San francisco mural
Since getting home from the book tour I have been doing many things: preparing to talk at the Toronto Spec Fic Colloquium, for example, and thinking about novels I might want to write in the near, and grading lots and lots and lots of student stories. I have reread Tana French’s Broken Harbor and attended an undergraduate English Conference at UTSC–chaired one fiction panel there, actually–and finished a 12,000 word draft of a novelette that is the third attempt at a story that has died twice, previously, on the table. I am so relieved to have the narrative stapled together this time, even if I do eventually have to hack the midsection to bits.
I’ve been figuring out what I’m going to read at ChiSeries next week and and assembling the small piles of paper that will eventually be my income tax records and posting photographs and attempting to Navigate University Bureaucracies.
With Kelly I’ve watched two seasons–all there is!–of a BBC show called Twenty Ten, which is the prequel to W1A. The latter popped up on Canadian Flix of Net, and we fell absolutely in love with it, launching a rewatch almost as soon as we’d closed out the last episode. From that (though we have occasionally been catching up with Agent Carter and Brooklyn 99), we fell into Last Tango in Halifax, which I have to shamefacedly admit became far more interesting to me when I realized it was also BBC product and not (cough cough) local product.
And in between all that I have been squeeing with delight over Kelly’s Nebula Nomination for “Waters of Versailles.” All her dreams are coming true and it’s the best thing ever, and you should share the joy with her because it’s infectious.
Finally, I’m dreaming of London, because we are going there. Soon! To eat crumpets and look at paintings and walk along the Thames and ride the Tube and be giddy glittering tourists on the loose in the springtime.
What have you been doing?
Annual Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, run by the Chiaroscuro Reading Series
Tickets for this year’s Annual SpecFic Colloquium went on sale yesterday, with a shiny change of venue to Innis Hall on the U of T campus, and an earlybird offer that expires February 29th. Who’s speaking? Why… I’m speaking! And so are Peter Watts, Peter Chiykowski, Andrew Pyper, Michael Rowe and Margaret Atwood.
I know! You’re losing your mind, right?
The event itself is happening on March 12, 2016, running pretty much all day. Think of it as a convention with single-track programming and endless bags of coolness. Tangent alert: I love single-track cons. Two of my favorite cons ever was The Science of Murder, which stood in for VCon in 1995. Getting back to the point, which is this particular event, I’m given to understand, there will be snacks and some free books.
The Chiascuro Reading Series sponsors this Colloquium each year and I have heard some mind-expanding and thoroughly wonderful talks there, by authors like Nnedi Okorafor, Simon Barry McNeil and Madeline Ashby, and creative thinkers like Alex Leitch. I absolutely promise, with all my heart, that I would tell you to attend this thing even if I wasn’t giving a talk entitled “How We Became LV426.”
“The Glass Galago”
On Wednesday the third of the Gales, “The Glass Galago,” will be launching at Tor.com. (The first two Gales are “Among the Silvering Herd” and “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti”.) This new story takes Gale Feliachild and Garland Parrish to the Fleet itself. It’s not the first visit for either of them, obviously, but it’s their first time together. Gale learns a little more about what it was that got Garland disgraced and kicked out of the service. I hope you guys like it.
I was offline a fair bit during the holidays: didn’t eschew Facebook or Twitter, by any means, but I definitely spent more of my waking hours away from the computer. When I was working, it was often on fiction. There’s a proposal I’m pulling together for what might be my next ecofantasy novel; its working title is Tom the Liar, largely because in my head the main character shares some traits with the Hiddleston Loki. My editors have also sent some notes back on The Nature of a Pirate, so I’m keen to buckle down to revisions. I worked on setting up a spring book tour, and should be announcing dates soon. I thought about some teaching stuff and tried mightily to finish reading David Jaher’s The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, but didn’t quite get that done before the new year.
The holidays themselves were low-key and pleasant. There was some sleeping in, some feasting, some wonderful time spent with friends. And now it’s snowing in Toronto, and 2016 has come, and I am looking forward to a year filled with wonders and surprises.
Lawrence M. Schoen has invited me over to his blog today to talk about one of my most memorable meals. It took some time to settle on a specific repast. As many of you know, Kelly was a wine columnist for Chatelaine for four years, and during that period amazing restaurants were all but lining up to pour well-crafted booze and buttery entrees down our throats. Her throat, mostly, but sometimes a plus one got invited. I have had some exceedingly fine plus one meals.
Here’s a selfie of the two of us the day after the meal in question, though, as a teaser. Notice how pleased we look with… well, with everything? And who’s that dude photobombing us?
Lawrence, by the way, is the author of the upcoming Tor novel Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, which will be out on December 29th. This may be an exceedingly fine time to have a novel out, unless you hope to see it on everyone’s Best of 2015 lists, so I’m hoping your curiosity will be piqued by the cover and you’ll check him out when it’s released. Some of you probably got bookstore-themed gift certies from Santa, didn’t you?
I have been gadding around the Internet rather a lot lately. Speculating Canada asked me to talk about the books I read this year, so I have written up ten of them, a Good-Bad-Ugly List of sorts. Not all of the books are new, or even novels, but I did read them and they are noteworthy.
I will, of course, post my annual books read list on December 31st… I’m hoping to knock off two more titles between now and then.
This is the Story of My Reading Life featured me in an interview and review on Wednesday. I was at The Book Wars on Tuesday, and Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup on Monday.
Meanwhile, some of my fellow writers on Facebook enriched my pool of frequently asked writer questions with the following entries:
How long have you been writing?
How long does it take you to write a story/novel?
Is there a good instruction book one can learn to write novels from?
Do your characters come from real life, and since I totally believe they did, who did you base them on?
Do you ever regret putting _______ together with ______, romantically? Wouldn’t they have been better off with _________?