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On the happy, jolly end of things, I'll be doing a short reading and selling books at Wordbrew 6 this Sunday at Kieran's Irish Pub in Minneapolis. I also won a tea sampler in a contest that I don't remember entering. Desert Sage Natural makes some lovely spiced coffee so I look forward to trying their tea. I saw Colette last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. Lovely to see a movie about a pioneering woman writer that isn't carefully dequeered and/or defeminized. Splendid performances too; this is a role that Keira Knightley suits perfectly and the filmakers do a good job with the other queer characters as well. Other films seen in the last week that I also enjoyed: I Am Not Your Negro and Disobedience.

On the less happy end of things: Arisia seriously fucked up and I'm very angry and sorry to see it. I won't be going back again until the wronged parties say that things have improved a lot.

In the rest of life: work on Blood Moon continues slowly, but steadily. I'm taking an actual week off in November to write and do things of that ilk. Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) is puttering toward the release date of 12/1/18. I'm hoping to load the print version for preorder in the next week. Ebook preorders may be found here for those hoping to get a jump on things. I'm blitzing the universe with announcements and review copies and such so hopefully it soars. There are some wonderful stories in it.
Now off to unwind before bed.

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Finally getting a chance to write up my adventures.

I took off for D.C. on Thursday morning in the wee hours. MSP was remarkably nuts, considering that it was 5:30 in the morning. I have never seen it that crowded or that chaotic, which is probably how I came to lose my debit card there. Not that I found that out until later. I did get to meet a Minneapolis School Board member and a local lawyer and we all talked local politics and the arts until we ran out of caffeine-fueled energy.

Arrived and wrangled my luggage on to the Metro to go over to my friend's place. Got there in one piece, got to see Rob before he left on a business trip and got to meet their other houseguest, with a tiny amount of drama (neither one of us was expecting the other to pop around the corner - very exciting). After lunch, I decided to go over to the Belmont-Paul Museum/Equality Monument, a small history of women's suffrage museum that I have been donating to but have never visited. I prepared for rain, in the sense of bringing a small traveling umbrella. Spoiler Alert: I was not, in fact, prepared for rain.

Longtime readers or people who know me may recall that I have spent time in several Central American countries. I have seen rain, a LOT of rain. I have lived in a partially drained swamp in Georgia, where I also saw RAIN. It was that kind of rain. I got completely soaked, clothes, shoes, cloth purse, hair, you name it. I still made it to the museum and it was well worth a visit! I got a tour after I tried to wring my skirt out ina floor drain. They have comprehensive exhibits and artifacts from Alice Paul, the National Women's Party, the influence of British suffragists, Ida B. Wells and other African American women who were excluded from the white suffrage movements and other related topics. Well laid out, good tour, nice gift shop, impressive art.
After that, I hauled my wet self back to the Metro to go back to my friends' place and socialize a bit before eating my take out (I was too wet to sit in a restaurant) and availing myself of their laundry facilities.

On Friday, my friend Bob tried to get day tix for the National Museum of African American History at the Smithsonian, but was foiled in the attempt. This place is the 'Hamilton' of museums; I tried to get tix 3 months in advance, no joy. Day tix were assigned at 6:30 AM and were all gone by 6:35 AM. Sigh. So I did some editing, then went off to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Got to see some lovely pieces there, including artwork by Remedios Varo, Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun, frida Kahlo, Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun  and a number of artists new to me. One of the security guards turned me on to sculptor Chakaia Booker and her sculpture, Acid Rain, which is amazing. He told me about some of her other work that he had seen and I definitely want to see more of it. After that it was off to lunch in the cafe, followed by a quick trip to Madame Tussaud's D.C.

I got to visit the Chamber of Horrors at the London Tussaud's when I was but a wee tyke of 8 or so and I loved it and have fond memories of it. The D.C. version is rather more boringly focused on U.S. Presidents, sundry pop stars and some political figures. It's not Charlotte Corday stabbing Murat in the bathtub (sigh) but I did appreciate the contrast between the jolly Obama family tableau with a queue of tourists waiting to be photographed with the President they admired, and the Trump one, featuring no line, no tourists and D and M at opposite ends of the exhibit. After that, I was off to Bethesda to hang out with my friend, writer Bob Angell, at his home. Once there, I had a lovely time getting a tour of his and husband's eco home and enjoyed a lovely dinner with them before heading back to Rob and Peter's.

Saturday, Rob and I walked over to the DC Center for the LGBT Community for OutWrite. The conference is now several years old and has its own crowd, but there were a lot of us out of towners too. I ran into Brit Mandelo, Melissa Scott, Don Sakers, Craig Gidney and several other folks in the first half hour or so that I was there. The D.C. Metro Weekly ran an excerpt of Silver Moon the week of the conference, so I read a different scene for my author reading. It was well-received and the other authors I read with had some interesting and engaging pieces so I felt like it went very well. Lunch was a quick dash across the street for a sandwich, then back to moderate a panel.

The space for the horror panel was hard to navigate - there was a pillar in the middle of the room and the panelists mostly ended up piled up on the couch. We had the usual bits of fun: the panelists who'd responded to my "what do you want to talk about?" email, complete with a list of possible questions, claimed not to have read it and the panelists who were late adds or or had email issues and didn't see the email did indeed have things they wanted to talk about. Because it is a rule of panel moderation that it must go something like this. But we persevered and it got better and we had a decent discussion that didn't cover as much as I had hoped it would, but so it goes. Not a bad panel, just not quite the one I hoped for.

After that, I wandered out to discover that one of the booksellers from East City Bookshop,

Keith John Glaeske, was also the reviewer who I had quoted on the cover of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories. It was lovely to meet him in person and he had me sign a bunch of books, including some anthologies he had brought with him. From there, I chatted with a bunch of people. the conference wasn't huge, I'd say maybe 75-100 people on the first day, but big enough so that it was possible to not run into folks. I did get to meet Krystal A. Smith (and read with her), Racheline Maltese, Bill Campbell of Rosarium Books and other folks who I have either never met before or have only met once. I also went to several readings, which I enjoyed.

All in all, an enjoyable conference and one I'm glad I went to. After our 5PM panels get out, Melissa, Bob and Don and I sallied forth to go to Poets and Busboys for dinner. This was excellent - good food, good conversation - and I want to go back and go book shopping! After that, I went back to Rob and Peter's and was introduced to the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which was charming. Also, there was fannish gossip, discussion of books and games and cons and other delights.

Sunday, I took them to lunch, then took many, many trains to the airport and met interesting characters therein before heading home. A good trip all around, except for losing my card.


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