarina
Jul. 15th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
the perils of liberated objects
SO I was reading through copies of the Sirena Digest, because it seemed like the thing for a hot night. It occurred to me I probably didn't comment to say how much I enjoyed reading The Perils of Liberated Objects, or The Voyeur's Seduction. I find myself craving the other stories of this story - how the book was lost, how Arabella found the book, even the story of what happens to the child of the unicorn. It felt so haunting and translucent and I think it is one of my all time favorites now.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 15th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
Re: the perils of liberated objects

It occurred to me I probably didn't comment to say how much I enjoyed reading The Perils of Liberated Objects, or The Voyeur's Seduction. I find myself craving the other stories of this story - how the book was lost, how Arabella found the book, even the story of what happens to the child of the unicorn. It felt so haunting and translucent and I think it is one of my all time favorites now.

Neat!
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Jul. 15th, 2009 06:00 am (UTC)

*Love* the masks. Furthermore, I feel gypped, since you weren't wearing one when I met you at Fiddler's Green.

Ah, well. If I really do keep it up (and I think I likely shall), you have many more chances.
eredien
Jul. 16th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
"Obsessives, doubters, workaholics: When the world ends, we will die, too."

That's rax's, if you're interested.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 16th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC)

Oh. Well, then. Thank you.
(no subject) - eredien - Jul. 16th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
ericmvan
Jul. 16th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Quotes from Rachel Elizabeth Dillon, Laurel Anne Hill, and Sonya Taaffe, respectively.

I think I want to put all the quotes online, with attribution, and challenge folks to compose a story comprising all of them without omission. We could do that for as many as 18 other Readercons.

Such an archive would actually be interesting and even useful, as the quotes often reflect the zeitgeist, sometimes remarkably so. The collection after 9/11 was dark enough to be scary.
( 35 comments — Have your say! )