Hello folks! It’s all been a bit mad here, perhaps even madder than normal. As my friend put it in a text, “You look like you’ve been even busier than usual.” And that’s because I have. It all started when I got back from the holidays, and we plunged into residency. We had a bumper crop this year, with over 20 new students added to our fold. The library at Seton Hill was packed:
I, of course, kept forgetting the name tag that I’d been convinced I’d lost, but then found, and then very carefully squirreled away so I wouldn’t lose it again. I was very proud of myself for finally remembering to dig it up.
The residency, itself, was a blast, as they always are. I love the students and the teaching, and the chance to see people discuss their work. This one was extra special, though, as our guest speakers were my good friends Juliet Blackwell, Sophie Littlefield, and Rachael Herron. They came in a day early and we did some damage to the booze and cheese…
Â And then they were brilliant guest speakers, as well as brilliant guests. We had an amazing time, and they stayed a few extra nights so we could bond, and plot both books and conventions, and basically break down the world into more manageable chunks. I really love these ladies, and it was so great to spend time with them.
Â The day after graduation, the ladies left and I flew to Boston for an SF/F convention named Arisia. It was great fun, and I had the pleasure of meeting Toni L.P. Kelner, who edits some of my favorite anthologies with Charlaine Harris. I also spoke on a few panels, and did a reading and a signing, so all in all it was a great con.
But, even more fun for me was the fact the con was in Boston, my old stomping grounds. I had a great time hanging with my old friends from BU, Whitney, Chris, and Anthony, and stopping by to see the daughter of my good friend and mentor, although the lady in question was traveling. But the highlight of the social occasions, just because it was so fancy, was the Ancient Universities Alumni Robbie Burns Nicht at the Harvard Boat Club, for which I got to wear a fascinator:
The event was unbelievably good fun and very posh. I attended with my fellow University of Edinburgh alumni, and good friends, Christie and Zack. For those of you who pay attention to these things, Christie is not only my friend but my beta reader and ideas factory for Jane, and she has been with the books from the start. She’s been a huge help to me, a wonderful friend, and a fabulous inspiration.
It was also wonderful to honor the place from which I received my graduate degree in the city that I received my undergraduate degree. It sounds cheesy, but my education was obviously very important to me, not only for the degrees but for the experiences. I loved both places very much, and I loved living in both times very much, and it felt really special to me to be able to bring the two together in this wonderful way.
Â The pours were also quite heavy, and no one was lacking for whisky…
And they’d really done a fab job on the boat house. Isn’t it gorgeous?
For dinner, I was one of the only ones brave enough for the Boston haggis, and I was both faintly alarmed and slightly aroused (don’t ask) by the fact the haggis so closely resembled the sticky toffee pudding. For the record, neither was quite right, but still lovely.
Â I was also alarmed by seeing that even Harvard keeps it classy in their ladies bathroom stalls:
And here we all are, all dressed up, right before dancing like dance fiends. I must say, Christie and I stripped that willow. We stripped it good.
Â The day after the ceilidh, I had a lot ofÂ con duties, but then I had an entirely free day to explore the city. Christie met me at my favorite Thai restaurant, Brown Sugar Cafe near Packard’s Corner. We had a wonderful lunch, and then went to my friend’s house to see her daughter. Then we just walked all over campus. The great joy of it all was that now, alongside the nostalgia I have for BU as a student, I also got to write about BU in my books. Tracking the Tempest takes place in all my old haunts, so I was seeing it in two ways this trip. For example, does this luncheon destination look familiar?
I also had the chance to sign some of my books at the BU bookstore. I can remember so vividly going there for the first time, as a freshmen, and being completely overwhelmed. I never dreamed I’d have books on those shelves one day, especially not novels.
And then, I returned home to find a package from the ladies who’d been visiting. They sent me a lovely hostess gift, to replace our downed soldiers. I couldn’t have been happier to come to home to such a reminder of friendship. I’ll also be bringing one of those bottles when I join Julie and Sophie for Malice Domestic. 😉
I had a day to furiously prep last minute things to teach the next day, on Thursday, which I did. My classes are going great already, and I cannot believe I get paid to teach urban fantasy. Do they know they’re paying me to geek out, every day, about a subject I love?
This is the life.
And then I dyed my hair black, because I live for change. Whadoyathink?
I’m afraid I’ll probably be a bit rushed off my feet for at least one more week as I put the kibosh on organizing these courses. I’ve also got book six to write, and I’m nearly 20,000 words in and already in love.
2012 is looking good, folks. I’m anticipating a lot of changes in my life, but they’re things about which I’m very excited. I hope to take you all along for the ride.
And if you’re fixing for some Jane True to tide you over till July, I’m afraid I don’t have anything pure Jane. But I do have something Trueniverse. You can read about the ladies of Triptych–Capitola, Moo, and Shar–in this short story, available from Orbit Digital Short Stories.Â For my UK readers, it’ll be available in the UK soon, hopefully. But it will definitely be available at some time.
I’ll see y’all back here shortly, once the waters are a little more calm. 😉