NYC with the QoE

Spring break has mostly been work but I did manage to make another escape to spend the day with the fabulous Stephanie down in the city. Just before another collaboration escapes on Monday, Respectable Horror, which I edited and she supplied the wonderful cover art featuring cover model Poppy. She’s not just skin and bones either!

More photos in a FB album — they’d take up too much of my storage space here — but here’s a few highlights which included stops at the NYPL, Society of Illustrators and the Met as well as fine Belgian and Thai food. Click to embiggen any of the images.

Scottish Solstice

By circuitous means I finally reached Dundee yesterday — by way of La Guardia, Charlotte, London, Glasgow and points in between. Miss Charlotte was delighted to know there is an entire city named after her. Grades all done but the shouting, so I am ready to enjoy the break with reading, writing, The Bridge, Luther, Grimm and of course, playing dolls. Starting tomorrow, a little more daylight each day. A thought to cheer.

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Swanky Wine Bar with Tablet Service

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Charlotte

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Glasgow wins Panto

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That Girl

Holidaze & News

qoeYou may guess from the infrequency of posts that I am extremely busy. But I have found time to enjoy myself, too. Pleased that the lovely QoE was able to visit and hang around Hipsterville AKA Hudson for the day. We had a lovely time plotting, planning and laughing. Flint and Steel, baby!

Then there was the whole Thanksgiving thing which allowed me to eat a lot of good stuff (of course, Bertie was doing almost all the cooking) and drink champagne and watch movies and do some work and get almost caught up on some things.

I did mention relaxing, right?

Brenda wouldn’t let me put this picture on Facebook, alas. I think it turned out very well. Buzz was visiting, too, which made Connor happy. It was an unexpectedly mild weekend weather-wise

brenda

News-wise: Things in the Dark is almost here! The latest of the Fox Pockets has my story ‘The Ransom of Red Witch’ for my pals Terry and Byron. Clever folk will know where I swiped that idea.

My story (or was it Graham Wynd‘s?) ‘Grotesque’ has been translated by Marta Crickmar’s student Filip Cieślak for the Polski Noir site (you know I owe that to Mr B of course). Check it out and see the other luminaries featured there.

Shenanigans at #WFCon2015

Actually the shenanigans began before the con because the lovely Maura arrived to spend a little time here first. And I am already kicking myself because I kept forgetting to have her sign my books and now she has already departed. Boo! Super big thanks to Debi for (as usual) sorting out the room and making everything run smoothly. Gracious thanks to Broad Universe, especially Terri Bruce. Great to see so many people I don’t get to see that often (like Nancy and John) and to make new acquaintances of cool folks like Katja and Deborah).

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Hanging out in Woodstock, spending all her money.

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Maura looking askance as if I had anything to do with all the cool stuff she decided she needed.

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We went up to Olana, too. It was impossible lovely weather for November.

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Then we headed up to Saratoga where our horse naturally won — I mean, for World Fantasy.

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Showing off my new jacket with the weird pockets. I had a panel in the first slot and a reading immediately after. All done and most people hadn’t even arrived.

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Devouring lion.

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Lime ginger martinis at Karavalli’s.

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I managed to drop my tiny little lap top right on my toe.

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Kathe Koja’s intoxicating literature event. Note that she’s reading Riddley Walker there!

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Discovered some fine foxy art whilst walking to breakfast with Nancy and Deborah. How could I resist?

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Delia Sherman & Ellen Kushner’s Tremontaine party: by far the most stylish event I attended. And I’m not just saying that because I won a prize.

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Look at those cakes! Kathleen Jenning’s art looks just lovely. To learn more about the Tremontaine series, hop over to Serial Box (click this picture).

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Cruel to serve this to writers, surely? 😉

Representing the Fox Spirit skulk! Me with Haralambi Markov.

Representing the Fox Spirit skulk! Me with Haralambi Markov.

Southern Hospitality

Catching up with the last part of the Raleigh trip: it sure is good to visit Susan and Ron and get some kitty time. Even better when Byron and Star make the drive over from the west. I am grateful to you all.

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Packing for a Getaway

I started the day teaching from the Sermo Lupi and making comparisons to current apocalyptic predictions. In 1014, Wulfstan made similar prognostications about the lack of a future, due of course to our sinfulness, leofan men. I tried to point out to them that medieval folk would have had many of the same reactions as we do — mostly because they had to get back to the work of getting enough food to live on.

Actually I started with my students working on their productions of Hrotsvita’s plays, but I didn’t have to do much in that class except answer questions while they practiced and did some blocking. I love Hrotsvita: her works run from would-be necrophiliacs to virgins threatened with the brothel life and deals with devils. Drama is so much better when the students perform it. They actually understand what’s happening!

Of course, I need to pack as I am on the road tomorrow to #RallyinRaleigh for Bouchercon. Hope to see a lot of folks there. I’ll be in Graham Wynd mode, promoting both Chastity Flame (first novel free in your bag thanks to Smashwords) and of course, Satan’s Sorority.

I will endeavour to send some missives from my travels, though more likely on FB and Twitter because of course, they’re easier. And handing out these:

Satan's Sorority Promo

Write 4 a Day & Brigadoon

Write 4 a DayThere’s something wrong with my brain. It’s seldom short of ideas. I’m always grabbing for my notebook to write down something new that’s occurred to me while walking, driving, teaching, taking a shower (why is that always a great place for ideas?) or whatnot. And more times than is practicable, I do something with those ideas.

Hence all those books —

And yes, it adds to my workload to be doing websites and social media for various professional organisations (like Broad Universe, Mavens of Mayhem, CSR AAUP, and the new Digital Humanities Initiative) as well as my own selves like Kit and Graham, but as I said somewhere recently I’m making up for all the slack time in my indecisive youth.

And they’re things I believe in! Like Write 4 a Day, my new project I’ve been thinking about for a while. A monthly, one-day writing retreat for folks in the region. It will be held out at Universal Pathways (oh yeah, another site I maintain), so I can also share the beauties of that wonderland. I made this image for advertising the series: that’s Miss C’s golden slippers under the orange curtains in our bedroom in Dundee. Yes, I miss my family in Scotland.

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But keeping busy is a way to distract me from dwelling on places I would rather be. And I will have some extra distractions because I am house-sitting for three weeks out at Brigadoon, which means [dun dun DUN] no WiFi. So expect me to be online a little less (or at least sporadically). Heh, I might actually go to my office more…

News about Chastity Flame — but anon. It’s too hot right now (ugh).