Today’s Magic District post has me mulling over the editing process and the reasons behind changing a story at someone else’s request. I manage to both mention the summer blockbuster movie “Boobs and Explosions” and make a clumsy comparison between editors and costuming assistants. Or maybe stage managers. Go take a look, and feel free to tell me I’ve gotten it completely wrong.
First things first: Tonight, I’ll be reading and signing at the Jay County Public Library at 6:30 PM. There may be cupcakes. There will most certainly be new fiction. So if you’re in the area, come and say hi — I promise I don’t bite. Even if asked nicely.
Last night I had the privilege of speaking at my old high school, the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities. I was pretty nervous about it, since I hadn’t been back for more than a quick walk around the campus in mumblety-ought years, and since the other alumnus who’d been scheduled to speak had to cancel. I had fears of being That Boring Speaker that everyone remembers from high school. You remember; the guy who either spoke in a monotone or attempted to be “hip to the youth of today” and whose schtick got old real fast. Driving into Muncie made me even more tense: for every building I recognized, there were changes I hadn’t known of (many for the better), and almost-scary flashes of deja vu. Hell, just driving past Wagoner Hall brought back a new flood of memories, and when I started pointing out places to the resident organist (“there’s the front steps, that’s where I played my first game of D&D…”) I realized I was stepping into a different role, one familiar from Williams jargon: the Crusty Alum with stories of Back In The Day. Urgh.
So I made it into the auditorium, expecting to give a short, rambling, unprepared speech, then answer a couple of questions and let these poor kids get back to what they were doing before this cranky old lady interrupted them.
It wasn’t like that at all.
It was awesome.
I gave a short bio, a few hands went up, and from there it was question-and-answer all the way through — I completely didn’t notice when we went over our allotted time. The Academy kids were interested, engaged, curious, and their questions made me stop and think several times. I think I managed to give answers that were both helpful and entertaining, and by the time we hit the third or fourth question, I was on a hell of an adrenaline high.
I realize that by saying things like “and the questions were smart!” that makes it sound like I was surprised, or that I was expecting stupid questions. That’s not the case. Hell, in this situation, there aren’t stupid questions. In many ways, the students were very like my class — bright, snarky, sleep-deprived — and that was both encouraging and a little frightening. (Also, it made me feel old, but there’s no way of getting around that.) The Academy shaped so much of who I am today that it’s amazing and scary to see it continuing to shape and train students for the great wide world.
I wonder how these kids will turn out. I wonder whether they enjoyed the evening as much as I did.
I wonder how difficult it would be for me to come back sometime.
Due to a number of unusual circumstances (some of which involve sleep deprivation on my part), it looks like I’ve let at least one event creep up on me. It turns out that I’ll be at the Books-a-Million in Muncie later today — 11:00 AM — for a small event and possibly a signing, should anyone want anything signed.
I’m a bit dazed, and only part of that is due to how I’m posting this before any coffee. But it’s good to be back where I grew up. Yes, I’m now in Indiana, and will be here for the next few days. I’ll be at the Indiana Academy on Monday night, then at the Jay County Public Library on Tuesday night. (More details about those as the days get closer and I get my coffee.) In between now and then, I’m going to relax, go to a baseball game, watch the squirrels from the kitchen window, and take it easy.
And get some coffee.
Yes, it’s a teapot. It just doesn’t look like one. It’s a travel teapot, presumably shaped just right for a cupholder. (What gets me is the little infuser at the bottom.) And it’s a travel teapot because tonight I fly home to the Midwest for a few days. (I return to Indiana! Prepare the transit beam!)
In today’s Magic District post, I misuse the word “ping,” talk about what makes me uncomfortable in writing, and refer to Byron and Meat Loaf in the same sentence.
What I’m talking about are the hooks that get me — the things that yank my imagination, that don’t just wake up my muse but light a fire under her ass — and how I’m not always comfortable with how I react to them. In other words, the things that I love and obsess over without reason.
It’s beautiful, as is the artist’s other work (the lampwork beads in particular). But I’d always worry if the handle of this particular teapot was about to sting me. I think that’s just me, though.
This is all Margaret’s fault. No, a different Margaret.
Because of her, I mainlined the entirety of The Middleman in short order (and that will do weird things to both one’s dreams and one’s swearing habits, let me tell you), and then downloaded all of Season 1 of Leverage off of iTunes. So since my Magic District post this week, Fooling the reader, was originally inspired by watching too much Leverage, this is her fault.
Blame Margaret. No, the other…oh, God, this is going to give me a headache.
We’re sorry, but your tea is in another teapot.
It’s oversimplified, it’s too long, and it’s undeniably silly, but I really like this week’s Magic District post: