Okay. If you actually read all this, please comment. This entry took one hour and fifteen minutes to write.
9. On Saturday morning, as the ungodly fucking hour of 11:00 a.m., I had my Kaffeeklatsch. Now, here's the thing. By definition, there has to be coffee at a Kaffeeklatsch. Otherwise, it's just a Klatsch, right? I show up to this hideously bright room– thank fuck I had my hangover sunglasses – to discover that not only were there no tasty pastries or other breakfast treats awaiting me, as I'd heard there are at a Kaffeeklatsch, there wasn't even fucking COFFEE. There was...wait for it...water. Ice water. And little plastic cups. And scary-ass yellow wallpaper. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, anyone? So, I suppose the event was actually a Wasserklatsch. At any rate, Spooky went back to procure Red Bull, and things got underway. And though the event was scheduled for only an hour, and an hour I'd been dreading, it lasted two and a half hours (nothing else was scheduled there until 1:30 p.m.). One guy even left, then returned after a reading. And it was fun. I know, right? It was me, Spooky, and the twelve individuals who'd signed up, and we just sat and talked...and talked...and talked. Subjects ranged from my writing (boring), to writing workshops (I advised against), to neopaganism (I was asked about my views on gender polarity in Wicca), to emoticons (you know what I think). I somehow wound up giving an impromptu lecture on the geology and paleontology of the Western Interior Seaway and the Mississippi Embayment (during the Late Cretaceous), using that awful yellow wallpaper for a chalkboard (my chalk was invisible). It was pretty bow tie. So, remember: One hour can equal two and a half hours. If the will is strong. And there's no damn coffee at your coffee-gossip thing. There are three photos from the Wasserklatsch, below, behind the cut.
10. On Saturday afternoon, my reading went well. Unfortunately, I was limited to only a half hour. I rarely write anything that can be read in a half hour. So, I read most of "One Tree Hill (The World As Cataclysm)," from an ARC of The Ape's Wife and Others. Photo behind the cut.
11. Thursday night, after dinner at the Royal House, I sat in the lobby of the Hotel Monetleone and had a great hour or so of conversation with S.T. Joshi, Jason V. Brock, Jerad Walters (of Centipede Press), and others. Jason's a cool guy, by the way, and a fellow herpetology enthusiast, even if he is a vegetarian. Also, if you were there and I've relegated you to "and others," I apologize; my memory can only store so much, and that's less than it's former capacity.
12. Late Friday night, Spooky and I (me in my seersucker, despite the heat) took another walk in the Quarter (we had one almost every night), after dinner at Napoleon House. The route: Royal Street to Chartres, to Jackson Square, then back up St. Ann to Royal and the hotel. Jackson Square was teeming with an astounding number of palmists, tarot readers, and suchlike, and I wondered how even the Quarters teeming tourist trade could accommodate so many, the delicate ecological balance of economic systems being what it is and all. But there they all sat, in the shadow of St. Peter's. The air off the river was wonderfully cool, the sort of cool that one can only appreciate during very hot weather. Turning up St. Anne, after we stopped at a tobacconist, we were greeted by guitar and violin, and I thought, "Is that Metallica?" And it was. Two girls were playing "Nothing Else Matters," and...it was fucking breathtaking. The violinist truly, truly was amazing. They are Tanya and Dorise, and I wish I had a recording. The best street musicians I've ever heard, heavy metal turned to neoclassical. Oh, earlier on the stroll, Spooky was captivated by the window displays at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Because it was very her. Unfortunately, we never made it there during the day when the museum was open. Somewhere along the walk we saw the Shadow of Jesus (there are photos, just not today). This would be our longest walk, and it would have been longer, if not for my bad knee (which chose last weekend to be very bad) and my rotten feet. There was a gallery with bizarre religious icons and suits of armor and a hornbill skeleton. There was an art gallery with what I recognized as a young walrus' mandible. I smoked an apple-scented cigarillo and did my best to avoid dripping water from balconies (AC condensation and people watering their plants). It was a walk I didn't want to end. I contend the Quarter is only the Quarter after sunset and before dawn.
13. Getting to see Ramsey Campbell for the first time since 1999, and Andrew Fuller again, and Doug Winter for the first time since 2000, and meeting fellow Birminghamian Robert McCammon for the first time ever, and hitting it off with Amber Benson (who gave Blood Oranges such a great blurb), once again being in the presence of the legendary Bill Nolan, and seeing Nancy Kirkpatrick for the first time since...fuck, I'm not even sure. Maybe 1997? The last time I attended an HWA con was Chicago in 2002.
Time to wrap it up for now. More later. I need to go for a walk before I begin pulling together Sirenia Digest #89, which will feature the next thrilling chapter of Fay Grimmer (plus something else). Now, those photos:
All photographs Copyright © Kathryn A. Pollnac 2013
Off to the Park,