Worldcon: Dublin

August 8, 2019

This time next week I’ll be in Dublin for Worldcon. I’ve got a whole list of things I want to do and see during and after the convention, but I have to clean the house first and finish up some work and make sure I have my passport in hand and. . . so yeah, I’m a little stressed right now. Soon, though, I’ll be away and enjoying myself.

Long time readers of the blog will remember the last time I was in Ireland, in 2014 for Eurocon, when Newgrange completely blew my mind and I started obsessing endlessly about what must have been going on there 5000 years ago, the civilization that would have been required to build the thousands of tombs and forts and circles that date to that period, of which very little evidence remains. I wrote a story inspired by that trip:  “Sun, Stone, Spear.”  I also decided that I really wanted to go back to Ireland and see as many of megalithic structures and regions as I could.

After the convention, I’ll be doing just that. I’m excited and daunted and we’ll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, the programming schedule for Worldcon is available.  I’ll be on a handful of panels, I have a reading and autograph session, and I’ll be doing a kaffeeklatch. Maybe I’ll see you there!

 

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Christmastime is here…

December 24, 2018

I’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks, and arrived home bemused to realize that Christmas is, like, here. Fortunately, I appear to be carrying some of that vacation calm with me. Hey, if it hasn’t been done by now, it’s not going to be. And that’s okay.

I read three books, gave up on a fourth halfway through, plotted two short stories, listed a dozen lifers on my bird list, my favorite of which is probably the ruby-topaz hummingbird. (Seriously, is that not one of the most beautiful birds you’ve ever seen?) Logged four dives. Bonaire is now one of my favorite diving locations. The biodiversity was incredible on all the ABC islands I visited.

And now, it’s time to pack up and head to the family and do the holiday thing.

A couple of things went live while I was gone:

The Island of Beasts, my Regency-era story about exiled werewolves, is up on Nightmare.

My reviews of First Man and The House with a Clock in Its Walls are up on Lightspeed.

Speaking of which I am SO BEHIND on movie watching right now. Hoping to get to Aquaman soon. Maybe. I hope.

Happy Holidays, all.

 

Reykjavik

September 6, 2017

I found building-sized murals all over Reykjavik. This one in particular appealed to me:

more Iceland

August 28, 2017

For half my Iceland trip, I rented a car and got out into the country a bit. So the thing about Iceland that becomes pretty clear after just a few hours of driving around:  It’s entirely volcanic.  In fact, and weirdly, the geology of Iceland is a lot like the geology of Hawaii. It’s just that one is tropical and one is sub-arctic, and it’s so cool seeing how those differences in climate play out. Instead of being covered with lush jungle, the lava fields in Iceland are covered in scrubby moss and birch. (Well, the windward side of the Big Island is scrubby new lava fields, much like Iceland.)  But there are still waterfalls everywhere you look, and basalt cliffs falling into the ocean, and entire mountain ranges that could go off at any moment.

It’s very cool.

At one point I said the immortal words, “Hey, I’m not in a hurry, let’s take the back way!”  I probably shouldn’t have done that, but I’m really glad I did.

Coming around a curve, I looked out the window and saw this:

I think I actually said out loud, “Oh my God a shield volcano.”  Like, an actual classic shield volcano just sitting out there. I pulled over to the side of the road to get a picture, I was so excited. I checked later and learned this is Mt Skjaldbreiður, and it produced the lava fields that make up Þingvellir National Park.

Mt. Snaefells, of Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth fame, is also a shield volcano.

mt snaefells

So. Much. Geology, y’all.

 

sitrep: the return!

August 18, 2017

Turns out last weekend was a pretty good time to be out of the country.

So, I’m back. I spent a day riding an Icelandic horse, I bought a lot of Icelandic yarn, I experienced a Finnish sauna, I ate a bunch of cod in one country and then a bunch of salmon in another, added maybe a dozen birds to my life list including the Atlantic puffin.  I took the fast ferry between Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia — so that’s three new countries checked off on one trip! I learned what Finland did during World War II, which it turns out is very complicated. I caught up with a lot of friends, went to the Hugo Losers Party at Steam Helsinki, a steampunk bar. And yes, I lost a Hugo, and had a great time.

Modern communication being what it is and wifi being everywhere, I kept up with the news pretty well, though I might have wished to be a little more cut off.  Strange days indeed, so while I’m still plowing through emails and doing laundry and sorting out the gifts I brought back for people and planning an eclipse viewing roadtrip (yes, I’m gonna do it!), I leave you with this:

Ten Ways To Fight Hate, from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

 

 

Worldcon Helsinki!

August 9, 2017

Worldcon Helsinki starts today!

Let’s do this thing! Adventure ho!

 

Mystic Falls

July 3, 2017

Last week, I went straight from Seattle and the Locus Awards Weekend to West Yellowstone and a family vacation visiting Yellowstone National Park.

I love this place. I absolutely love it. For a week I relaxed and tried to soak in as much of the wild energy as I could.

This was one of my favorite spots that we visited:  Mystic Falls, at the end of a lovely mile-long hike.

mystic falls

I’m just going to soak this up a little more before I get back to work and go through all those emails…