March 9th, 2008

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two things I forgot to mention last week

RIP Gary Gygax - I started a longer post on this but decided against actually putting it up. The short version is he is someone I can definitely say changed my life. He's on a very short list, there - especially considering he isn't anyone I knew personally. Without D&D or AD&D, and the legion of tabletop F & SF games they spawned, and the related video games, comics, and eventual sprawling subculture (PAX, anyone) I wouldn't be as outgoing as I am, for example. (Don't laugh - I'm serious. RPGs taught me I could talk to people, and in some ways how to talk to people.) So it's fair to say I really do mourn his passing; my life is far better than it could be because of him.

On a happier note, the second item is that Iain M Banks new SF novel Matter is not only out (hurrah!) but got a really nice illustrated review in Time Magazine - discovered for me by my mom, who subscribes. It appears to be posted at Time Online, too. I am excited to see him getting some publicity here in the US. I'd love to see him in person, but I don't know if he's gotten his passport again. (He tore it up in protest of Tony Blair and the Iraq war.)
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back from RWV

I'm back from Lake Quinalt and the writer's retreat. I wrote a fair bit, out of which I will cop to about ten good words. You begin to see why I tend to self-identify as a poet.

I also worked on a couple of short story fragments I'd started then let lie for a year or so. The good part of that was enough time had passed for me to read them quasi-objectively and I thought they sounded pretty good. The not-so-good part was having forgotten where the hell I had been going to go with them, not having appended any notes or the like. I can figure it out; they'll go where they are meant to - but I've also started keeping better reference notes for that sort of thing.

It was a grand time, I got to put faces to names and meet new people (many of whom are here on LJ). The weather was decent, the scenery was gorgeous, the conversations were magnificently wide-ranging and entertaining, and unless a meteor falls on my head or something equally dire prevents me, I plan to return next year.