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Baltimore Book Festival - Knight Stand
Wonders & Wanderings

Date: 2013-09-30 06:55
Subject: Baltimore Book Festival
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Music:"September Morn" - Neil Diamond
Tags:asaro, baltimore, books, bujold, clough, cons, friends, gilman, heinlein, lamplighter, scottolini, sf, smith-ready, writers, writing
  Lois McMaster Bujold surprised me on Tuesday by posting at Baen's Bar that she was flying in from Minnesota to attend the Baltimore Book Festival this past weekend.

  I called my family members to whom I had addicted introduced her books.  The short notice produced wails as agonized realization ensued that they had counter-scheduled.  Oh, well.  :>)

  While scanning the list of program participants I noted the name of friend and livejournalist L.Jagi Lamplighter arhyalon but hadn't seen any advanced notice on her LiveJournal, so I posted a comment to her most recent post.  Several others flagged my attention:  Catherine Asaro, Laura Anne Gilman, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jeri Smith-Ready, Bud Sparhawk, and Azar Nafisi.

  Now the BBF online site brought something new to my attention -- Parking Panda!  Days in advance of my travel, I reserved a nearby parking spot for the day for less than $10.  This is important as the progression of the Sporadic Inclusion-Body Myopathy has reduced my ability to walk any significant distances and the reservation prevented the frustration of circling endless while competing with other commuters.

  Because Downtown Baltimore is just shy of an hour's travel, I arrived at the festival Saturday morning carrying my Lisa Scottoline shoulder bookbag and my folding counter-height director's chair which I obtained in August after struggling at my cousin Olivia's wedding reception with the typical low, flimsy, armless folding chairs one finds at such functions.  Half a dozen efforts at rising from such contraptions leaves me exhausted.  The Book Festival marked the first field-test of the utility of the counter-height chair and it was a great success.  Though negotiating the hilly streets, especially cobbled Charles Street around the George Washington monument, challenged my muscle-wasted legs, the chair preserved so much of my strength that I was able to spend over six hours in reasonable comfort and mobility.

  So here's Lois:

Lois McMaster Bujold

  And Catherine Asaro singing the Patti Smith version of Springsteen's "Because the Night":
Catherine Asaro & Band

  Here's Humble, Lovable Shoeshine Boy (secretly superhero) Bud Sparhawk & L. Jagi Lamplighter:
Bud & Jagi

  And new friends Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Julie Czerneda (with my longtime SF friend Brenda Clough), and Sarah Pinsker:

Danielle, Julie, Brenda, & Sarah

  Lois was interviewed by Catherine at the Literary Pavilion (which is locate separately from the SFFWA Pavilion -- sheer discrimination, I cry!) followed by an audience Q&A and she signed books afterward in a separate, velvet-rope fronted tent.

  I'd seen Danielle at various Balticons over the years but never had a chance to speak with her because it's such a working con for me with the Heinlein Blood Drive.  I finally availed myself of her first Bad-Ass Faeries anthology and a collection of her SF tales.

  Julie and Sarah are new acquaintances for me.  Julie I'd read in Jim Baen's Universe (upon checking her bibliography -- I kept thinking that it was Asimov's or Analog) so I knew she was a biologist.  I bought a half-dozen of her books.  Sarah played an array of stuff and we amicably argued the Minimum Daily Requirements of Irony in Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" using the Zelazny Irony-Assay Scale.  I still rely on the OED:

3. A state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what was or might be expected; an outcome cruelly, humorously, or strangely at odds with assumptions or expectations. -- Ironic

  One very Kool Kamden person I met but failed to photograph was Christine Norris, from whom I bought all my books, including two of her own.

  Alas, I never did see Jeri Smith-Ready (although I looked for her in the Romance Writers Pavilion), Laura Anne Gilman, nor Azar Nafisi.

  However, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting present and making new friends, hobbling about the Peabody Library, basking in the breezy Autumn sunshine, and my delightful conversations with everyone (well -- it was delightful on my part!).

  I also, as I arrived at the festival, received a cool pin from The Poe House booth with a raven logo.  (Mary Sue tests to the contrary, some people's names in fact do mean Raven.  Brannon = "little raven" or "child of the raven" as in Bran the Blessed.)

  I must be blessed because, tired from my long day, I found myself driving north along the entirely vacant 3-lane wide Green Street toward a line of headlights stopped on the far side of an intersection, the traffic signals of which were turned away from my approach, subtly clueing me that I was heading north on a south-bound only road.  Glad that gas station was handy!

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User: arhyalon
Date: 2013-09-30 13:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It was so good to see you! I had such a good time talking to you. Loved your God/Einstein/dice joke. I will share it with John tonight!
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User: damcphail
Date: 2013-10-01 09:56 (UTC)
Subject: Wonderful, absolutely wonderful
Had a great time getting to hang out and chat, JJ. You made the endless waiting very enjoyable.

Thank you for keeping us entertained!


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October 2013