Mostly good day.
Today (the 17th) would’ve been my mother’s 76th birthday. I wasn’t as fragile or distressed as I sometimes am this time of year, but nonetheless decided it would be good to keep social interaction relatively minimal with people who I don’t know.
In the morning and early afternoon, I helped Mary Anne with a couple of interviews for an SLF project, and we had brunch with Ben and Alec and Alec’s utterly adorable daughter (who I’ll call B here) near our hotel.
Then I attended the performance of the short play P/Faerie Tale, in which a Filipina woman and her Irish mother-in-law go to Faerie to try to rescue their son/grandson from the Tuatha Dé Danann, with the help of Sarimanok, a Filipino diwata. Unusual and interesting.
Attended a TJ Burnside-Clapp concert. She closed with “Lullaby for a Weary World” (I’m not providing a link because I don’t like the easily available Julia Ecklar version nearly as much), and the audience sang along (with some nice harmonies), and I tried to sing along, and I cried pretty much all the way through. Still one of my favorite songs.
The Diane Duane fireside chat was full, so I went to the second half of an inclusion/equity panel. Afterward, chatted with Mary Anne and Alec and B for a while. Went to Ellen Klages’s reading (always worth attending); she read the scary ham story (content warning for metaphors about dead babies), and I found out that Ellen came out with a new collection last year, Wicked Wonders, which I was completely unaware of. Have now purchased as an ebook.
I stood and sat in line for the Diane Duane reading for half an hour or so, figuring that it too would end up with a full room and people turned away at the door. But nope, room ended up only 2/3 full. And it turned out that Duane was running late. A white guy I don’t know told jokes to the audience for about 20 minutes while I caught up on Facebook. And someone in the audience retold the opening scene of the US version of House of Cards.
When Duane arrived, she read part of an imminently forthcoming interstitial story that’s one of three or so stories that bridge the gap between Door into Sunset and the long-awaited soon-forthcoming Door into Starlight. I’m excited about these stories and about Starlight, but had a hard time focusing on the reading, alas.
Then Kat and I went to Lily Yu’s reading, which was excellent as expected. A fascinating and lovely fairy tale: “The Valley of Wounded Deer,” forthcoming in Lightspeed in a couple months.
We had dinner at Gertrude, across the street from the Maldron Hotel on Pearse St. It turned out to be extraordinarily good; my favorite food that I’ve had this trip. Sadly, they’re not open for dinner on Sunday, but they are open for lunch. Highly recommended. Miso glazed aubergine; cauliflower with corn pureé and samphire; asparagus; everything I tasted was really good. Also excellent desserts, including the brownie “iceberger” (basically an ice cream sandwich).
Spent the rest of the evening chatting with various people in small groups. Was nice, but now am v. sleepy.
Tomorrow: more interview assistance; maybe a boardgame with Ben; and the Hugos.