Keeping moving.

It has been a less than stellar time recently, but I do appreciate both the people who check in and the ones who create stories that I can wrap my brain in.

(In other news, I can now drive a car without a driving chaperone in the front seat! This saves me considerably less time than I thought it would, but at least I am struggling with getting things done in more places.)

Dead leaves and rain

It’s really a pretty pleasant month, all things told. (I mean, most months are pleasant when you’re thinking about them while a cat is sitting on your lap and purring, but October generally suits me even without that.)

Work continues to go well. I’m working on the OcTBR Challenge and have finished ten books so far this month, which is honestly making me feel a little better about the ungoverned tsundoku pile I am dealing with.  I’m also culling books, which is giving me space to put a lot of them more neatly on shelves. Yesterday’s election could have gone much worse. All the pets are okay. I got a very small rosebush and have so far managed to keep the pets from eating it (although it’s early days yet).

I actually finished a new story this month, too, rather than just revising something. Of course, given how I usually work, this means it’s going on the pile of things to revise. I’m hoping it’ll go faster than previous ones, though.

In other news, I had a small road trip which included dinner 120 stories in the air at a revolving restaurant with a spectacular view, and seeing a lot of very old horror movie posters and props, including what everyone is very sure is the last surviving poster from the original run of Frankenstein at the ROM’s It’s Alive! exhibit. I also got to go by Wonder Pens, which is a really lovely fountain-pen-and-related shop, and think I am now sated for ink for a while.

Heading out to Surrey for SIWC soon, and hoping that will be as fun and informative as it was last year. I should go pack.

After WorldCon

It’s been a busy time.

I have another novella drafted (that sound you hear in the background is the sound of me despairing of finishing anything before winter; the drafting went fairly quickly, but the revisions generally don’t, and right now I mostly have a lot of things that need revision). I also went to WorldCon, which was what WorldCons usually are; full of people I did not have enough time to catch up with (some of them have been making their own ribbons!), possessed of fascinating panels with conflicting scheduling, and generally a happy experience. I collected many signatures and made it to the Hugos.

My sleep schedule still hasn’t quite steadied. I expect it will over the next week, and then I will spend the first few weeks back home getting up at 5 a.m. or so. (Yes, I am hoping this works out as writing time.)

There’s an effort being made to create a Hugo for games–you can read about it at–and I’m really hoping that that succeeds. Possibly more thoughts on that later; for now, this was the fifth and final day of the con and I can’t do more than mutter vaguely about “Powered by the Apocalypse”-this and “Choice of Games“-that and “the decision to not give the player character the option to ask about weird and surreal details in Kentucky Route Zero is a subtle but powerfully-effective way to suggest that the strangeness of the setting is normalized to some degree!”-other.

Alright. That’s enough for now.

Checking in

I was going for a catchy title, but my first thought was something about how high up we are and then I realized (1) I’m not actually sure how high up we are and (2) my sleep-deprived brain is now humming a snatch of an 80s (?) song that is just “niiightmare— at twenny thousand feet!” over and over. So so much for that.

The last week was okay. I got all my Clarion West Write-a-thon rewards out, although I am desperately behind on resubmitting stories. A project I was on at work got cancelled Thursday afternoon, and I spent a lot of Friday being alternately mildly sad–I’d spent a lot of time and overtime on it, and am as vulnerable as anyone else to the emotional impact of the sunk costs fallacy–and pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t more annoyed.

We should land in about an hour (although this post won’t go up until I get onto the Frankfurt airport free WiFi). I’m going to sit here, see what I can see out the window, and slowly wake up.

There and back again

In the last five days, I have

  • cruelly abandoned my cats in a place that is one step down from being a kitty spa,
  • travelled to Ohio (border crossings, dear god, border crossings. And why are the railings on the Ambassador Bridge gently crumbling away into rust like piles of cigarette ash?),
  • caught up with people that I haven’t seen in person in six years,
  • visited a fireworks store in Michigan (for the record, it smelled like bath bombs–not scented or perfumed bath bombs, just the dry and powdery ingredients that seem like they should end with -ate),
  • had a couple of pit bulls be absolutely adorable sloppy cuddle-puppies,
  • had a ridiculous amount of very good food,
  • hit the Toledo Zoo,
  • had a giraffe chew on my shirt (to be fair, he was going after the lettuce I wasn’t giving him fast enough),
  • seen jellyfish and bioluminescent fish and a very boredly dismissive kudu and really they are gorgeous in a very elegantly understated way,
  • learned three new campfire games,
  • stayed up very late playing a homebrew blend of Zombicide and Betrayal at House on the Hill,
  • stopped to have a sushi dinner with a friend I had never actually met in person before (who reads this! Hiiii!),
  • and gotten most of the way back home.

(Not all of the way. Self-preservation and the schedule of the cat boarding place dictated not driving all the way through, so we’ve stopped at a hotel. I am actually typing this last night–I cannot be bothered to wrangle hotel internet RN–so the last four days are “July 1st to 4th inclusive”. I’ll post it in the morning. It’ll still be “the last four days” when I do.)

I’ve also rediscovered that yes, I apparently am a person who gets squirrelly without a certain amount of movement in the day. It keeps surprising me; I never think I’ve been making a concentrated effort to walk long enough for it to have become any kind of habit.

I have brought back a not-to-my-mind-ridiculous amount of Cock & Bull caffeine free cherry-ginger soda, and a small stuffed green tiger from the Toledo Zoo. Whose name is Lymoncello, by the way. I will need to get a photo up.

Turning in, given how soon the alarm is going off. May all the roads you go down be kind ones.

Sic transit gloria

It’s been… odd. Not bad. I have missed travelling in the sense of being somewhere else; I always do. I wish teleportation was a thing; I wish the logistics of being able to leave were not so difficult, and there was more time. (I always wish there was more time.)

But I wish there’d been more time to be in transit, too; while the logistics of being able to travel are a pain (time off! pet care! packing!) the logistics of actually travelling are inevitably relaxing. There’s a fluidity to being able to drop someone a line, decide you can do dinner, know that since you’re in transit you don’t need to be home yet and can drive for a while or stop for a while or just wander. In the UK or the US it feels constantly interesting to me; in Canada it’s more like a larger subtler version of browsing a bookstore. There’s something fascinating about watching the world unscroll outside the window, and seeing the pattern of paint-flaked brick or peach-toned highway (seriously! There were great swathes of both highway and sidewalk that had a distinctly pinkish hue) or trees silhouetted black against the sky repeat itself until you start to get a sense of place. Not recognizing it, but relaxing into it enough that you could begin to describe it.

I didn’t take pictures, this trip. When it comes to the scenery, I am okay with that; I will remember it, and think about it, and pick out pieces. I wish I’d taken a few more of people, but I hope and trust there’ll be other times.

(Also, I got fifteen assorted pieces read for the Hugo voting. So that’s quantifiable.)

Turning in, given how soon the alarm is going off. May all the roads you go down be kind ones.

Winging it

I am currently somewhere between 30 and 40 thousand feet in the air, and twenty minutes away from landing in Vancouver.

Quick highlights: I have a brand new laptop bag. Breakfast was lovely. I am about a sixth of the way through HOUSE OF LEAVES. The flights have been decent so far, although I wish I’d remembered to pack a snack bar or something to cut down on the amount of airplane food (a purely budgetary concern).

(If I’d been flying with Air Canada instead of WestJet, I could have switched to a flight an hour earlier. Would not have made a huge difference, but after several trips with delays, I find I’ve developed a fondness for longer connections. But either way, it worked out.)

Ten minutes from touchdown, now. We’re going down into the clouds.

Approaching transit

My laptop bag doesn’t quite fit my laptop, so there’ve been some relatively last-minute packing adjustments. There may be more tomorrow morning, although if there aren’t it will still be fine.

I’m waffling over what books to bring. I like magazines for airports – they’re very thin, and the length of articles and stories handle interruption well – but I’m not sure about the books, or about whether to bring physical ones rather than electronic ones.

I’ll sort it all out, I suppose. And my plane takes off in twelve hours and change. 🙂

Whither and weather.

I’m going to BC for almost a week. BC is relatively warm, relatively hard to get to (the trip involves a puddle-jumper), and possesses the currently-very-cherished-by-me quality of not being Ontario in February.

The weather isn’t currently as bad as some Februarys (how does one pluralize that?), but in the next ten hours we’re supposed to get 5 to 10 cm of snow and ice, and then freezing rain all morning. This is actually pretty good for sidewalks before they’re plowed; if there’s a cushion of compressible stuff under the ice crust from the freezing rain, and the crust isn’t too thick, you can punch through the crust and embed your feet in the snow and ice pellets to reduce the odds of slipping.

The fact that this is my definition of “pretty good” is part of why I’m going to BC. The part I’m visiting gets a fair deal of rain (although I’ve mostly missed it when I’m there), but so little snow that it’s hardly worth mentioning.

It’s also the first time in a long time I’ve gone on a vacation and it hasn’t been to go somewhere. I’m a bit unnerved by the lack of schedule, but mostly I’m just hoping that I don’t end up worrying so much over what to do that I end up stressing during my time there.

The open road.

I’m going for my driver’s test tomorrow. (This will not get me a full driver’s license, but it will get me a first-level license; what we call a G1. It will allow me to drive a car in certain circumstances with a fully qualified driver in the passenger seat. We have graduated licensing in Ontario, you see.)

I’m nervous. It’s strictly a paper test, so this is not the road-test-what-if-I-hit-something fear. (Do people worry about that? A lot?) It’s more the fact that you currently need to pay $150 to take the test, and I am really really hoping I do not need to do that more than once.

(I had a G1 driver’s license for a while, but I let it lapse. Back then it only cost $100 to take the test.)

The idea of driving makes me nervous, since in my experience it is the activity that most often causes otherwise reasonably restrained people to start yelling at other people (even if said people can’t hear them). This clearly means it’s a dangerous and fraught activity that should be approached with extreme caution, right?

But I’d like to be able to drive, both because it’s useful and because it’d allow me a lot more freedom of movement. So here’s hoping the first step doesn’t need to be taken more than once.