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At least I didn’t get the head injury until AFTER the event …

Brenda Cooper, Jody Sherry, and me

Brenda Cooper, Jody Sherry, and me

This time, I made sure that I had a proper razor.

Had a great time at the Footprints book signing at Powell’s in Beaverton, Oregon. We decided to go up the day before, so I wouldn’t be stressed about making it on time, plus we wanted to have a day in Portland just to visit the city and see what it was like, since I’d never been there before.

note to spouse: when I am successful enough that we can live anywhere, we are moving here. k?

this place is gorgeous, love the mountains, the river, the cool summer (yes I know the winter snow is a bitch, but I was raised in Indiana so this is not new to me).

Made a pilgrimage to the downtown Powell’s, as you do. I had no idea such a place existed and now am wondering how I was able to live in this world without knowing that. Then we went to Beaverton and found out that the Cedar Hills Crossing store is only slightly smaller than the other one. Portland, evidentally, is bookstore mecca. again … moving to Portland someday.

Went to see Up in the afternoon while was trying to relax and not get nervous. This is a movie that does not play fair, and if it is not nominated for an actual academy award instead of being relegated to the “cartoon ghetto” category, it will be a crime.

But the event was wonderful. Peter Honigstock, the sci fi section manager, was a great host, and the store has a very nice area set up for such events. I enjoyed meeting Brenda and Jody, and we had a great time talking before and after the reading. There were a lot of people there as well, a lot of people interested in sci fi and this anthology in particular. We all read, and then there was a discussion time. One of the interesting things about this anthology is that it is about something specific … those footprints still there on the moon, and this gave us something to talk about, sharing our experiences and impressions of the moon landing, our ideas about what happened, and didn’t happen, next and our theories as to why. It felt a little strange, my opinion of these things being asked, because I am by no means an expert, but during the discussion a few things began to clarify themselves in my head.

My generation didn’t have the moon landing as an event to witness. For most of my generation, our first memory of space exploration was the Challenger disaster. So it’s important, as the moon landing is celebrated, that we get a chance to look at that, think about that, and try to get back to a place of hope about humanity’s future in space, even as we try to solve our current host of terrestrial challenges. It is not beyond out our technology to establish a moon base. It is not beyond our technology to travel to Mars. We just haven’t done it yet. And yes, we have problems here that need our attention, but the human soul yearns to explore, to put itself out there, beyond the known. Maybe the fact that we’ve stopped, allowed politics and economics to get in the way of that longing, maybe that’s why humanity seems so heartsick right now. We’ve stopped ourselves from moving out, so we’re twisting in upon ourselves.

just a thought … probably a goofy one.

Anyway, after the reading, we signed a lot of copies of the book. http://www.powells.com will soon have these available for order, it looks like from their website.

And since nothing can happen to me without some kind of personal injury, I was waiting all day to fall down, or cut myself, or have a piano dropped on my head. Nothing happened. The signing went well. I thought I’d broken the curse. Then, getting back to the hotel and getting my things out of the trunk, I leaned forward a little too fast and nearly cracked my head on that part of the trunk just below the license plate frame that is really hard and sharp-edged and thin … still hurts, but no concussion.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2009 in culture, life, writing

 

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Footprints out soon! And a signing!

Just wanted to put up a notice that Footprints, an anthology published by Hadley-Rille Books and edited by Eric T. Reynolds and Jay Lake, will be coming out this month. The date I’ve heard is July 19th, but I am not certain of that. What I am certain about is that I will be signing/reading from Footprints at Powell’s Book at Cedar Hill Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon. I will be appearing with Jody Sherry and Brenda Cooper, other writers from the anthology. I will probably be reading from my story, “Dust in the Stellar Wind.”

This is only my second signing ever, so of course it still feels weird, even if it is a nice chance to feel a like a “for-real grown up writer” for a couple of hours. I then return to my daily life and realize I’m not much of a grown-up anything. So, it’s all good.

And I know that all of my dozens of fan (not a typo!) will be really excited about this, but i’m really looking forward to it.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2009 in writing

 

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Dispatches

Yes, I’ve neglected this blog and need to stop doing that, but let’s move on. Here’s a catch-up post with a lot of random stuff I probably could turn into individual blog entries if I wanted to take the time to really develop them … but right now most of my writing time is taken up with noveling and short story-ing, but more on that later.

Some of these thoughts have been inflicted on my facebook/twitter friends, so I apologize for any redunancies for my facebook/twitter friends, who may have read some of these thoughts before. Again, I apologize for the redundancy.

The swine flu is freaking me out, mostly because of my memories of The Stand, much of the first third I read while staying overnight by myself in the apartment of a friend who did not have a television, and lived in one of those run-down, kind-of redneck apocalypse neighborhoods. And I think there was a wind-storm. Add that memory to the mini-series with a cart-pushing Kareem-Abdul Jabbar ringing a bell and shouting “Bring out your Dead!” and you can understand my feelings. And yes, I know it’s all hype and this is really just a regular flu season with some unfortunate early medical reporting, but y’all are going to have to humor me if I take my family and start heading to Boulder, just in case, ok?

The writing is going pretty well right now, despite the fact that I’ve had a for realz day job the last month or so. It looks like it’s winding up now, so I will be forced, once again, to work with no externally imposed structure, which is always a crap shoot.

Right now how I’m writing short stories between chapters of Maps of Perdition, and I have a couple of Beta readers (Hi, Lena and Jennie!) looking at the chapters as I’m going along. A couple of people who are readers but not necessarily major sci-fi fans, and they help me make sure the characters are working and I’m maintaining internal consistency. Just finished chapter three and am now working on a bright-happy retro-future space opera short story, kind of using a doc savage and his team in space concept. The main problem is it’s threatening to turn into a novel, but I keep beating it down.

Well, there’s that problem, and zombie plotcreep, but I’m avoiding that pretty well too.

I’m really looking forward to the release of Footprints this summer. I’ll post the amazon link as soon as it’s up there. But for now, here is the cover:

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I am especially excited because this collection is co-edited once again by Eric T. Reynolds, with Jay Lake as co-editor. There are some fantastic writers in here, such as James Van Pelt, and Lawrence Schoen, as as I read the proof and looked at the contents list, it felt a little bit like a game of “one of these things is not like the other…” but there I am. Who’da thunk it? Side note: thinking of changing my pen to “and more …” but my wife said that probably wasn’t a good idea. For a full list of the writers in this collection, go here.

And I would like to thank a good friend who has some connections, and who had my copy of Barren Worlds surreptitiously removed from my bookshelf and returned it with this inscription inside the front cover”

josspage

You may have heard my very manly squee a couple of days ago when I first saw this. So, thank you Liz!

anyway … this is getting long, so …

I am now on twitter. you can follow me, if you care to. my userid is chadgrayson. I should actually say “please follow me so I don’t feel like a loser,” but that might be just a little too pathetic, so i probably should say that. Please disregard that previous sentence.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2009 in culture, life, writing

 

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