All posts by Alyx Dellamonica

After twenty-two years in Vancouver, B.C., I've recently moved to Toronto Ontario, where I make my living writing science fiction and fantasy; I also review books and teach writing online at UCLA. I'm a legally married lesbian, a coffee snob, and I wake up at an appallingly early hour.

VWF, now with more me!

Alyx portrait 2014 smallI am extremely excited to announce that I’ll be appearing at the Vancouver Writers Fest, which takes place on Granville Island October 21 to 26th. I’ll be appearing in two events: the first is called Serial Success and is intended for high school students.
But the other event is all ages, all the time and will probably sell out fast so if you want to see me, William Gibson and Sebastien de Castell, don’t wait, don’t waffle, and don’t wonder. Tickets go on sale September 8th.
Probables and impossibles
What’s the difference between fantasy and science fiction? Fantasy can’t happen. Science fiction is something that hasn’t happened, but could. Two fantasy writers and one science fiction writer talk about the worlds of the probable and the impossible that they’ve imagined onto the pages of their new novels. William Gibson’s The Peripheral is his latest invention in a long string of inventive novels that have earned him rave reviews and a worldwide following over three decades.  Working in the world of the impossible are fantasy writers A.M. Dellamonica and Sebastien de Castell. Travel to Dellamonica’s Stormwrack, an ocean- based world on the other side of the portal. Or duck the barbarians at the borders of de Castell’s Tristia. Good thing these worlds are impossible—and very entertaining.
On the 28th, I’ll be moving on to the U.S. where I’m signing Child of a Hidden Sea (and of course my other books, if you happen to  be collecting) at the University Bookstore at 990 102nd Ave NE in Bellevue, Washington.

CinCin is still fertile and still feisty… eek!

SONY DSCCinCIn didn’t have her operation yesterday after all. Our very conscientious vet didn’t like the looks of her blood work. She may have picked up a parasite, so we’re deworming. Again. The other stat that’s out of whack is something they often see in growing kittens, so we’re supposed to a) not worry overmuch; and b) bring her back in a month.

She is just as bouncy and happy and apparently healthy as ever. Here’s hoping she doesn’t go into heat before we can get Lozo fixed.

In other news, I just opened my third support ticket with Canada Post in an attempt to deal with the fact that they aren’t forwarding our mail. Iconcluded it with a blatant threat, to wit:

You essentially have until I find time to write a hilarious blog entry about this for my author site, Facebook and other social media to either resolve the situation or refund our $92.60.

I rarely get what I want in life by being bitchy, but the fact that they tweeted unhelpful advice back at me about this problem, using the hashtag #cpcares, has been something of a red flag in my eyes.

The fact that the person who called me said, basically, “We are so doing it! And if we aren’t, we can’t find out why not because… well… computers.” That also didn’t help.

LSQ Interview and a kitty operation

photo by Kelly Robson
photo by Kelly Robson

KC of Luna Station Quarterly has interviewed me about all of my books and about writing generally. If you haven’t looked at LSQ before, it’s worth checking out.

Chinchilla went for a certain operation last night; our vet kept her for fasting and prep, and will fix her today. Lorenzo was allowed, therefore, to actually sleep with us. (I figured that left all alone, he’d cry at the bedroom door all night). He behaved very well, and was gratifyingly snuggly. And apparently he’s sticking too close to Kelly, because I hear the unmistakable sound of a cat almost getting stepped on as I write this.

It’s stunning to think that these two have grown from near-adulthood from this:

More baby pics

The plan is to pick her up, stitched up and good to go (and possibly with a cone of shame on her head) this evening.

Tomato attacks and other posts of postage

Uno: CinCin goes for her little operation tomorrow. Lozo is scheduled for four weeks hence. I would give so much to be able to explain why, to cats about the veterinarian. I know I’m not alone there.

What new toy is this, cat mommies?

Due: Though I often like to cook with crime shows playing as background noise, I had recently been quietly beating myself up for watching So! Much! TV! during daytime hours. Then I realized the reason I blew through S4 of The Killing in two weeks is that it was only six episodes long.

Tre: Once again my freezer has filled up with red things. When I’m not paying attention, I end up squirreling away meal after meal with tomato-based sauce. I need me some white, green and orange, stat! (Quick and dirty somewhat healthy leftover intensive recipe suggestions are always appreciated.)

Quattro: This morning’s writing session was good for 850 words.

Buffalo and Rochester, I heart you!

Are you in Buffalo? This is your chance to hit the Barnes & Noble for a signed copy of Child of a Hidden Sea!

My weekend tour of upstate New York went very well: the folks at both bookstores were lovely and welcoming, and I was delighted with Buffalo and Rochester. The high point was, as always, getting to talk to readers and fans in both cities. One fellow brought in the book he’d bought the week before. He knew I was coming, but he couldn’t wait to start reading Child of a Hidden Sea. This is, of course, the kind of thing an author hopes to hear hear everywhere we go.

There was some great food and good exploring to be hand, and the next best thing was the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. This gallery has a mind-bogglingly wonderful collection, and Kelly and I spent two hours boggling at one thing after another after another.

As we usually do, especially if there’s a border crossing involved, we left ridiculously early on Saturday morning. It’s one of those “just in case” things that you feel a little sheepish about. And indeed, we were super-early for my B&N appearance in Amherst. But then on Sunday it took six hours to get home, which completely vindicated the ludicrous overachieving.

It was wonderful to get away and see new things, and the cats were extremely well cared for by a neighbor (the one who told us about their existence and need for a home in the first place.) So much goodness and good fortune! I am feeling very blessed.

Touring touring, it’s never boring

imageI am embarking on a whistle-stop tour of upstate New York this weekend, reading and signing at the Barnes and Noble in Amherst Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and at the B&N in Rochester, at Pittsford, on Sunday, also at 2:00 p.m. If there’s a single soul whom I know anywhere within range of these stores, I would love to see you. If you want to know me and you’re in the area, here’s your chance! We were in Vancouver so long that popping down to Seattle and even Portland had become, in some sense, routine. We had been through the Peace Arch border crossing dozens of times, and there are points on the road past Bellingham where I believe I could sketch every shrub in the ditch from memory. This trip is all new, all the time. Where will we gas up? Where will we buy fruit? (Actually, we’ve figured that part out already). What will we see? Is the flagship B&N in Pittsford as big and Disneylandlike as it’s made out to be?  Soon I and followers of our Instagram feed will know.

That Escalated Quickly…

imageMe: Maybe this is a hoaxy thing, but Orlando Jones just sent me a friend request on Facebook.

K: Really?

Me: His page looks pretty legit.
Both: Random murmuring about Sleepy Hollow and how would we know if it was a real page or not. Then…

K: Maybe he read your book!

Me: Maybe he wants to play Parrish!

Both: Faint, coo, imagine the advance money, giggle, realize this is ridiculous, climb back up off the kitchen floor and sit back down to breakfast.

K: Orlando Jones is too old to play Parrish.

A: Sadly, yes. Pretty enough, but a little too old.

K: He could play Cly though.

Both: OMG OMG Eeee! Die.

Kittens: ?

Yes, we are deranged.

Oh, Tish! No new business!

gomez

The phrase “Project Gomez” has solidified within my mind as a catchphrase or mantra for not embarking on any new non-fiction or blogging projects until I’ve cleared away at least some of the things I’ve already agreed to.  Since I like to say yes to everything, this means I need to kick it into gear. Two things must be done for every new thing I agree to!

Luckily, Kelly and I have tasked ourselves to a whole lot of chilling out and self-care this weekend: writing, yoga, perhaps the occasional nap. This should mesh well with clearing away a little of the mental clutter.

It has, at times, been a challenging week. I’ve already told you all about the clusterfrack of petty annoyances that was my Monday. Tuesday the floor got fixed (win!) but in the process the floor dudes solved the mystery of why our front door jams… by jamming it so hard that, in the end, we had to break into the apartment. The door got broken in the process, so there will be unexpected expense. (Fail.)

Wednesday we found out that the audit of our 2013 moving expenses had gone reasonably well (win!) and I got soaked to the skin in a thoroughly exhilarating rainstorm (tie! Because I was cold, but it rained so hard I couldn’t see. Which was amazing! But, boy, I was wet all the way to the back of my belly-button!)

Wednesday was also a three-event circus of day–I went to see Caitlin Sweet answer questions about her writing process at the U of T (she has blogged about the experience here), and then bolted home because the cats had a play date with their fairy godmother, a.k.a. the woman in whose grandma’s yard our babies were born. To cap the day we got to go to Charlene Challenger’s book launch for The Voices In Between. ChaCha is a terrific writer, and a delightful person. The event was fun and her reading was super-fantastic.

Here’s a super-brief snippet of her awesome reading.