This instance of the UWG Blog is officially ended. We are very busy with life, family, and, of course, writing fiction. We hope to see you all later in some future blog incarnation. Good night and good writing.
Remember the Winter Brain Conference Cid goes off to in my novel-in-progress, The Cold-hearted Equation? Well it's real! My brother goes every year. He sent me this link to their site. Winter Conference on Brain Research
The US Copyright Office is proposing to require that people filing electronics-only registration forms must use Internet Explorer. They have put out a request for comments asking if this will cause difficulties or create a hardship for people.
If you are a Macintosh user (IE is no longer supported on the Mac), or if you simply object to the endorsement of the Microsoft monopoly, please send an original paper statement and five copies to the address on this link by snailmail before Aug. 22.
I understand requiring a particular method of filing, but it is unacceptable to require that people use one particular piece of software. It is not appropriate for the Copyright Office to endorse one company's product to the detriment of others.
It is later. Much later, as a matter o fact. I'm on the flight home, and so far so good.
I did successfully make the change for the Bath train, but it was not without some panic and requiring the assistance of my fellow travellers. A train had been cancelled and another held over, so there was a real question as to whether the train on the platform in fron of me was the one I was supposed to take, and I got on not really knowing. Well, it was and I did get to Bath and to the hotel, which was...eh. For such an old and famous town, it was really lacking in any charm whatsoever. However, my room was ready, the restauraunt was open and I had a very good dinner. Guinea fowl in a marjoram-cream sauce, followed by pear and appled crumble with clotted cream. Seriously yummy.
Slept pretty well, woke up and made a mistake. _Never_ when in UK assume _anything_ is too far to walk to. Thinking it would be easier, I ate in the restauraunt again, and alas, it was a really mediocre buffett. It was only after this I asked if the old Roman baths were within walking distance. They were. I got directions and set out with a half hour before I was scheduled to meet my next interviewer.
So, here I am on the train again, heading, I hope, for Bath. It's been the first of the 3 PA (Professional Author) days and overall, it's gone pretty well.
My travel alarm did it's job, and woke me with time to pack. Lots of stuff was still wet, but I wrapped it all in my waterproof pants and am hoping it'll be okay. Went down to solid English breakfast -- eggs, bacon, tomato, toast and cereal -- with the nice Aussie couple I'd made friends with. They'd been to St. Necton's well while I was stomping around the moor, and highly recommended it for beauty and atmosphere.
The lady from the Cornish Guardian turned up and the interview was brief, but I think it went well. The photographer was a local guy and a bit late, but ut turned out it was good he was local.
Ah, yes. The fog. That figures in Part Three -- A Wet Day Out
From Sarah's Travel Journal:
Okay. This is turning into the trip of things I Almost Didn't Do, But Am Glad I Did.
Woke up to gray, rainy cornish day and thanked the God of Travellers I did decide to do the castle yesterday. those stairs in the rain? NO, thank you. But could I hike the moor as planned?
Had breakfast, chatted with a couple from Oz who'd been travelling round the states and Great Britain for a few months. V. nice. Another couple joined the conversation. The man had actually been born in the cottage where we were now staying. Side note: /we wound up talking about rising crime rates in the country and contrary to stereotype, the Brits were firmly in favor of the death penalty, and the Yank was agin it. Just goes to show I suppose.
Anyway. After waffling a bit, I decided to go out to the tor (I was planning on climbing Rough (pronounced Row) Tor, the highest point on Bodmin Moor), and at least have a look. Packed foul weather gear and hiking boots and went.
Today's drive went much smoother. Note: Did the English thing yesterday and almost hit a sheep. A lamb was crossing the road and not at a lamb crossing. Silly bugger.
Made it to Camelford w/o hitch. Narrow, old town sort of spilling down a ravine towards the Camel River. Stopped for banannas and drictions and got good ones. Drove a long way down another of these green, tunnel-like roads and went lots farther than I expected, but the road did ended at a forestry car park, and there was the moor, and the tor, the top of which was completely lost in a grey cloud.
Well, what the hey, I figured. I'd go until a) I got too cold and wet or b) I was in danger of losing sight of the car park. Put on foul weather pants and boots and set off.
Went through two gates and across a stone bridge so old there were gaps between the field stone and out onto the moor.
Want to get down my impressions of Tintagel before going through wat all I wnt through to get here.
Tintagel Island and the headland are awe-inspiring. The cliffs nearest the sea are black where the sea pounds them and tan above, and the sea does shake the ground. In at least one place, a waterfall makes a whitel tail for the stream that runs down beside the path.
To get to the island, you walk down a steep ravine, which is a lovely, green walk with that water-fall stream running beside the path, but this seems counter-intutive, because when you get down to the bottom and the beach (and the tea shop), to get to the castle/ruins, you have to climb all the way back up, and then some. Quite a bit of then some.
The climb up is scary. The only thing thing that makes the climb down less scary is knowing you got up there. It's winding and it's steep and some of the stairs have been there for a _really_ long time. I've seen grooves worn in stone steps before, but never whole basins.
Sarah's UK Trip Part One -- Getting There is Half the Fun?
From Sarah's Journal: Well, I'm on the plane, full now, next to a guy headed home to Romania. Met Comrades (Steven and Kala Piziks friends who were heading off to Ukraine to adopt some children) at fountain (the big water sculpture in the new Northwest Terminal at the airport) and shared dinner(in the airport's Coney Island. Not great, not terrible). Guy next to me has an 8 hr. layover in London and we talked about how he should spend it. So far, so good.
This was before the drama. I got up to use the bathroom. There was an older gentleman in the aisle in front of me, I presumed getting ready to do the same thing. Next thing I know, he's falling over, on top of me. Everything I know about proper emergancy first aid goes right out of my head, and I'm crouched down beside him, my hand on his cheek, alternately yelling in his ear "Sir? Sir!" and yelling over my shoulder "Somebody get the stewardess!" His eyes were open, but he was NOT responding. I was thinking stroke? Dead?! When, blessedly, a voice shouts behind me. "I'm a nurse! I'm an EMT!"
_Right_ I levitate sideways and let the woman through. She's now down where I was and the stewards are charging up the aisle behind her. She's down where I was and saying "I can't find a pulse!"
It ended well, though. Crew swung into action. O2 is brought, feet are elevated, well-meaning gawkers are settled back into their seats, "Just give him some space and air" I'm shuffled back to my seat, which was a bit of an operation, because the emergancy personell were blocking the aisle but we get me out on the other side. I found out later, he had just fainted. The stewardess said "Oh, yeah. Happens all the time. Sometimes we get 2 or 3 a flight."
Saturday was the Ann Arbor Book Festival. As I was scheduled to do a panel and wanted to see the awards ceremoney for the young writers contest I judged, we packed up the husband and child and off we went.
Alexander fell asleep in the car on the way, so Tim dropped me off while he found a place to park so Alexander could sleep himself out (waking Alexander in the middle of a spontaneous nap should be avoided if at all possible, it leads to crabby-badness).
It was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day. The fest initially looked to be about a block of tents -- booksellers alternating with events pavillions. At the t-shirt vendors, I got directions the author check-in/information tent. There they did not have a name tag for me, nor my name on any of their lists. Fortunately, they believed me when I said I was supposed to be there, and I did find my own name on the schedule. I then asked where the tent for the awards was. While they were directing me, another woman came up saying that the people at that tent said the awards WEREN'T happening there, and were turning inquiring people away.
Not a propitious start. Info booth lady did escort us to tent, which was around the corner from the main fest in between A2s famous bell tower and The World's Ugliest Fountain (no, really, it is) and helped determine that this was, indeed the place.
In the place, the current speaker was talking about how he'd helped the Mastadon become Michigan's State Fossil. Overhead, the carrilon chimed the hour, and the tent began to fill up with very tense kids, and their equally tense parents, and he kept talking, and kept talking, for at least ten minutes before somebody in charge asked him to wrap it up.
Okay, Michigan's State Fossil was finally finished, and the awards ceremoney began. Nice ceremoney. Talk from a YA author. All the finalists got certificates. The prize money was quite hefty for this sort of thing ($100, $250, $350). These kids were quite talented and had clearly worked hard and taken the whole thing seriously. I'd made comments on all the mss. I read, and these got handed out to the kids I'd judged, and I was also able to catch up with the one young woman who'd written the one story I read and could say with confidence, "This, as is, is publishable." Due to my fellow judge's...differing opinions on literary merit, she didn't place, but I told her what I thought of the story, and gave her the Speculations website, telling her to go there and find some markets, and start submitting. I also talked to her friend, who also had not placed, but had written a charming story, and encouraged her to keep at it, and to the second place winner, who, if he learns more about structure has it in him to be truly great, IMHO. So, that all felt really good.