2. My great thanks to Ellen (ellen_datlow) and everyone at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn for one of the most thoroughly pleasant readings I've ever been a part of, ever. We read in the old library (the building was erected in 1890), by candlelight. It was magical. I read sections one and two of "Houses Under the Sea," same as at Readercon in July, only I think I did a much better job this time. The other authors— Micheal Cisco, Brian Evanson, and Richard Bowes were wonderful. And afterwards we were given a tour of the building. I'll write a full account of the evening tomorrow. Right now I am dehydrated, exhausted, starving, and achy, and I'd only muck it up. But it was a grand evening. We got back to Providence about 5 a.m. (CaST).
3. My thanks to Geoffrey (readingthedark) for going along, as these days I seem to need at least two handlers.
4. I resolved yesterday to make an itemized list of the expenses incurred yesterday. People are constantly asking me to come read in places very far from Providence. One reason I don't, of course, is that I'm just not much up for travel these days. But another reason is the expense, even when the reading is as close to Providence as is Brooklyn. So, here you go (I did not include new clothes, though they were purchased to wear to this reading, because I will continue to wear them for years and it hardly seems fair to count them as part of the cost of last night):
$20.00: Gasoline (Providence to New Haven and back)
$10.21: Snacks for the road and hand sanitizer
$56.00: Commuter rail from New Haven, CT to Brooklyn and back
$ 9.00: subway fare for two from Grand Central Station to Brooklyn & back again
$ 2.50: two Cokes
$ 9.00: parking in New Haven
$ 2.50: Coffee (McDonalds)
$ 2.25: More caffeine in Mystic, CT
And that's only one reading, fairly close to home, and we didn't even have dinner. Had we driven into Brooklyn, instead of taking the commuter rail from New Haven, it wouldn't have been much (if any) cheaper. So...that's one reason I don't do lots of readings and cons. They're terribly expensive, and virtually never cost effective. The value of last night is entirely subjective. I had a magical evening, and I deserve one of those a few times a year. We'll likely have an eBay auction or two to defray this expense.
5. Last night, as Michael Cisco read from his story, "Machines of Concrete Light and Dark," I scribbled in my Moleskine notebook, "Watching Michael read, seeing him read, is like hearing a ceremony conducted by a high priest of Azathoth." Maybe that's just a little hyperbolic, but I really do adore hearing him read.
6. I wanted to link to this CNN article, "Why Haiti is Not Like New Orleans," by Kathleen Tierney (professor of sociology and behavioral science director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder). This passage is especially apt: To get an idea of the distinction between the two events, imagine that all of the U.S. west of the Mississippi were to be destroyed or extensively damaged by some immense catastrophe in one minute, with absolutely no warning. That is the situation Haiti faces.
7: Spooky and I took a total of ninety photographs last night. I'll be posting them for days. For now, I'll leave you with these two:
Reading "Houses Under the Sea" in the Montauk Club's library.
Exhausted, in Grand Central Station, long about midnight.
Photographs Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn A. Pollnac