Sunday, November 18, 2007

Orycon 29

Ursula Le Guin

Today Orycon ended. I saw people hugging each other and saying things like "I wish my whole life was like this."

Well, it certainly was a good time.

I did writery stuff in the day time, gamer stuff in the evenings.

Sometimes I had an hour to kill and did random stuff.

I met Ursula Le Guin, Robert Charles Wilson, Peter S. Beagle, Mary Rosenblum (my mentor), David Goldman (from my critique group), Kirk (from my role playing group) & Cheri, and lots of people I've met at other writing events. And people in costumes. And people playing games.

Vampire Space Pirates

I tried Deadwood, a Cheapass Game on Friday night, and Arkham Horror on Saturday night.

My head's still buzzing, take a look at more pictures. If the slide show isn't working for you, here's the photo set.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Family, Zombies, Football, and a Magazine.

It was Family Weekend at the University of Montana, so Alison and I flew from Portland to Missoula to see how Connor was doing as a Freshman, and to bring him some warm clothes. We flew out Big Sky Airlines. Pros: Every seat is an aisle seat, nonstop, you can look out the front windscreen while in flight, cheap. Cons: No toilet, no tray tables, no snacks, no temperature control, and no escape from the noise. I’d do it again, but Alison won’t, so only if I’m going solo.

It was Day of the Dead when we landed (alive), so Connor came over to our hotel room and we drove out to see Katie, Connor’s girlfriend, dance as a zombie by the train station. Then the four of us went out to dinner at Ciao Momba. Big wait, but good food and a fun place. The owner remembered Alison from August and came over to say hi. Connor’s looking and doing great, Missoula agrees with him.

The next day Alison and I went to a University of Montana football game. Fighter jet flyovers, paragliders, cannons, giant helmets spewing smoke. A great show. They beat Portland State 34 – 31, a good game. We rooted for UM, as that’s where we send our tuition money. :)

However, the fans chanting "Fuck You, Portland" did get on my nerves.

I was able to prove to myself I could play World of Warcraft on my laptop from the hotel room. Honestly, it was just an experiment. Alison didn't seem to mind, after I assured her we were flying back on Alaska (bathroom, snacks, bigger plane).

While I usually bring a book, this time I brought a magazine. I have to say December’s issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction is a good one. “Who brought Tulips to the Moon” by S. L. Gilbow was so melancholy, and so compelling, and had such a nice ending. “The Bone Man” by Frederic S. Durbin was a perfect spooky story after Day of the Dead. Pacing is everything in suspense, and it ratcheted up the tension line by line, word by word. And “Finisterra” by David Moles was a great story about a Christian woman engineer in a Muslim star empire who finds herself working for frightening criminals on a gas giant where people live on top of giant floating animals. That and Soduku on my iPod took me there and back again.

Want to see more pictures? Click here.