One of the strangest things about moving to Sweden so far is that my supervisor came to me a few weeks ago and informed me about the mandatory vacation. “It’s got to be at least five weeks,” she said, “but you don’t have to do it all at once. If you don’t want to.”
Once the culture shock wore off (you don’t realize how much American workaholic culture is ingrained until you aren’t there anymore…), I booked a bunch of delightful travel, which I am now in the middle of.
i.e. I spent last weekend at Fourth Street Fantasy, my absolute favorite SFF convention, in Minneapolis. It was such a good time. Fourth Street is single-track programming, high on analysis and exegetical rigor and enthusiasm, and usually involves a lot of sitting around in the hotel bar talking to wonderful, clever, warm members of the SFF community and getting really incredibly drunk. Also singing. The singing is important.
This year I:
- led a critique workshop for the first time, which made me feel useful! and also was mildly terrifying, as apparently people think I know enough about storycraft to be useful
- moderated a panel on justice in recent SFF
- was on a panel about music and writing
- did not overly heckle the other panelists in panels I wasn’t on
- except for the time where I insisted that the Roman postal service was really deeply relevant to a discussion of communication modes in speculative fiction
- got a bunch of bottles of wine, my darling friend Fade Manley, and some willing test subjects (thanks, Django and Max and everyone else!) and continued talking about justice all Symposium-style in the hotel atrium for several hours
- ended up singing Wayfaring Stranger in the best impromptu Pride celebration mixed-voice choir I’ve ever had the pleasure and honor of being part of (a thousand heart-shapes to EBear for making that happen — it meant a lot, very vividly, very suddenly)
- talked to so many of my VP17 classmates about such great things; also so many other people about so many other great things
- never had enough time to talk to everyone I wanted to talk to, but that’s the way of cons, especially cons you love.
Now I’m back in NYC for a solo vacationish thing, for ten days. And then there’ll be Readercon in Boston and a trip to London to see a dear friend (& all the other England people I can manage!) on my way back to Sweden.
… also I got asked to give a talk in Denmark? On Byzantine-Armenian relations. And I sold a story to Lackington’s, which I’ve been wanting to do for ages.
Every so often I am extremely conscious of how right this moment I am having the life I want.
Of course, the life I want involves getting the next chapter of this novel written, so I should probably go work on that.