Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
Your chance to tell me where to go.
Dorinda and I are planning a trip to the UK and Europe, probably late in 2008. She wants to follow up on her family's genealogical research, and I want to do some worldbuilding research and just look around at stuff. We'll spend most of our time in the UK, but will try to get about. We'll only have about four weeks - not nearly long enough, but all we can spare.
So. Do any of you have opinions on where we should go? What we should see? How we should travel? People we should meet? As this thread unfolds I'll tell you what I've come up with so far, but I'm interested in what you think first of all.
What is it about a good book?
• A workout for the mind.
• A suspension of reality.
• Exploration of altenative realities.
• Total engagement of the imagination.
• A new set of friends until the story ends.
What's most important for you in a new book? What do you look for? What satisfies you the most?
As in - I've been to Cons (short for conventions). The NZ natcon two weekends ago, and one day of the Aussie natcon last weekend (yesterday, actually).
Silly, really. I drove down to Wellington for the NZ natcon, a six hour drive each way, and flaunted myself in a shop window when I got there (see blogs below). Even sillier was yesterday's effort - up at 4am, drive to Auckland, flight to Melbourne, four hours with friends and publishers, then back to Auckland and the drive home, arriving at 2am this morning.
What made it all worthwhile? Well, the publisher was a neat guy and a lot of fun - at least, he laughed at my jokes, so he knows how to suck up, anyway. But what was really neat were my presents.
Yes! Presents! As soon as I arrived in the convention's registration room I was accosted by people I can only describe as 'friends' - that is, they take every opportunity to remind me of my physical and emotional deficiencies, my supposed predeliction for sheep, and what a poor specimen i am. Which is only proper, since I do it to them. And I started it, too. Gillian, for example, was perfectly polite to me until the day I appeared on a panel with her and maliciously agreed with everything she said.
Well, Gillian gave me what she thought was a scarf with a kiwiana print on it - a map of New Zealand surrounded by kitch kiwi images. Fabulous. It's actually a 'throw-over', Gillian, designed to be draped over food to prevent the flies getting on it. Hence the food stains. I was right, though, they were often seen in restaurants.
And the thoroughly evil and long-necked Trudi Canavan knitted me a gift. Two gifts, in fact. Apparently she's been blogging about these gifts on her knitting website. A beanie, which looks so cool on me, and a scarf. A very narrow scarf, reflecting her view that I have no neck. Oh, how we all laughed when I draped it in that indeterminate space between my shoulders and chin. I cried inside though.
Seriously, though, I felt very loved.
I followed a truck for a while today, as one does on busy highways. I have no idea what sort of truck it was, but it looked specialised. On the back, in very large letters, covering the entire rear of the vehicle, was the following message:
DO NOT ENGAGE TAPS
WHILE WINGS ARE EXTENDED.
I have to admit to being puzzled. The message must mean something. Is this a life mantra? Sage advice? Should I be worried if I can't extend my wings? Does anyone have any thoughts about this?