A day. Whew. Last night I wrote checks, printed letters, and painstakingly hand wrote addresses on a bunch of envelopes, thereby ensuring that a bunch of book contributors got paid. This is a GOOD thing, and was made even better when Marianne mailed them all for me this morning.  With that out of the way I was planning on really getting into the Task List, and making hay. That, of course, never really works. A pile of new Locus proofreading showed up in the email this morning, so most of the first half of the day (except for a half hour to talk to CHARLES) went on that. Once that was done, I dashed off a draft of the introduction for Eidolon. This is the very, very, very last thing to be done. I see Jeremy tomorrow, and the whole thing goes to press on Friday. At last. Many thanks to contributors for their patience on this one, but the final book should be worth it, I think. I chatted briefly with Sean, picked up the mail, and then picked up Jess from school. We suffered a meltdown in the car, and another meltdown pre-dance class, but all’s quiet right now. If I could just get the stress rash to clear up and my shoulders to loosen a little, thing’s would be fine.

I did get one book in the mail today, D.M. Cornish’s Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling. It looks kind of nice, and the guy’s an Australian. The one odd thing was a cover letter from the US publisher, who sent the book by courier for yours truly, which made it sound a little like they were terrified of losing their big advance. Odd. The other thing I noticed, after talking to Sean (who launched the book and says it’s good) is that 130 of the 430-odd pages are an appendix with pronunciation guide and explanations of terms and stuff. I don’t know. Some people may be charmed by that, but it seems a bit too much like making me suffer for your enthusiasm kind of thing. Still, I’ll give it a go and see

Schedules, attendances etc.

Well, I didn’t go to BEA, though it sounds like Gwenda, Matt and everyone else had a ball, and nabbed some great galleys. I also didn’t score an invite to the launch of the first ever Borders store in Perth, which opens this Friday. I will probably drop in on Friday at lunchtime to check it out, though. And, I won’t be at Conflux, which looks pretty crazy fun. That, however, is all okay. I’ve started ticking some stuff off my “to do” list. I don’t know that I’ll get to the far side of it by the end of June, but that’s still the goal. If I can be clear by June 30, then the rest of the year will still flow kinda on schedule.

I did read Tim Pratt’s story, “Impossible Dreams”, from the July Asimov’s last night, though. It’s a simple, sweet little story about a film buff who discovers a version of the classic little magic shop, a video store that stocks movies that were either lost or never made in our world. It’s a basic Twilight Zone kind of idea (something Pratt himself acknowledges in the story), but Pratt handles it beautifully. It’s not overlong, it doesn’t overplay or overcomplicate the idea: instead he tells it well, delivers the pay-off and gets out. It both stands amongst Pratt’s stronger recent stories, and is a second very good story in what is a top-notch issue of Asimov’s.