June’s going to be busy:

I’ll be on programming at Denver Comic Con on Friday and Saturday. The con is June 15-17.

I’m a Guest of Honor at SoonerCon in Oklahoma, June 22-24.

And right in the middle there I’m a guest lecturer at Taos Toolbox.

Seriously, I don’t mean to schedule everything all at the same time…

 

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tea

May 14, 2018

I am becoming a morning tea drinker. Is it getting older, or am I just that tired? I used to be strictly an afternoon tea drinker, but there’s been some times recently when all that was available in the morning was tea, and sometimes when traveling a morning tea is so nice. Also a cup of tea in the morning while camping, when everything’s chilly and there’s a mist in the air and I haven’t quite woken up, is just divine. It’s like a warm hug for my internal organs.

At any rate, it’s 9:30 am right now and I’m drinking tea. Maybe it’s because it rained all night and it’s still gray out and I need a hug.

I’ve also become the sort of tea drinker who has lots and lots of different teas. My favorites:

Harney and Sons Earl Grey Supreme. I think this was the first time I could really smell what Earl Grey is supposed to smell like, and I think it got me high.

Dryad Tea Selkie blend. This is a green tea with lemon and ginger that is perfect with honey, and good for sore throats.

Green tea. Just plain green tea is what I like in the morning, and what I’m drinking right now.

Jasmine green tea. A good pick me up, especially in the afternoon.

Yorkshire tea. Good for cold rainy days.

Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime and Tension Tamer are my go-to before bed teas.

You see, I have become a person who has an opinion about tea. Didn’t used to be like this.

 

working working…

May 11, 2018

I have somehow once again got myself to the point where everything I have to work on are revisions. Like, five of them. I’ve been feeling super-productive and now I’ve just stalled out. Argh. Okay, gotta get some of this done.

Meanwhile, I’ve been laughing because I’ve seen a bunch of posts about what a great and underrated movie Speed Racer is and just want to remind everyone that I loved it and told everyone to go see it ten years ago.

 

Not just spoilers, but a prediction:

So I saw Infinity War again and I really really really meant to pay attention to the structure, because it’s not a three-act structure and I want to figure out how they juggled all those stories and characters. But I got sucked in to all the amazing heart-wrenching things happening on screen just like before and didn’t pay attention as well as I wanted. This time, the most heartbreaking thing was Vision’s line to Wanda:  “It shouldn’t be you, but it is.” Ugh. Paul Bettany. Weeping.

I think I’m going to have to wait for the DVD and sit down with a pen and paper and do a flow chart. Because basically, this is three movies spliced together and none of the seams show, and it’s great. I thought there were four movies, but I think it’s just three, it’s just that the connective tissue is all the B-stories connected to the A-stories.

The A-stories are Tony, Thor, and Thanos. They have the character arcs, they have the plots, they lead the side quests, they’re driving all the stuff.

The B-stories:  Bruce is the B-story to the Thor plot. Gamora is the B-story to the Thanos plot. And I didn’t see it at first, but I think Vision and Wanda are the B-story to the Tony plot. Which I missed because they don’t actually interact through the entire film, but Vision is Tony’s creation, basically, so yes. They’re connected.

What’s genius about all this and why I’m going to have to draw a flow chart at some point is the B stories are the glue that hold the A stories together and successfully merge it all into one movie. They’re the ones who cross over. They’re the ones carrying the overall plot from one character to the next, one scene to the next.

I’m having trouble fitting one character into all this:  Captain America. It’s my one disappointment, that’s not actually a disappointment but it is something I missed. The guy barely does anything except have a couple of grand entrances and be his earnest adorable self. (“I am Groot!” “I am Steve Rogers!”) But I trust Marvel. They’re setting us up. Oh God, indeed.

I think the next movie is going to be all about him. My friend pointed out that we don’t have a three-act structure because we’re missing the third act. One of the pivotal lines of the film is Steve’s:  “We don’t trade lives.” That’s a message of the whole film, really:  you don’t get to sacrifice individual lives. The cost is too high. You can’t put a price on it. (That Thanos is the one character who is all, Yup, I’ll sacrifice a life, sure thing! reinforces that he’s the villain.)

Except…except…everyone in the universe gets exactly one life to trade:  their own. We don’t trade lives. Oh Steve.

Marvel is setting us up.

 

Monday update

May 7, 2018

You know, no matter what my strategy is on the Global Big Day, I’ve seen about the same number of species each year I’ve done it — right around 50. I think I spent less actual time on it this year than in previous years, so maybe that means I’m getting better. But each year I’ve seen a rather significantly different set of species. Like, if you counted up all the species I saw all three years it would hit 70 or 80.

The think pieces about Infinity War are propagating in earnest and my willingness to engage with any of it is just about zero. Yes, there are a ton of easter eggs. Yes, there are a ton of clues. Yes, everything Dr. Strange said is probably super significant. Yes, a lot of people really hate the movie for lots of different reasons. I got nothing. I’m not going to try to argue anyone out of hating the movie because, well. I got stuff to do, you know? Things to knit, stories to write. Right now I’m just really enjoying liking the movie, if that makes sense.

But I have a confession. I didn’t actually cry about anything that happened at the end of the movie until I read this tweet from GotG director James Gunn. That’s it, I’m cooked, I need to go sit in a corner and deal with this.

Writing:  I’ve suddenly arrived at that state where I have a half a dozen things I need to revise and should work on them before starting anything new. Grrrrr. Gotta clear the desk.

 

Tomorrow is Cornell Lab’s Global Big Day, where thousands of birders go out and try to spot as many different species as they can. I’ve had some other things come up tomorrow (SCA Kingdom of the Outlands Coronation, with some good friends of mine stepping up as King and Queen so I’d like to be there), so I’m not sure I’ll get a full day in. But we’ll see what I can do. Barr Lake is right on the way to the event, so I can drop by and get my annual quota of Western Grebes in. Aren’t they pretty?

 

Wednesday update

May 2, 2018

This week I had the honor of being the first interview subject on the Dickheads Podcast — in which the podcasters are reading all of Philip K. Dick’s novels in publication order, and we talked about my PKD Award winning novel BANNERLESS. (never gets old saying that)

Here’s the link on Soundcloud.

And on YouTube.

And the May issue of Lightspeed has my reviews of Annihilation and A Wrinkle in Time.

It’s raining here in Colorado, which is nice. It finally smells like spring. But it’s also making me want to hibernate. So I may just go do that.