Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Where to begin?

The last week has been an absolute blur. There are many, many things I should be posting about, but much of it is simply too big to fully report, so I'll take a stab at some of the general stuff here.

First of all, the Julius Schwartz lecture was an amazing success. We sold out a 1200-seat lecture hall (minus some seats for cameras and so on), the evening went off more or less without a hitch, and we think we'll have made enough revenue back to do it again next year. (We'll know for sure after we get the DVDs mastered and up on the site for sale. I'll post here when it happens -- please order one!) I spent an amazing day with one of my heroes, got to hold an advance reader's copy of his next book (he offered me the chance to read it, but alas, I was running around working all day) and even made the opening and closing speeches for the event. It was, in every sense of the word, fantastic. I can't wait for next year.

In addition to the awesomeness that was the event itself, my friends Nick and Aaron (and Aaron's new [to me] girlfriend Kara) flew into town to help with the event. That was just as big a kick to me as the event itself. I only got to hang out with Aaron and Kara briefly, but having them in town was incredibly fun. We played Rock Band and Mario Kart Wii for hours, visited many of my favorite bookstores and restaurants in town, and had a chance to catch up in general. I love these guys. I wish they could be around all the time.

The day after the lecture, Laura and Nick and I flew back to Ohio so Laura and I could visit with our families. Laura's mom underwent hip replacement surgery earlier in the month, so we wanted to see how she was doing, and I had some personal research I wanted to conduct as well. My mom and I took a day trip down to Columbus, where we went to catch the new exhibit at the Wexner Center, Jeff Smith: Bone and Beyond, which was a treat for both of us since Bone was something we'd both enjoyed while it was being published. We also paid visits to several of my regular haunts, where I loaded up on a number of really great books, including a copy of the anthology of Russian folktales that is constantly referenced in Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale, which was a great find. Over the next couple of days, I hung out in Wooster, checked out Nick's new library (covet covet) sketched out some ideas and generally caught up on my sleep.

Once we were back in Boston, the rest of the week was spent prepping for the GAMBIT summer program and postmortem'ing the Julius Schwartz lecture. And then, the next thing I knew, it was time for another weekend. This weekend I finished recharging my batteries, which was a godsend. We did a quick grocery run to Whole Foods on Friday, where we picked up food for the weekend, and then bunkered down. On Saturday I caught up on the contents of my DVR, including the season finale of Lost and the last two episodes of Doctor Who, then watched a double feature of Appleseed: Ex Machina and Ghost Rider, which wasn't great but also wasn't anywhere near as bad as I'd been led to expect. Today, I spent the day doing laundry, hanging the last of our newly-framed prints from Japan, plotting out next month's trip to Greece for the ITRA conference and reading, primarily a few of the stories in Kelly Link's brilliant Magic for Beginners and the first little bit of Pollard and Reid's The Rise and Fall of Alexandria. Link's work, which was recommended to me by my friend Shannon a long time ago, is leading me on to explore a handful of anthologies in which her work appears, as well as the work of a network of her peers. I'm thoroughly enjoying reading up on Jeff VanderMeer, Jeffrey Ford, Kim Newman, Delia Sherman, and Ekaterina Sedia, all of whom I'd seen mentioned on Neil Gaiman's blog but had not previously had the time to experience myself. Getting to do so now is like getting handed the keys to a clubhouse, or at the very least being shown where the cool kids' table happens to be, if not being invited to join them. One of the biggest joys of the last year or so has been finding my way to this point, rediscovering the kinds of writing I like to read and now finding that there are more people writing in this vein than I'd ever hoped.

The only down points of this last little whlie was getting snaked out of the very last copy of Wii Fit at Best Buy this morning, but that's okay – I'm still catching up on tons of other stuff anyway, and on my way to the store I caught the tail end of an interview on NPR with my mentor Henry Jenkins, which was a very cool thing to stumble across on the radio. More depressing this week were the passing of Sydney Pollack (whom, although I'd never met him, I liked immensely from his 2005 Sketches of Frank Gehry), the closure of GameTap's editorial sections, the unexpected (and horribly untimely) passing of Erlene Zierke, and, although it can't compare in scope to the passing of two wonderful people, the intensely painful closure of the Journal of Mythic Arts. Some great things happened as well this week too, including the launch of Delicious Library 2.0, a multi-part interview between Henry Jenkins and transmedia creator Jeff Gomez (part one, part two, and a follow-up); the announcement of Steven Moffat's succession to Russell Davies' throne on Doctor Who and Derek blogged about one of my usual areas of concern (okay, those last two were last week, but I was busy).

All in all, a very, very solid week and I'm heading into next week recharged and refreshed, which is good since we still have a bunch to do before the Singaporean students show up a week from today. Wish us luck!

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