I was up early on Friday morning. 3.15am. Time to get ready, into a cab, and to the airport. I had a pleasant, uneventful flight from Perth. Had an empty seat beside me, so I was comfortable and happy. I’d planned to sleep, but couldn’t so I read and watched a movie until the entertainment system crashed. We landed in Sydney half an hour early, but spent most of that time waiting for a faulty airbridge to let us off the aircraft. I was a little anxious because I wanted to try to get a better seat for the long haul flight and get over as soon as possibe to see Simon and Ally. I was directed from one place to the next, none of whom could help, went through Customs, ended up in the wrong part of Sydney Airport and missed Simon and Ally (which I was very disappointed over). I also couldn’t arrange a better seat. In fact, they switched me during the process to an aisle seat behind the exit row.
When I boarded I realised that over half of my leg room was taken up by an entertainment unit. I was really annoyed and figured I was in for a long painful flight when I decided to ask an attendant if he could help. I didn’t think he’d be able to – the flight was completely full and overbooked. But, he came back and asked if I’d take a window seat several rows up the plane. I happily accepted. The couple I was sitting beside – Dave and April – were great company, I was fairly comfortable, and the flight was ok in the end. Not great, but ok.
I was picked up by Locus’s new intern, the very nice Hollianne. It was then through the all-too familiar San Francisco and up to Locus HQ. Charles was busy entertaining a bevvy of beautiful romance writers, so I spent some time getting reacquainted with Tim, Liza, Amelia, Kirsten, and Fran. I don’t think I was necessarily coherent, but I did get to say chat with them all for a while. When Charles was free we chatted, I then grabbed a shower, we had a quiet lunch, more chatting, I opened my Sony Reader, and that kind of thing. I made it to 7pm before crashing. I couldn’t quite string two words together. Today will be a lazy day. See Amelia, I hope, then Jeremy. Otherwise, just here at the house.
Up at 4.00am tomorrow. It’ll take till roughly 1.30am on Saturday morning to get to San Francisco, and then maybe another hour or so to get to Casa del Locus. Expect intermittent blogging at best (maybe from Sydney or the airport tomorrow morning). That aside, see you on the road to Denvention!
On Saturday morning I went to see my doctor. I had bruised a rib and it was sore. I thought, given that I’d not seen a doctor in some time, that I’d also have a bit of a check up. He took a blood pressure reading which was high, very high. It was clear some immediate intervention was necessary. Blood tests were arranged. A stress test scheduled (though it will be post-Denvention). I worried, as I now do. I changed my diet, and will see a dietician on my return from the US. I had to see the doctor again yesterday. My blood tests were all normal, and my blood pressure was down more than 25% (I suspect the original reading wasn’t entirely accurate), so things are all clear for Oakland and Denver, which is a relief. I’ll be keeping an eye on it, though, and my dealing with this will dominate the rest of the year.
What else, oh blog? Well, I’m pretty much ready to travel. I’m due to pick up the old folks’ glasses today, and might see The Dark Knight. I’m also going to take a second look at what I’m taking to read. The spare battery died for the laptop, so whatever I read will have to be printed (oh the old-fashionedness of it). I have candidate or two in mind, though the most likely choice will be an anthology or a magazine so I keep up to date. I’ll also review what’s in the laptop. It’s 24hrs till I leave, so that’s the kind of thing on my mind.
On things SFnal – I’m reviewing the current list of anthology projects, and also seeing how they impact on panels for Denvention. I have a panel on the year’s best SF with Charles and David. It seems very specific. Not fantasy. SF. Maybe we should invite Gary to join us, I don’t know. I’ve read some excellent SF short fiction, so I’ll spend an hour or so in Oakland putting together a list and discussion points. I also am doing panels on the comeback of original anthologies and reviewers. The anthology panel will be interesting, if only to see how we fill our time. There are some basic observations that can be made, and Lou, Ellen and Lee will have a lot to say, but I’m pondering the complexity. As to the reviewing panel – it touches on some cherished shibboleths, which will be interesting to discuss.
And then there’s Oakland. My time there is short, and is always complicated, but I hope I get to see everyone.
The good folk at Denvention have put their pocket program online. You can download it here. I’m delighted by this. I always feel to busy at the con to pay proper attention to it, so it’s good to have a chance to think it over before next week’s events.
Confident in the almost complete irrelevancy of this to the rest of the world, more on getting ready for Denvention. I’ve had a ridiculously long period of time (by my standards) to get ready for this trip, so I’ve spent most of it doing something else. Dealing with medical issues, getting new glasses, buying clothes, reading – that kind of thing. But, given that this is an annual thing for me, where am I usually at by now?
Well, it’s about 60 hours to take-off, so I’m really just scoping out that I have what I need, picking up what I don’t have, and sort of getting in the right head-space for the whole trip. The traditional stopover in Oakland is a big part of any of these trips, and I try to set up get togethers when I can. This time I’m mostly seeing my fellow Locus folk, but I also always try to see Bob and Karen (who are dear friends and have been incredibly generous suporters in the past), and this time I’m eager to catch up with Posse Man (aka Jeremy) if I can. Lots to talk about.
I have four days in Oakland, if you count the day I arrive. I need to get to a T-Mobile store, but other than that am free as a bird. Except I have a batch of proofreading to do. I’ll tell you I’ll do it on the plane, but truthfulkly if I don’t do most of it before I go I’ll be behind the eight ball. I’m also going to spend time researching some books I’m doing or planning, and basically being busy.
Am I on track? I don’t know. I think so. I’ll forget something, but probably not anything important. I am pretty sure what I’ll be reading on the plane, but that could change too. More soon. (Interesting, huh?).