I'm home, and I almost broke the big toe on my left foot night before last. It isn't broken, just bruised. I jammed it into a step as we (Peter and Susan Straub, Spooky, and I) were going to dinner on Tuesday night. Horrid bruise behind my toenail.
My agent managed to talk me into taking the bus down. When she first suggested it, I said "Ew," but she said "No, really. It's actually pretty nice these days. "But Port Authority!" I declared, but she persisted. So, Monday night I conceded, and we took the bus down on Tuesday morning, the Peter Pan - Bonanza express to NYC, and...it was actually cheap (half the price of Amtrak) and comfortable and quite nice. So, I see a lot of bus travel in our future. Normally, we drive to New Haven, then take the commuter rail to Grand Central Station. Which is a pain in the ass. This was better. Who'd have guessed.
We arrived in Manhattan about three fifteen in the p.m., and my meeting at Writers House was at four. We caught a taxi (usually, I have great taxi karma, by the way) from Port Authority to West 26th Street. I adore the building that houses Writers House. It was originally the bank John Astor's employees used, and it's a beautiful old Guided Age building.
Anyway, a good meeting with Merrilee. She loves The Drowning Girl, and has pronounced the first chapter of Blood Oranges the "most compelling thing I've ever written." And she's persuaded me to finish that book before writing Blue Canary. It was a hard decision, but yeah, I'm switching the two around. I hope to finish the former by the end of July, then have Blue Canary completed by the end of January 2012. So, a very good meeting, and we talked about many other things, but I can't set it all down here.
After the meeting, Spooky (who'd been visiting with her sister, Steph, at the camera store where she works) and I headed uptown to Peter's house. As always, Peter and Susan were grand hosts. We had dinner at Nonna, a wonderful Italian restaurant, pure comfort food. Later, back at their house, much good conversation. There was a rather strange bit of a shock when I realized the last time I visited Peter and Susan was on May 17th, 2001, exactly ten years previously, to the day.
At eleven p.m., Spooky and I went to bed (!) and proceeded to sleep until ten in the ayem, an amazing ten hours (!!). Peter finally woke us via the intercom. Then he made a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toasted English muffins, and double espressos. We said our goodbyes and Spooky and I headed off to the American Museum of Natural History to catch the special sauropod exhibit (I'll write about that tomorrow). While we were in the museum, a deluge commenced, and from the relative cover of a hotel's awning I hailed a taxi back to Port Authority. We left the city about 6 p.m., and were back in Providence by 10:15. Would have been sooner, but the traffic and rain were horrendous. Just about everything was closed, so we had to get a disgusting dinner from McDonalds; I'd not eaten McDonalds since 2004, and Spooky hadn't eaten from McDonalds since the '90s.
Oh, and an aside: If you consider yourself a science-fiction fan, but you don't know who Harlan Ellison is, you've no right to consider yourself versed in sf (you don't have to like Harlan, but you do have to at least know his part in the history of the genre). Otherwise, you're sort of like an expert in Russian literature who's never read Tolstoy.
And I must work, so here are photos:
Me on the steps outside Writers House. The grey hair shines, and my blind eye squints.
I covet this bookshelf at Peter's. With this bookshelf, I could stop using my floors as shelves, and my bookish squalor would be diminished.
Spooky and Peter in the kitchen.
Peter ordering The Book Thief on his iPhone.
Hector, the Old and Grumpy Man. Blurry because he wouldn't stand still.
Morning! View from the guest room.
The evidence, in the guestbook, of the date of my last visit...
On the way to the museum yesterday morning.
All photographs Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac.
Later this evening, I'm going to post an itemized cost for the trip, as evidence of why I'm not a traveling author: I can't afford to be.