Thursday, January 10, 2008
A Convention, A Trip to Boston, and a Touching Story

First, an announcement for those of you Michigan area. I'm going to be at Confusion Jan 18th through the 20th. I'll be signing books, speaking on panels, and generally getting my geek on. Stop on by if that sort of thing sounds like a good time to you....

Second, an apology. Over the last year I've fallen into a bad habit. I post a blog announcing some appearance I'm going to make, then, when I come back, I make a post along the lines of, "Whew. I'm back. It was cool, I'll give you the details later."

But then, of course, I never do.

This isn't because I don't love y'all. It's because this past year I've been really over-busy. Typically I spend all weekend at a con, come back exhausted, then spend most of the week catching up on everything I'd fallen behind on because I was out of town. Then, by the time I'm caught up, it's usually time for me to leave town again....

As a result, there are a bunch of stories I've been meaning to tell, but haven't. I've met cool people, discovered cool games and books, and frequently made an ass of myself in a variety of amusing ways. The last one, if you haven't guessed yet, is a particular specialty of mine.





So expect to see some of those convention stories popping up over the next couple months. Hopefully they'll be somewhat amusing, if not particularly timely.


Thirdly and lastly, the story.

My recent trip to Boston was, by and large, a lot of fun. The trip itself was made extra exciting by the fact that I was traveling through airport security without a form of government ID.

You see, just before the holiday season, I accidentally left my driver's licence at K-mart when returning a defective broom (It sounds like there's an interesting story there, but trust me, there isn't.) Afterward, K-mart called to tell me my licence was there, but because I went home for the holidays instead of rushing to their store to pick it up, K-mart decided to be helpful and drop my ID in the mail.

Of course I didn't find this out until three hours before my plane was supposed to leave for Boston. Making things even more lovely was the fact that they had mailed it out in the middle of the holiday post office crunch. And that they had mailed it to the wrong address.

Rather than take this opportunity to invent scathing new cusses and inflict them on the hapless K-mart employee, I took the high road with the hope that it will help me accumulate good karma. so that the next time I reincarnate I get to come back as something really cool.

For those of you who don't know, karma is like.... Well, you know how you can collect box tops, or Camel-cash or Kool-aid points and trade them in for prizes? I'm a little fuzzy on the concept, but I'm pretty sure that's what Karma is like. It's like Kool-Aid points for your soul. I want to collect enough Karma Points so that I get to reincarnate as Optimus Prime, Allyson Hannigan, or a glowing orb made entirely out of fluffy puppies and orgasms.

What was I talking about again...? Oh yeah. Boston....

Anyway, I made the trip with much anxiety, but no actual trouble. Despite my fears, they did not probe me in any unseemly ways. In fact, they tossed my luggage a lot less viciously than they normally do when I'm trying to play by the rules. Maybe I'll make a habit of leaving my

Out in Boston I met up with the publicity people from my UK publisher. They were a lovely crew and we shot a bunch of video interview footage. Among other things I told a joke about a gorilla, and attempted to speak with a Norwegian accent. The Gollancz marketing people were a blast, and I hope that had as good a time as I did....

I'm told that we might get to see some of that footage eventually on youtube, I'm told. If that happens, I'll post it up here....

We had a remarkably good turnout at Pandemonium books despite the bitter, bitter cold. I read a little and answered questions. I really enjoy doing Q&A, talking about writing and the world I've created.

However, one question caught me off guard as I'd never been asked it before. It was, "How cool is it to be you?" I didn't really have a good answer for that....

I also got to sign a book "To E-bay" which is something I've always wanted to do.

If you're interested in more details, an attendee posted up a blog about the signing HERE including several pictures of me. Yes, I know that the shirt I'm wearing to the signing is the same one I'm wearing in my author photo on the webpage. It's not a coincidence. The truth is, I only own one shirt.

I did not, as many of you speculated, get my ass handed to me at Catan. But that's only because we didn't actually get a chance to play. Two lovely people showed up and informed me that they actually worked on the computer version of Catan. One of them had a cool travel set of Catan with her, and I got the feeling that if we did get into it, I'd start off winning a game for fifty cents and the evening would end with me stark naked, owing each of them thousands of dollars.

The next day before I flew home, I went to the Boston aquarium. Where I formed the following opinions: penguins stink, seals are cool, fish are weird.

I also got to touch a sea anemone with my finger. And, no offence to the other cool things that happened out there, I have to say that that was, without a doubt, my favorite part of the trip....





Seriously, it was really cool.

Later all,

pat

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16 Comments:

Blogger Jim C. Hines said...

It'll be good to see you again next week!

January 10, 2008 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Josie said...

Don't you think it's a bit ironic that the one time you just know you're going to mess up at the air port, things go smoothly? I remember your earlier post about cleaning out your backpack, and your many misadventures having to do with air travel. I just thought that was funny.
I loved your gnome get-up. I know I have a similar red hat somewhere from an ill conceived piano recital that I had to dress up for. (I can still play the song. It's called "March of the Gnomes," hence the hat.) I'm glad you had fun, and look forward to many pleasant anecdotes about all these places you've gone and not told us about.

January 10, 2008 2:52 PM  
Blogger Josh Anderson said...

While I am sure you didn't mean it like my deviant mind interpreted it, I'll assume that the "touching of the anemone" sounded like an unintentional metaphor. It was innocent accident, right?

That picture just threw my mind over the edge. Sorry everyone, but it had to be asked.

Anyways, I hope it meant what I think it meant....

January 10, 2008 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Angie said...

Oh, awesome! Now I have to hurry up and read something of yours! I started following the RSS feed of your blog after Scalzi used you in his "month of authors" but I haven't been to the library yet.

Looking forward to seeing you at 'Fusion.

January 10, 2008 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Jillian said...

When you come to Australia, you must go scuba diving. You can poke all kinds of neat sea creatures that way, all whilst wearing masses of neoprene! Then there are the opportunities for photos where you pretend to be being attacked by a starfish! Hooray!

January 10, 2008 5:09 PM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

Hey Pat,

Glad to hear your trip went smoothly and none of your bits and pieces froze during your visit to Boston! :-)

Best visual of the day:
"a glowing orb made entirely out of fluffy puppies and orgasms"

The top hat is still my favorite but the red hat is very nice too!

January 10, 2008 5:54 PM  
Blogger Kelly Swails said...

I'm glad you had a good trip and that you're back safe and sound.

If you get to be reincarnated as Allyson Hannigan, I want to be Neil Patrick Harris. Have you caught How I Met Your Mother on CBS on Monday nights. Do, if you haven't. You'll fall in love with AH all over again.

You act like ending a game stark naked is a bad thing ...

January 10, 2008 6:23 PM  
Anonymous sean said...

Random observation of the day:
Your beard looks really good in the pic up on your blog, but it looks like it glistening on the pics on your link. Did you oil it up for the special occasion, or was it just odd lighting? Or, were you excessively nervous about getting your @$$ handed to you in a game of that settlers thing you've previously discussed? Or was that the absorbtion of Karma? Or had you just finished a delicous bowl of turtle soup? Maybe you were recovering from "touching of the anemone?" Or is there an alternate explanation i've yet to think up?
It should be noted that I have devised approximately 758 other alternatives, but for the sake of brevity randomly selected the first handful to rattle loose.

January 10, 2008 10:15 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

My beard is the source of all my power. The glistening effect only happens when I'm fully charged up, that's when I get to use my power attack....

January 11, 2008 2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol sorry to burst you're deliciusly lovely bubble pat, but I think the best thing you can be reincarnated as is a human. So the orgasmic orb is off I'm afraid.

January 11, 2008 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Gehennaheretic said...

I knew it! All Hail the Big Bushy Beard!

January 11, 2008 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Josie said...

Pat, I saw this, and I immediately thought of you...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/george/409441298/

Hopefully the link wil work. If not I guess you can copy and paste into the address bar...

January 11, 2008 4:41 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Josie: I was just thinking about those guys yesterday. I think that's going to be my next convention costume....

January 11, 2008 5:41 PM  
Blogger Brian Blomlie said...

I hope they put your try at a norwegian accent on Youtube, I being a Norwegian critic will rate it. XD

January 12, 2008 1:47 PM  
Blogger AJMkarate717 said...

Hey, Pat.

I had a great time at the signing! I was the one who asked the "How awesome is it to be you" question. I'm sorry if I put you in a tough spot there. Incedentally, I'm also the one whose book was signed to ebay (It's a great thing to have signed in a book, don't you think?).

I've tried (in vain) to find a "non-Fabio" cover of your book, but every store only carries the romance novel cover... I guess I'm not trying hard enough...

Well, it was great to meet you. I can't wait for the next time you're in Boston, and I hope you get that great director that will let you take part in the movie version of your book.

Thanks!

Sincerely,

Allen MacLeod

January 13, 2008 6:02 PM  
Blogger Aragos said...

Hoi Pat,

a bit late, but I wanted to thank you for that great evening in Cambridge/Boston! We had lots of fun at the signing and afterwards and are looking forward to see you in New York some day (and maybe play a game of Catan after all? I promise we won't be too evil ;)

January 17, 2008 1:55 PM  

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