Hmm.  Having a quiet Monday morning. I’m all “prepped” and at least for now the nerves are gone. Everyone tells me the prep is the worst part, and mine seems to have been relatively gentle and unobjectionable. Had oodles of support from Marianne, girliejones, mum, and friends and family, which may account for how peaceful I’m feeling.  I’ll check in here when we’re done, but for now I’m quietly listening to music and getting ready.

The week, or the Case of the Ridiculous Paranoia

It’s been a somewhat discombobulated week, dear readers. I spent part of it completing TaxFest 2009 (actually TaxFest 2008 running very late). TaxFest is now done for a couple months, and all of the paperwork is headed to the respective authorities.  On Tuesday I killed my beautiful Etymotic 6i earphones. I was in my fave coffee place, Epic, and they fell out of my pocket. Crunched by the foot of a passing barrista. I was sufficiently distracted by TaxFest and other things that I didn’t stress out, as I might otherwise have done. Instead, I went online, did some review surfing and a new pair are winging their way to me from Earphone Solutions and should be here on Tuesday. I was feeling a little down about things, so I upgraded.  These are the things we do.

During the week I did some reading. I have new stories for Eclipse Three from Ellen Kushner and Daniel Abraham, and am very happy with how the book is proceeding. I also chased up stuff for Engineering Infinity and Life on Mars,  and did some year’s best reading. Makes me sound productive, doesn’t it? Well, not so much. I also continued through Cherie Priest’s fine steampunk novel, Boneshaker. The book is seriously fun and well worth checking out when it shows up later this year. Great cover, terrific story.  I’ve not read Priest before and will be following her new stuff with great interest.

I fell pretty hard for Steve Earle’s new cd, Townes. I’m not that familiar with the music of Townes Van Zandt, and really only knew Earle’s single “Copperhead Road”, so the cd was a pleasant surprise. Gravelly country rock based around Van Zandt’s terrific songs.  I downloaded it Wednesday, then picked up the Deluxe Edition yesterday. Sounds wonderful. It took a good New York Times piece to get me interested, but I’m happy to have it on the iPod. Unlike the Flying Burrito Brothers (shudder, don’t ask).

This is also the weekend where Marianne was headed off for the weekend for Kalparrin’s carers’ camp. It’s a rest and relaxation weekend for carers of kids with disabilities. Marianne’s on the Kalparrin board and is a carer too (though we don’t usually think of it in those terms), so it was a great idea for her to go. She headed off Friday afternoon and gets back tonight. She’s been missed, but hopefully is having a great time.

Friday night the girls were perfect. We had dinner, then they had showers and were off to bed by 8pm. I watched Hellboy 2 and chatted online with girliejones. Saturday was a bit busier. Up early to vote against daylight savings, off for breakfast with the girls at a favorite Noranda spot, then home.  The girls spent the afternoon at nan’s house, while I ferried my brother on some shopping expeditions.  Last night was a little less idyllic, as usually happens when M is away.  It was supposed to be Family Movie Night, bed for the girls, then Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for me. Dinner, however, was not well received, which got us off to a bumpy start. The movie was almost a complete hit. It was a cute kids film called Roxy Simpson and the Mystery of the Moody Ghost. Both girls were in love with it, until the scary ending. That led to kids being up for a while and eventually killed movie plans for me. Meh. Such is life.

And, against all of this, was my ‘Mild Case of Paranoia’. I finally got the go ahead for a ‘Long Scheduled Medical Test’, which is on Monday. It has been on the cards for ages, but only became reality this past week or so. Anyhow, it’s one of those tests (colonoscopy) that usually finds nothing, but sometimes doesn’t. When I’m logical and rational I’m not worried. At other times, I am. Schrodinger’s Test and all that.  While I’ve not been blogging much, I have been endless driving my mother, my wife and my friends (esp. poor girliejones) mad about this. It’ll all be over by 5pm Monday, so I’ll know and be able to let it go. In the meantime, there are some unpleasant prepations to do. Such is life.

I also am aware that I have been a poor correspondent, thanks to that vile Twitter. I owe you ‘Books I’m Looking Forward To” stuff, updates on projects, and short stories reviews for Locus.  I’ll do what I can, as soon as I can. Tell then, wish me luck!

Eclipse Three, spam and other fun

Well, it’s that time of the year. Taxes are with the accountant (yay!) awaiting the bad news about how much I need to provide to Mr Rudd and his cohort (boo!). Medical stuff is proceeding (yay!) with unpleasant but probably simply precautionary tests on Monday (boo!).  And I’m going back and forth with some spam that’s killing the database for WordPress. It’s fixed again, but if the site disappears another time I might look to other options. In the meantime, I’ll keep backing up and hope all’s well.

And then there’s Eclipse Three.  The good news is that I’ve got some terrific stories in from Jane Yolen, Paul DiFilippo, Nnedi Okorafor, Elizabeth Bear, Ellen Kushner, Maureen McHugh and others. This is a major yay!! In less happy developments, it’s that time of the process and writers are starting to drop out because of life, other commitments and so on. This always happens, is always disappointing, but is always understandable.  This is art, not bricklaying, and it doesn’t always go to plan. I do have some more stories due from writers (you know who you are ), but am considering whether it’s time for a final round of invitations to complete the book. Decisions soon.

Been away…

I have not been a regular correspondent here, dear blog, and it’s far from fair. The truth is, I’ve been at least temporarily seduced by Twitter. I’ve been microblogging there, chattering away about this and that, and only dropping in here rarely. I can’t promise that’ll change, but I would like it too.  Same for that Locus review project I’ve been ignoring.

So what, other than work, has been happening in my life? We’ll, we’re back at the time of the year where I spend a lot of time whining about taxes. I’m way behind on that, but I’m going to get it sorted. I’ve also had a bit of a health scare (which seems to be common in your mid-forties).  The immediate scare is gone, thankfully, and I have a test in a couple weeks to sign off with an all clear. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m also reading a bit more.  A week or so ago I received a copy of Kage Baker’s The Hotel Under the Sun from the good folk at Tachyon.  It’s a young adult/children’s book about a plucky young girl, a ghost and a one-eyed cook in a magical hotel that has risen from the distant sands of the Dunes. Not near the end yet, because I’ve been reading it aloud with Sophie. It is thoroughly charming, though. Then a couple days ago a copy of Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker fell through the post, via PNH & Liz.  It’s a rollicking steampunk advenure. I’m about a third of the way through it and loving it.

What else? I told you I’d be in Montreal for WorldCon. I’ll also be in Adelaide for the Australian NatCon in June (must tell the programming folk), and in Melbourne in August for their event. If you’re going to be there too, say hi!
That’s about it for now. I’ll try to do a ‘Books I’m Looking Forward to”, but that might be this weekend. Till then, watch the Tweets!