Retreat, Day T-7

picture of a sleeping cat

Willow, sleeping in her net.

It feels like I have been here a shorter time than I have, but it’s been great and I have gotten so much work done. I’m filling in gaps on Hearts of Tabat right now and happy with its progress. I wrote a bunch of stories and one poem. I walked on the beach and among the redwoods, and I got to spend time petting a bunny, and watching deer. I saw a grey fox and a barn owl swooping along late at night and covey after covey of quail, including a mama with six bitty little perfect quail running as fast as they could to keep up with her. Tonight I’ll lie out under the stars and watch the Perseid meteor shower from probably the best vantage point I’ll have in my life.

I spend literally less than a day at home, then get a haircut in the morning and head off to Sasquan in Spokane with my bestie, the fabulous Caren Gussoff. I’ve posted my convention schedule here, and if you’re wondering what sort of SFWA events I’ll be attending, here’s a video about that:

I’m working on a blog post about how to create videos like that — it’s much easier than you think. But you should make time for the SFWA auction, because there are some frickin’ amazing and very much one of a kind things for sale, including authors doing your voicemail message, supplying creative profanity, critiquing stories, and Tuckerizing (including one award winning novelist’s very first Tuckerization ever.) And lots of signed books, including ones from Worldcon toastmaster David Gerrold, George R.R. Martin, and Guest of Honor Vonda McIntyre.

I’ll also be spending a good bit of time at the Wordfire Press booth — please stop by and say hi (and buy a book if you like — I’ll have copies of both my new novel and story collection Near + Far!). If you’re coming to the con and are a vegan or vegetarian, here’s a handy list of food options.

In various news, Rappacini’s Crow will be reprinted in the BCS Best of Anthology and Abyss & Apex has accepted a novella that Bud Sparhawk and I wrote together, “Haunted.” had a nice piece about the SFWA cookbook — I’ll have copies of that with me for sale and there will be copies at the SFWA table in the Dealers Room and in the SFWA suite.

Here’s a piece from what I’ve been working on lately, near the beginning of Hearts of Tabat:

“Why do you always pick this teahouse when you are troubled?” Leonoa asked.

Adelina’s eyebrow raised and she smoothed a hand self-consciously over the garnet silk of her blouse. “I wasn’t aware that I did,” she said. And then, with mock severity, “That is the peril of associating with artists, Gilly. They are often dangerously observant.”

Gilly laughed nervously.

“But it makes sense. At one point,” Adelina said, “I became convinced that I was aberrant.”

Leonoa gave her a sidelong glance, but Adelina continued. “I thought I was different from all the other merchant children of my age, in that they all seemed very concerned with some sort of invisible game of unexplained points.”

Gilly frowned in noncomprehension.

“They all cared deeply about this game, and part of it was caring what other people thought – or more importantly, said – about each other. And I, honestly and completely, did not care what most people thought of me. My mother, the nurse who had raised me until the age of thirteen, my poetry tutor… I did care about what they said, but no one else.”

“You were a prodigy,” Leonoa said wryly.

Adelina shrugged. “Perhaps not a prodigy. But I was one of those children who are capable of discerning the layers of adulthood mysteries that were truly not mysteries at all but simply things that adults were either too busy or bored or whatever to explain or which they thought were inappropriate for children for some reason or another.”

“Was there a moment of revelation?” Gilly asked. Her eyes were downcast, her voice a little lower. She’s flirting with me.

Adelina checked Leonoa’s expression and the wry flicker when the little woman realized she’d been caught amused and watching.

Not this one. Ah, Vyra Serena, send me someone eloquent, who loves words and will woo me with them, not innuendos and touched knees.

“I was given a child’s catechism of the Trade Gods,” she said, pulling her leg away from Gilly’s as she sat back.

Gilly looked nervous in the way one sometimes does when anticipating someone else is about to reveal some overly religious sentiment. Leonoa, who had heard this story before, maintained a polite, amused silence.

“The Trade Gods are an analysis of the way the world works,” Adelina said. “The ebb and flow of coin, of trade, of wants and necessities. Everything is there in the religion, because that is what it is. It is not that a God who is the personification of Coinage or Surplus or Fairspeaking, walking the street, the way the ignorant speak of such things.” She rolled her eyes. “Every religion is that – a way of understanding and teaching about the world.”

“But there is a natural order to things,” Gilly protested. “Surely someone came up with that.”

Adelina shook her head, one quick definite shake. “Not at all. As you said, a natural order, one that could not but happen to arise. It is the only thing that could given the circumstances.”

Gilly chewed her lip in perplexity, trying to summon a reply.

“It is not so,” Leonoa said. “There is no natural order, just happenstance. The reason that Humans are elevated over Beasts is that we are more numerous and they have not been able to successfully ally.”

Gilly’s eyes widened.

“Please,” said Adelina. “Before you get us all hauled in for Abolitionism, at least lower your voice when making such pronouncements.”

Leonoa pursed her lips but took a silent sip of tea.

ETA: And HEY I am part of this great Women in SF Bundle through the end of the month. Catherine Asaro, Janis Ian, Nancy Kress, Vonda N. McIntryre, Linda Nagata, Jodi Lynn Nye, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Judith Tarr — holy smokes can you really pass that up when you can get all that for as little as $15?

Facebook Twitter Email

Related Posts:

About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
This entry was posted in daily life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.