Still Alive

Been super busy at the Nebulas, which is why I have not been about this weekend. Not that I don’t love you all. But being president of SFWA has priority this weekend. 

But tell me: how are you?

62 Comments on “Still Alive”

  1. I’m good, John, thanks for asking. Just got a story accepted for a monster hunter anthology over at Pill Hill Press. As the kids would say, w00t!

    Hope your Nebulizing is going well!

  2. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    I’m sure it’s a lot of work, but somebody has to be sacrified to the vol… I mean, we the fans appreciate all you do. Thank you.

    I’m prepping for a three-generation birthday party. My daughter’s and my birthday are tomorrow; her daughter’s first birthday is today. Spoiling the kids is always a good time.

  3. Having a great day. Everyone is healthy, we have t-ball this afternoon, then a rat buying expedition. Of course my daughter has to finish cleaning her room first. It isn’t clean enough for the rats to live in there yet.

  4. Whew! Glad you checked in. What with the rapture today…

  5. Finished Fuzzy Nation a couple of days ago. Very much enjoyed the smart-assedness of the protagonist (I’m a lawyer too). More trials and tribulations (as opposed to today’s Doomsday) coming up in a sequel, John?

    Today is taking the four year old Star Wars fan to an SW themed geocaching event. But of course, now that John is gone, it’s raining in the Seattle area again.

  6. Michael McClung: Congratulations!

    DaveH: I hope everybody has a great time! Is the little one walking yet?

    As for myself, I finished the kleenex box I was working on, and now I’ve started another one. I find that working on my craft projects really relaxes me, so that’s what I spend most of my free time doing. The house is a mess…but I’m happy. We ran a bunch of errands yesterday, so we’re both kinda tired today. I think I’m going to a Rapture party this evening. Hubby and I were supposed to meet his best friend there, but now hubby says he doesn’t want to go, and I can’t drive, so either I’m gonna miss out or hubby’s best friend is gonna have to swing by and pick me up. We shall see.

    :-)

  7. doreenb8 – A wanna be writer(actually that dream just came true) I live in Delaware County with my husband John, 2 terriers and a homeless lady (John brought her home last year) Together we have 5 grown-up kids and enough grand kids to start a baseball team with another on the way
    doreen mcgettigan

    Still alive as well but who knows that could change around 6pm.

  8. Bruce Diamond – Flyover Land on the teeming Mississippi River – Despicably proud old man. Text-extruding asshole (thank you, John Scalzi) with a skewed vision on life, pop culture, writing and general assholiness. Not a scholar, not a gentleman, not Martin or Lewis. But still trying to make life fun and funny.
    Bruce Diamond

    I’ve been Raptured. The lattes are heavenly up here (I know, right?), but the wi-fi sucks.

  9. I’m kicking butt and taking names. Finishing edits on my novel! (Why does one take names after kicking butts, I wonder?)

  10. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, who isn't going out like that!

    Just fine, thanks! Enjoying the fog rolling back in over Caco Bay here in Maine before I prepare to help my parents ins tall a new grill at their summer house up in Lake Sebago.

  11. I’m playing The Witcher 2 obsessively, which is good, since it’s rained for like 10 days in a row here. Nice to not want to go outside when it’s not going-outside weather, anyway. :-)

  12. Truthfully ,not a great week. My sweetie-Wife and I both have the flu and yesterday her pet lovebird, Barbosa, passed away.

  13. Stuck to the ceiling, trying to jump low enough to reach the top of the doorjamb. Turns out modern buildings are not Rapture-convenient.

  14. Programming my radio show for the end of the world–and yes, I’m playing the REM song, even though it’s a folk music show. You can listen 11am-1pm Pacific at KLCC’s website.

  15. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    Jennifer R. Ewing@8: Not quite walking yet. She pulls herself up by the coffee table and sidles along it, but is not quite ready to work without a net. That’ll change soon.

    BTW, her mommy’s name is also Jennifer.

  16. I dunno… FEED ofthe Nort is catchy of its own self.

    Not a good last week, but at least I wasn’t Raptured. There will probably be a lot of mocking of the concept at tonight’s gaming group.

  17. Fantastic! Never better! (Always worse?!) Trying to write a short fantasy inspired by a friend’s phrase “John the Sky Engineer”, after a visit from the TV guy…

  18. One of these days some nut-ball con-jobber will get millions of people going on one of these Rapture scams and arrange things such that he and his immediate followers “disappear” at the appointed time, instead of hanging around to awkwardly explain why their calculations were off. (“Whoops, I guess I counted a couple of pages of begats twice!”)

    If I was inclined to run scams on people, I’d’ve been very busy these past few weeks making a list of the names of people who fell for this. I imagine that such a ready-made roll-call of gullible suckers would be very valuable.

  19. Thank you Not that Frank #17; tuned in just in time to enjoy the ITEOTW(AWKI) cover. However, I am a bit disconcerted to note that the published version of your playlist ends only fifteen-plus minutes into a two-hour show…

    Is there anything else you would care to share with us?

  20. Was up until omygod o’clock this am going through all the goodies in the Hugo voter packet: manymany great things to read and look at, and even listen to. This makes the membership fee worth every penny, whether I make the Con or not. It does mean more hours staring at this silly screen, however, when I should be out walking in the glorious weather.

  21. Within the last 48 hours I have volunteered and been reassigned to teach high school sophomores Chemistry next academic year! Woot! (still no idea where that interjection originated). Been teaching high school freshman English the last half-decade. And (cue Twilight Zone theme) when I retire in a half-decade I will have taught in high school for some 15 years: 1/3 of them Math, 1/3 of them English, and 1/3 of them Chemistry.
    Makes me glad I never got a teaching certification in Social Studies, or I would have to teach another decade to make the math work out into quarters for each field. Not in my wildest dreams in 1973 did I think I would teach all three of my fields evenly working around 27 years practicing as a CPA. Fodder for a memoir, maybe? Naah. Who’d read such a thing?
    Rapture due in three hours. Fine by me, as a Christian I have been living every day of my adult life ready to go in an instant. Hey! If it happens I won’t have to teach Chemistry at all next year! An eternal summer vacation. Double Woot!

  22. Took 6 trains, trekked round five second hand bookshops, bought 36 books, Catalogued them online on Librarything. Exhausted.

    Upside – I got The Fuzzy Papers today! It’s an omnibus of Little Fuzzy and Fuzzy Sapiens, off to read them, then I can read Fuzzy nation that I got this week too.

  23. Fine, thanks! Took both sons to separate Little League games at the same time, fortunately (and unusually) at adjoining fields. T-ball boy managed to get an out! Single-A boy, between staring at the sky and making faces at the base runners, also managed to make a few plays. Now hiding from evil pollen monsters after trimming hedges and shrubs …

  24. Great weekend running errands. Glad to finally meet you (even though you wouldn’t tell me anything about the new novel.)
    @gary: you can google W00t or look it up in Wikipedia. It’s been around since ’98 so I’m surprised it isn’t in the dictionary.
    @Phil, you take names first, then kick butt.

  25. I’m good. Had a great kendo class where I sweated buckets, but hey, it’s a nice sunny day outside so it’s all good.

  26. I’m as happy as a bird with a French fry. The youngest kid learned to ride a 2 wheeler 2 weeks ago and we just got back from a 16km trip. I may lose this *ahem* baby weight yet. ( it’s only been 7 years. I still have time. Don’t I?)

  27. sidseton – Aylesbury, UK – Aspiring to be decadent, or at least a combination of Waldorf and Statler, but would probably end up as the Bolshevik Muppet.
    Sid

    Fell asleep waiting for the end of the world.
    Damn, missed it.

  28. Waiting for all of the self-righteous to disappear from California in about an hour. Keep your fingers crossed.

  29. I finished reading (my signed digital copy of) Shades of Milk and Honey today. Your VP, dude–she knows how to tell a story.

    (but of course we all knew that).

    So, you know. I’m doing good.

  30. Had a lovely 50th birthday: lunch AND dinner out, with all 3 kids. Got “The King’s Speech”, a deep-blue burnout velvet peacock hip scarf, and a brass dangly necklace; plus cake. Broke up an incipient dog fight and got a bruise on the hand–worth it to prevent another expensive vet visit (wirehaired mini Dachshund thinks she is a Rottweiler. She isn’t.)

  31. I’m better than yesterday; I regret having to blow off Friday’s mass signing due to feeling under the weather.

  32. It’s wonderful you’re having such a lovely time at The Nebulas!

    I, on the other hand, am Fantastic! Thank you very much for asking. The sun is shining, there’s a slight breeze, the majority of the city is away for the weekend, and traffic is light. Oh! And I have a few hours to myself. What to indulge first? A movie? Picnic? Surf the internet? TV show? Take in a concert? Go see a play? Street fair/county fair? Read a book? I hear that guy Scalvi just released a brand, new book. I think I’ll mosey on over to the bookshelf and see what there is to read. Then I’ll see what other kind of trouble I can get into with my portable entertainment, lol.

    Wow, John, appreciate you helping me decide. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  33. Enjoyed a lovely warm day in Michigan, walked the dog, went to the Art Fair. I apparently misunderstood what “rapture” meant. At 6pm a light drizzle fell from the heavens, and all who walked upon the face of the earth were slightly moistened.

  34. Doing fine!

    Just updated Dr. Kenyon’s Writing Apple, with another daily post for writers to ponder about their character and work-in-progress. I started it because I didn’t want a writing prompt that forced me into a different direction (“Your character decides to steal an elephant and smear himself with green paint,”) but something to help me with my own writing that day (Consider your main character’s heroic qualities…”)

    Hope you’re having fun. Wish I was there.

    TK Kenyon

  35. andzombies – I work retail, read a lot, watch way too much TV on DVD in one sitting, eat a lot of pasta, and both love and hate my cats in equal parts. I miss my family.
    Ann

    I’m doing very well, thanks. My friend Whitney just sent me the copy of Old Man’s War that you signed for me in Lexington. I’m sorry to have missed you on your book signing tour, but I’m happy to have friends that will get things signed for me.

  36. I spent the better part of the afternoon degreasing the drivetrain on my bike, including 2 hours trying to get the damn chain back together. It was no longer sunny and gorgeous outside by that point, so the ride will have to wait until tomorrow; the rest of the evening was filled with advancing SCIENCE with Portal 2.

  37. Just finished Fuzzy Nation – loved it. Would have stopped past for the book tour, but I’m on the wrong side of the pond.

    Thanks for a three solid hours entertainment in a stressful time.

  38. Happy birthday, Lila! I remember 50. It was great.

    Oof. I have not had to deal with dog fights lately, but one of my dog friends (a hard-headed Portuguese water dog, not Bo) did a major under-the-chin head butt recently. It left me with an awesome bruise, a bleeding, contused tongue…but worst of all, I just found out, the impact cracked a newish crown on my (wait for it) canine tooth, so hello, my dentist!

    But other than that…well, wait. I have not tried to contact any of my acquaintances who would have been candidates for enrapturing, so I do not actually know if it took place or not. I guess I’ll find out in the morning, if there is suddenly lots of street parking near my apartment. Win win, yes?

  39. Disappointed in Thor. Which bums me out, since I used to be friends with Miller and Stentz. Thought the directing was very standard-issue, unimaginative, and it was weirdly… an unspectacular film. Had much higher expectations given Branagh and the writers. But I did like the actors, though Natalie Portman was basically just okay. (Always a fan of Kat Dennings, though, even if she’s often called on for similar schtick). Then again, not sure the part allowed or required more. My kids, however, didn’t dig it at all. 7 and 10 yrs old… found it dragging and boring for much of it. It was like they suddenly realized — crap, this is a film for grownups!
    They kept asking us “will it be over soon?” Sigh. And here I thought it was a big moment for us — all four seeing a film on a saturday night that we could all appreciate. Sadly… not so much. However, if you’re a fan of Branagh, Netflix the DVDs of the British series: Wallander, based on the crime novels. He’s great as the lead. Also, look for the actor who plays Loki. He plays one of Wallander’s co-workers, and he’s very good. Easy to see why Branagh cast him in this, and it’s cool that he took the “sensitive guy” from the tv series and gave him room to do so much more.

  40. Larkspur: thanks. And sympathies for the tooth thing; I cracked a tooth last year and it was no fun at all until they got the crown right–since then, no problem.

  41. I’m surprisingly well considering I should be being eaten alive by a zombie or being burnt alive by lava or whatever evils come with the end of the world. This may be the most dull rapture ever.

  42. I took a phone pic of John and the line in front of his table at SFWA but my hand was shaking too much and it came out too “fuzzy” to post. Need a phone with IS. Besides, I didn’t want to lose my place in line.

  43. We’re LONELY! You leave us to be all professional and stuff. Did you stop to ask us how WE feel!? NO!

    Ok yeah.. I couldn’t even type that without cracking up. *grin*

    On a funnier note.. I finished The God Engines last night.. Wanna guess what time??

    hehehe..

  44. Frustrated. I’m trying to make gumpaste roses for a cake decorating class, and it’s not going well.

  45. I’m currently in Scottsdale, AZ, visiting my mom. I stopped by The Poisoned Pen, and saw copious amounts of copies of Fuzzy Nation ready for next week’s signing. I didn’t see a lot of your other books (one copy of The Sagan Diaries, and that’s about it), but they’ve got you displayed pretty prominently.

  46. Christopher Hawley @ 25: Sorry, I’m still here; I type the playlist in one song at a time as I play ’em, and I played Great Big Sea’s REM cover at 11:15. Rest of the playlist is up now.

    Oh, and I didn’t get to the request for Blondie’s “Rapture.”

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