March 16th, 2008

Japan 2

Smoke on the Water, hai!

Yes, I'll report on the rest of the trip.

In a minute.

Call it a flashback report, which will take you from where I left off to... this moment.

And this moment is somewhat indescribable.

Can you imagine a version of "Smoke on the water", performed by a full orchestra featuring Japanese traditional instruments and, um, a kind of approximation of singing...?


Try this.

Here's the link if you'd rather go there directly.

This thing has to be seen to be believed.
worldweavers animated

Travels and cons, oh my.

*Lunacon, the remainder of.

I had breakfast on Saturday with jennifer_dunne and pbray - and then I... I kind of don't remember the details too clearly. I know I added myself to a four-person panel (thus not full, it was a five-person max, and so I had a window) on blogging - mostly about its potential uses as a promo tool and stuff. I know I had a regularly scheduled panel at 7 PM that night. I know that I spent an hour or so at the Broad Universe table (which sold several of my books, as did the resident bookseller, who ^actually had "Spellspam" available literally three days after its release and colour me impressed - I know for a fact that they had three copies out when I first looked into the dealer's room and I know that I saw only one late on Saturday and I didn't look on Sunday...). I know I repaired to the hotel bar for dinner at some point with jpsorrow, jennier_dunne, alexjay and, later, Josepha Sherman and a few other folks - and that I went back there after my panel with alexjay and that he did an entire Broadway show's worth of impersonations (from Bernadette Peters to Leonard Cohen) to the delight of the other diners all of whom wanted to now why the hell he wasn't in showbusiness. I know I went to at least one party. I know I went to bed late. I know all these things in broad strokes, though; the details fuzz already. And anyway, then it was Sunday.

This time, breakfast with the inestimable Danielle Ackley-McPhail and her husband. Then I had a panel at 10 (on aspects of religion - it looked like a bust, initially, but we kind of gathered up an audience in dribs and drabs and it turned out to be quite an interesting panel), a signing at 11 (and people actually TURNED UP. Wth BOOKS. Go figure.) And then the final panel of the con at 12, which I was moderating, but where I was a little to tired to hold the reins as tightly as I might have done (sorry, jpsorrow. I could have tried harder. But I did try.) And then I spent some time gathering up my scattered belongings and saying goodbye for another year to alexjay... who is becoming, much to his sincerely professed astonishment, something of a Lunacon institution [grin]. See you next year, Alex.

Then I climbed into the car with Leigh Grossman and his lady, Rowena, at whose 1730 Connecticut home I am currently a guest. We had a delicious meal of a Philippine chicken dish whose name escapes me, and then we introduced their four cats to what is apparently their first taste of catnip. Much hilarity ensued. The three cats who are related all responded in the same manner, which seems to prove the old adage that blood is indeed thicker than water. The fourth cat, a barely-more-than-kitten handsome striped tabby ex-feral, kind of lit into his favourite (now catnipped) toy with a ferocity that had us in stitches and then proceeded to get utterly stoned. Ah, cats. But the house - this house is a WONDERFUL old place, full of nooks and crannies and cupboards under the stairs and wall-to-wall books (some of them genuine antiques, and truly extraordinary) and arched entrances and creaking old stairs and impossibly high ceilings and stained glass windows and actual honest-to-goodness servants' quarters, now renamed "the Penthouse" and housing (or soon projected to be housing) a very modern office environment. It's a magic place. Really. I think I have house envy.

Tomorrow it's a free day, of sorts, and we'll be exploring the area - looking into local quirks, or venturing further afield to one of the nearby cities, perhaps - I don't know, and I look forward to finding out. Then, Tuesday, it's up to UConn for my two classes and the reading, and then matociquala is joining us for a pizza. And then, Wednesday morning, on a plane again, and back across the country. See you at Norwescon, jpsorrow, and if you're feeling on top of the con crud by then look forward to that dinner on Saturday.

And then home.

There's four CATS here. I suddenly miss my own.

And see you in two days, rdeck. Stay strong [grin]

Now bed.

More as things develop.