Did meet up with Thea and had a nice (if quick) lunch with her at a local Mexican place. We'd planned on going to the farmer's market near the Embarcadero BART station, but it was raining. Ah well. It was interesting talking to her again; we work in similar areas in some ways -- she does a lot of sex-related writing and activism. But we're also very different; among other things, we had really different experiences at Mills. I never really made any friends in my program at Mills; I'm not sure why -- I guess in part because I was pretty involved with Sherman, Cliff and other local people I already knew, and in part just 'cause I was a geek (which worked in my favor at Chicago, and seems reasonably tolerated at Utah :-). I learned a lot in the program, but I wasn't all that happy. Live and learn, I suppose.
Afterwards, I thought I'd poke around for a voice recorder -- I ended up trying a couple stores looking for a digital one that would talk to a Mac. No luck, but at the Circuit City, they had internet access, so I checked e-mail -- and found that Charles had requested a change of cafe, to Muddy Waters. Fine with me, so I trotted off there (a very classic SF-type cafe, grungy and comfortable) and had tea and finished reading The Between (v. good) and started writing a story. In theory, I was going to finish writing "The Student", but I really wasn't very happy with what I'd done so far, so I started up a new file entirely. I wrote a page of that, wasn't happy with it, and started over again. I really don't like having to start things over and over -- it makes me cranky. But eventually I got into a groove, and got a good two pages done before Charles showed up for coffee.
We had a lovely conversation -- he writes both sf and erotica, so I'm always particularly interested in talking to him. I told him how much I enjoyed "Not to Mention Jack", a delightful funny story that we just published at SH a few weeks ago. Fabulous opening scenes. And he showed me a copy of his new book, out from Greenery Press, The Lazy Crossdresser. Very charming, and if I ever decide I want to get more femme, this is the book for me. I never did get the hang of lipstick.
Heather showed up before long, so it turned into a lovely three-way chat. But all too soon, it was time for dinner, so Heather turned into a pumpkin and rolled home, while Charles and I went off to Good Vibes, where we picked up his partner Annalee (sp?), then met Alan and D. and Meriko and Russell for really amazingly good Thai fusion food at Suriya (25th and Valencia). Highly recommended. A quick but satisfying dinner (that description was sort of the theme for the day).
Then the reading, at which Jen and Swati and Kate and Cliff and various and sundry showed up -- what sweeties. I read most of "And Baby Makes Four", and even though there was hardly any sex in the selection I read, people seemed to like it. I'm fond of that story, but a little critical of it too -- it seems somewhat heavy-handed now. Ah well. Maybe when I turn it into a novel... I also managed to sell six CDs! Woohoo! Gave away a few too, to various people who have been very helpful to me in the past. It's nice to have something to give away, though perhaps Kingdom of MA mugs would be better -- I'm not sure all my friends want to hear me reading smut... (Btw, if you pre-ordered CDs, please be patient -- I'm going to send those out as soon as I get home, I promise.)
(oof, fingers getting tired. must wrap up.)
Afterwards, journal reader Dan P. kindly introduced me to a) himself and b) his friend Rachel, who works at the Lusty Lady (where I'm setting some of the mysterious Melcher project). They took me (and Kate) over for a guided tour, and I learned tons that I'm sure will be very very helpful. What delightful people. And Dan is very attractive, I have to say. Very very attractive. (Are you blushing, Dan?) He has a partner, though -- oh well. Rachel is also a cutie, as you might expect from someone who works at the Lusty Lady. She said that she thought I'd be a good candidate for a job there, if I were interested. I am exceedingly flattered. But I would want to do a whole bunch of sit-ups first. Maybe a year of them. :-) I'm someone who looks better in clothes, I think... Perhaps most of us do.
Got home after midnight, much exhausted. Slept late-ish, then went up to Berkeley for a few hours. Excitingly, finished story from yesterday! Have discarded previous title, and it's now called "Colombo, Oxford, Boston, Chicago" -- I like it lots and lots. I finished it two hours ago, and I'm still buzzing. Presumably, I'll come down at some point, probably when someone comments on it and tells me it's actually one of my weaker pieces... But right now, no one's said anything, so we'll just be giddy, shall we? Yes, let's.
Also finished Kelly Link's Stranger Things Happen somewhere in there, in preparation for her reading tomorrow, yay! Other Change of Hobbit at 7 p.m. Be there or be elsewhere! (Hmm...that doesn't have quite the rousing force that I intended.) And started Molly Gloss's Wild Life, now in trade paperback. Most delightful. Have been wanting to read it for ages. Oddly reminds me of my early American lit. class. Am going back to it now...