Word count: 125149 | Since last entry: 35
Back home from Washington DC.
On Thursday before the fly-in we spent the morning at the Air and Space museum, goggling at such actual craft as the Gossamer Condor and SpaceShipOne, and also saw a Greatest Hits exhibit of the under-renovation American History museum (including Abe Lincoln’s last hat, Judy Garland’s ruby slippers, Mister Rogers’s sweater, and part of ENIAC).
We had lunch at the Museum of the American Indian, whose cafeteria includes Native American cuisine from all over this hemisphere, then toured the museum. But though I loved the architecture, I had trouble respecting the cosmologies presented, which looked to my European-American eye like the stories of very small children (a creation story: “all the people were living like ants in a hollow log, but then a holy man came and let them out, but one woman was pregnant and couldn’t get out.” Huh?)
After a nap, we headed out to Silver Spring for a dinner with fans, arranged by Colleen Cahill, at a Burmese restaurant. Fine food and conversation, marred only slightly by a train breakdown that left us sitting on the train for 15-20 minutes on the way back.
On Friday, another local fan, Peggy Rae Sapienza, who had not been able to make it to dinner, volunteered to help us move from the Tabard Inn to the fly-in hotel. And, as long as we had the use of her car, we visited the other Air and Space museum, the one by the airport.
The other Air and Space museum is bigger than the Tillamook blimp hangar and features the space shuttle Enterpise, a Concorde, an SR-71 Blackbird (which Kate thought looked like a bad guy’s spaceship), and the Enola Gay. Also Willy Ley’s Hugo (for Conquest of Space), a Babylon 5 Usenet fans’ jumpgate symbol (<*>) pin, and a spider that flew on the Space Shuttle (in formaldehyde). We could’t possibly see it all, and eventually hunger drove us to a nearby strip mall for surprisingly good Vietnamese.
Peggy Rae took us back to the hotel, from whence we immediately took off for the Renwick museum, a very small branch of the Smithsonian that has some surprisingly good modern American craft-art (by which I mean furniture-making, glass-blowing, and other “craft” activities raised to the level of fine art). Recommended. And then it was time for the fly-in to start.
Had a great time at the fly-in, where the quality and especially the energy level of the dancing were phenomenal; I had faster and smoother dancing here than at some lower-level fly-ins. We also had a grand time on Saturday night playing “Munchkin” with friends C.J. and Stephen (I won).
On our last day it was bitterly cold — we stopped at Filene’s Basement to buy gloves and earmuffs — and we visited the lobby of the Willard Hotel (said to be the place where the original “lobbyists” hung out) and the National Building Museum, which had an amazingly impressive atrium and several keen exhibits including one about David Macaulay. Then we flew home, uneventfully. That was Monday.
We’ve spent the last couple of days mostly scrambling around to try to get everything done we didn’t do during our week in the nation’s capital and getting ready for our next trips. I’m going to RadCon, where I will be Short Story Guest of Honor, and Kate’s going to a knitting workshop in Tacoma.
On Tuesday we saw an excellent production of Twelfth Night (the funny parts were actually funny, the songs were left in and actually worked, and Viola and Sebastian actually looked a lot like each other). Before that I got in an hour’s work at the coffee shop, where my Wheatland Press editor Deb Layne stopped by and handed me a copy of Space Magic. It is an actual book! And the cover is even more goreous in person! There are still a few glitches inside, but copies of this preview edition will be available at RadCon.
Note that I said “an hour’s work” rather than “an hour’s writing.” My goals for February are in revision hours rather than words written — my goal is an hour and a half per day but I’d really better do two hours or more every day if I’m going to get this thing revised and the synopsis written by the end of this month for an April novel workshop. I didn’t do any writing work while we were in DC but I did an hour and a half on the plane and have kept up at least that pace since. Don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up while I’m at RadCon.
Today: more errands, more editing (two hours, and now I’ve got all my notes from chapter critiques typed up), and our virtual Valentine’s Day dinner, as we will be apart tomorrow night.
One last thing: last week we met with our lawyer to add a clause to my will about what should happen to my creative works in the event of my death. Nobody likes to think about this sort of thing, but every writer needs to do this. Neil Gaiman explains why, and provides a sample will. Don’t put it off.