a travelogue in which i stay mostly near home

What can I say about my friend Stuart coming to visit except that...we're still friends. We've known each other for a few years now but just met in person for the first time when he came to visit. Weird, huh? Except it's like we've always known each other, teasing and kidding and staying up until the odd hours chatting. It was fun and natural and easy, the way friendship should be. We even have the same philosophy in drinking beer: until it's gone or they kick you out. And then you go up and drink more beer in the hotel room, of course. One issue, though, he's one of those Movie Buff People who are trying to ruin my last bastion of ignorant bliss when it comes to storied entertainment. I have a couple of them in my life. Shit, people. Written fiction is already ruined for me. Please let me enjoy my poorly-made, thinly-plotted films with hot weapon-wielding guys in peace.

We also went to The Stanley, where we had lunch accidentally. He was the photographer for the event but the pix I downloaded aren't working, so I'll have to have him email me some. I did arrange for about 30 head of elk to stroll by for a photo-op. He rather liked that. And we had brekkies with the lovely Aerin, who I'm sure I'll see again soon since we live near each other, before I sent him off to Chicago for the last bit of his tour.

Mile Hi Con was a blast. Good times in the bar, once I learned not to try to keep up with an Irishman. I love this little con, as I said before, and all the folks who attend. Of course, it's tough to know what was more fun, watching Stuart's mouth drop open at some of the costumes or attending all the fabulous panels. So many fun chats with writers, too. I saw Carrie Vaughn, Mario Acevedo, Jeanne Stein, Carol Berg, David Boop, artist John Picacio, David Dvorkin, Warren Hammond (whose KOP books I ADORE!!), my partners at Espec, the brotherly writing team of Dani & Eytan Kollin, Robin Owens and Laura Reeve, a critique group partner, and I met a ton of folks, too, people I'm sure I've forgotten here. I was not on the top of my game with my first panel, but I had good company to cover for me: Paulo Bacigalupi and Stuart and the others. (Go read Paulo's book THE WINDUP GIRL. It's next on my list. I've read about four pages of it and it looks freaking brilliant.) Next year I want to take my son for the weekend. He'd love every minute of it, especially the gaming.

Since then I've been writing writing writing. An article for Electric Spec ( Hell, go read the whole issue. It's probably our best yet) and plugging away at SCAR. Had a very productive crit group last night (thanks my fabulous critters!) I realized I'm starting to get rather possessive of my wee baby book, which I suppose is a good thing. Massive snowstorm and two days off school and life, as well. Oh and I did Halloweenering, which meant beer wagons and fun chats with neighbors and ghostly goblin visitors of Halloweenerings past.

I'm now in the "clean-living" phase of my year, in which I train hard every day and eat right and get boring. Got a few pounds to lose and muscles to build for the season.

Next up: SNOWBOARDING. It's a fortnight away.

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