Status Report Post-Launch

Q: How are you doing since your son has left for college?

A: I made my way onto a High Score chart at the SilverBall Museum in Delray Beach, Florida, today. Woot! *PINBALL, ya’ll!*


Not sure why pinball scores are gendered, but that’s a discussion for another time. I’m “Female” high score.

They have good fries there, too. Bonus: there’s a Pokestop there, so I made it to Level 18 in Pokémon Go. And I drew one of their light fixtures in my sketchbook. This all suggests I’m doing pretty well, thanks for asking!

However, a closer look will reveal that yes, I was awake at 3 a.m. and approving final edits for a short story for magazine publication. (Yes, I did spend about ten minutes debating with myself about the inclusion of a comma or the word “and,” or refusing to accept the addition of either because I meant a particular word to be an adverb, rather than a verb!) And now it’s 6:03 a.m. and I’m checking Hugo winners (Congratulations, folks! N.K. Jemisin, cracking me up! Maybe next time, Chuck Tingle!) and reading about convention drama and then dashing off a quick blog post. The hour discloses: SOMEBODY is not sleeping. Sherlock concludes: perhaps all is not at its most serene here.

I believe in greeting and making space for the Big Feelings. There are a lot of those here. I have many folks in my circle experiencing the same sorts of things. We all know that there are no shortcuts to accepting this new stage in our lives. So … yeah.

Meanwhile: I have exciting books to read, art to view, pinballs to flip, a hand to hold, dogs to walk, cats to serve. Life is pretty good.


GBR #2.5 More on Varley


John Varley. Blue because I was playing with watercolor; why do you ask?


Note to self: If you meet John Varley at #Balticon50, DO NOT under any circumstances vocalize the “John Varley-corn” song that’s been stuck in your brainpan these last few days.

He’s far from “a little bown man with a nut-brown beard,” despite the jolly rollicking of my disobedient subconscious which has trapped me with this inglorious earworm. To begin with, John Varley is TALL. 6’5″, it’s been said. I’m married to a tall man. And we created, between us, another one. But even in a house full of men who can reach things off the top shelf, John Varley would stand out.

Additionally, his beard is not particularly brown any longer, from photos I’ve seen. This is appropriate for someone with the writing pedigree that he has. And with his life experience.

He also has a gift for being on the right end of serendipity, repeatedly. How does one ACCIDENTALLY end up at Woodstock?

To answer that question, visit his website: Plan to spend some time poking about and reading: his more personal writing can be funny and, at the same time, deeply moving. The whole premise of the Great Balticon Readathon is to enable ourselves to make the most of our convention experience. We may not get to know each of the Guests of Honor on a personal level, but knowing basic background is cool. It adds layers and depth to a panel or book signing if the person in front of you is more than a name and a title. And maybe you’ll have a point of common interest to discuss!

I quite enjoyed reading Mammoth. Thanks again to Bertie MacAvoy for the review, which was our previous post. Feel free to discuss the book in the comments with us if you like! One thing I particularly appreciate about Varley’s work is his aptitude with female characters who DO INTERESTING THINGS. Particularly given the era in which he began writing, stumbling across such creatures was more unusual than finding … well, perhaps a mammoth!

But if I talk to John Varley at Balticon? It will probably be about pinball.  Y’see, in his blog he mentions having owned Gorgar! My husband told me that he’s jealous. A Gorgar, in lovely condition, is his Great White Whale. (Although I don’t know where he thinks he’d put another pinball machine… Perhaps he should read Mammoth for some unlikely tips on folding things into other dimensions?) I think he wants me to find out if Varley still owns Gorgar! and if so make inquiries. I told him that this is Not Proper Convention Ettiquette. And yet — I suspect I may get a hopeful text at some point over that weekend. Mr. Varley, I apologize in advance. And officially invite you over to play Centaur.