Yesterday, I wrote a lot, and I hope that I wrote well. I did 1,343 words on "The Maltese Unicorn" (in five hours and forty-five minutes), and if only I could write that many words every day. I'd settle for every other day. But, there was a meeting with the producers and some studio execs and their accountants, and at least I'm not having to step down as director. Yeah, we're over budget on this shoot, but they've got confidence I'll stay on schedule. Of course, the big SFX scenes are still to come.
If you've not already looked at the current eBay auctions, please do. Proceeds go to help offset the costs of attending Readercon, one of only two cons I'll be doing this year. Also, you should have a look at Spooky's Dreaming Squid shop at Etsy. She's just finished a couple of new paintings, Owl in Red and The Ravens Three. The latter is one of my favorite paintings she's done.
Someone wanted to know, yesterday, on the subject of the cost of attending Readercon, why I'd not been "invited as a panelist, reader or speaker." This was an innocent enough question, the assumption being that Readercon pays the expenses of professionals who attend and are part of the programming. This is not, however, the case. Readercon is a small and intimate con. A large percentage of the guests are professionals (writers, editors, publishers, etc.). This is not a big media con like Dragon*Con or Comic-con. The organizers of Readercon could not ever hope to cover the expenses of those of us who take part in the programming (as I've done the past two years). But it's also one of the few cons I can bear to attend, so for the past two years I've managed. However, the past two years, I've also asked readers for help with the costs, even though most of them will not be able to attend. These costs are not inconsiderable, which might seem especially odd given that the con is just up the road from Providence, in Burlington, Massachusetts (about an hour's drive).
If you break down the expense, it's something like this: The hotel room for three nights (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) comes to $333 (plus tax). I get Spooky's con membership at a discount (mine's free), so that's only $20. Then you have to factor in what we'll spend on meals, which will be more than we'd spend at home, because we're limited to restaurants either within or very near the hotel. Plus, because I pretty much never buy new clothes, not until circumstances conspire to force me to, I'll have to get a couple of outfits before the con. And there's gas and incidental expenses, so that, when all is said and done, Thursday through Sunday at Readercon 21 will likely cost me in excess of $500 (and in August I have to pay taxes). Truthfully, I have no idea whatsoever how some writers do so many cons in a year, including truly expensive ones like WorldCon and the World Fantasy Convention, which involve long-distance travel (unless you're lucky enough to live in that year's host city).
A big thank you to Steven Lubold for his latest readerly care package, which reached me yesterday. It included, among many other things, Jennifer A. Clack's Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods (2002) and John Long and Peter Shouten's Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds (2008). I'd never be able to afford these books on my own, and they are much appreciated. Another thank you to Britt Marble, who sent me and Spooky matching octopus charm bracelets, as early anniversary gifts. These sorts of packages truly help brighten up a day.
Last night, I read the third (and, sadly, final) issue of Felicia Day's The Guild comic, and late we watched David Lynch's Wild at Heart (1990). I'd not seen it since...I don't know. The mid nineties, maybe, which is strange, as I was once ridiculously obsessed with the film. Probably not the best choice for a "bedtime story," but there you go.
Here's a link to a very nice piece on my writing by Paul Mathers.
And yes, this is Day 50 of the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil "spill." I've been tweeting a good bit about the disaster, but still haven't found the resolve needed to sit down and write out something long and coherent. I look at the facts and the figures, and I see the dying wildlife and ecosystems, and I hear the idiotic things being said by BP, and my brain skips a beat. For now, it is simply more than I am capable of addressing in a blog entry. It rarely leaves my mind, day after day after day.