I met Pat at Borderlands Books -- it's a bit astonishing that I never made it over to this store while I lived in the Bay Area. A really terrific selection of spec fic, especially notable for the wide variety of 'zines and chapbooks -- lovely to see the work of so many of my friends. And the copies of Ben Rosenbaum's Other Cities and Jay Lake's Green Grow the Rushes O were especially pleasing -- I love seeing work that wouldn't have existed if it weren't for SH -- and speaking of which, you should stop by the magazine and check out the new redesign. Quite a change!
We had a lovely long leisurely Ethiopian lunch next door, talking books and projects and agents and the like. We came up with a cool idea, mixing some of our mutual interests, a multi-stage FAQ for the writer's life. With sections divided up by career stage and interest -- i.e. "So You've Sold Your First Story" or "So You're Doing a Poetry Chapbook" or "So You're Feeling Stuck in the Midlist" or "So You're a Bestseller and Not Sure How You Got There". okay, I don't know exactly what the subheadings would be, but the idea is that writers have to think about different things at different stages of their careers, and wouldn't it be great to ask experienced writers/editors in those areas to give signed responses to some of these questions, like "How Do I Fire My Agent?" Hosted on the SLF site, of course. Could be a cool resource, no?
Afterwards we went back to Borderlands, where we sat on the couch and talked some more, and then I coaxed Pat into trying Bujold -- she went away with Cordelia's Honor, which I hoped will bring her as much pleasure as it brings me. And she very kindly gave me a copy of her latest, Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell -- I've just read the first two chapters, and I'm totally hooked. It's a post-modern murder mystery, much fun.
Then I strolled very slowly down Valencia, stopping in at many fascinating little stores, including the Pirate Store (I forgot to mention that while sailing yesterday, Cliff was a pirate pretty much the entire time, Arrr, mateylet us go pillage the Oakland shore) and an astonishing little garden store next door (forgetting the name, sadly) full of Victorian memorabilia, little animal skeletons, cool rocks, gorgeous blown glass vases (I came very close to buying a blue-clear one), etc. and so on. I made my way down to Good Vibes, where I signed many copies of AE and Wet, and where I did buy myself a little birthday present toy -- you'll have to guess what it was, though. :-)
And now I'm in a cafe a few blocks down, Muddy Waters, enjoying a nice cup of chai. I need to read student scenes and write comments on them, review what we'll be doing in tonight's class. Then, if there's time, I'll read a bit more before heading off to teach. I'm at a sunny table with a mild breeze blowing in, ruffling my chiffon skirt around my legs, an awfully pleasant sensation. What a nice way to spend a birthday. It's good to be thirty-three.