* New York. I was debating whether to get a taxi from Newark or to get a "bespoke"limo service - at that time of night, which was late to begin with, and I didn't even know how much later I was going to be (I would up landing at 1:30 AM)... but they said the taxi was about fifty bucks and the limo ran to eighty plus when I queried it so I decided to cab it - and wound up paying $77 anyway. Sigh. Still, I got from Newark to Manhattan - which I ALWAYS love seeing by night, it's like fantastic stage set for some deeply dream-like play - okay, and got into the New Yorker Hotel. I had asked for Nikola Tesla's room, 3327, but when I got there at 2 AM they didn't have it so I wound up somewhere else... but the next night, 3327 WAS available, and I TOOK it. I spent the night in the same four walls that sheltered Nikola Tesla in the last days and hours of his life. No, no ghostly visitations - but it was a privilege anyway. I know that nothing in that place is the same as it was in the 1940s - but there is a memory in the walls, and I was there to share that. It was cool. In between the two nights at the ziggurat hotel, I found an ethnic restaurant called "Djerdan" on 38th Street where I would like to send ALL my NYC friends because it has food like my mother makes, and it's SERIOUSLY good stuff, try a cheese burek... Then I had a meeting with my editor and my agent for lunch at a very nice Italian restaurant, I had a catch-up with my agent afterwards, and then I went to speak to a bunch of teenagers at an uptown branch of the New York Public Library. I gave them a talk, and the publisher gave some books to be given away, and they were SNATCHED up. The librarian told me that a couple of boys sitting in the front room were usually fidgety at these affairs, and often escaped and didn't come back - but these guys sat there and listened and asked questions and were, in the librarian's words, "riveted". Cool. It was a tough crowd, but they warmed nicely, and I was invited back next year for the launch of the third book. Might take them up on it... Anyway, then it was back to the hotel, where, the next day, I met the resident Nikola Tesla expert and archivist and self-confessed Tesla geek with whom I had corresponded before when I was doing research for the third book. We had breakfast and talked about the New Yorker and its present past and future, and then he gave me a CD with more Tesla stuff on it. Majorly cool this. It was not the cheapest option for New York, but it was worth every penny of it. Even the taxi ride.
Anyway, then I caught the train to Rye, and am currently at Lunacon.
*Lunacon - the first day was ever so slightly chaotic - the first panel I was on, the topic something along the line of how to mine Amazon for fun and profit, turned out to consist of me and another panelist... and no audience. So we called it and went away again. I was supposed to do a reading but I wound up talking to another writer instead because the reading room didn't, um, exactly have chairs in it and was not spectacularly successfully signposted and, well, one other person turned up... sigh. But anyway, went next door to the dealer's room, saw that they had copies of both new WOrldweavers books in stock, met up with alexjay and several others, bought two new research books, and then wound up going to eat something after I realised that my last meal had been breakfast at the New Yorker and I was hungry. After that, went to the "meet the pros" event, talked cat (I don't mean about cats, I mean we meowed) with Josepha Sherman to the consternation of the barkeep behind us, talked shop with an editor of a magazine to whom I want to send a story I have brewing, and chatted about "Slings and arrows" (the TV series) with another fan for a while. Then alexjay and I went to a midnight reading of Eye of Argon (this is not quite the copy we had but it gives you the basics, if you've spent a lifetime on a high mountain top in hermit-like isolation and have never heard of the thing). The idea was to read it out loud, mistakes and misspellings and glorious mispunctuation and all, and if you made a mistake or cracked up you were out and the next person in the circle took over. If you got through a full page without screwing up, you got a gold star. I got one [grin] but that was only after I flamed out on the first pass after less than a sentence. It was great fun, but I wound up getting to bed REALLY late and now it's kind of really late in the morning and I'm about to go search out a bite of breakfast and then I'll go do my stint at the Broad Universe table and see what else is available until I have to go to my own next panel later on.
That's it so far. More later as things develop. Breakfast, now. More importantly, coffee now....