Writers in the Sun

It’s sunny in San Diego.

Yesterday, I spent the morning writing, and then had a wonderful lunch with Juliette Wade and Charles Tan. I attended an afternoon panel on the year in fantasy with panelists including Ellen Datlow and Jonathan Strahan. But mostly I sat in the sun, talking to people, including Elizabeth Bear, whom I hadn’t talked to for a long time. I learn so much from coming to conventions like this one, just by listening to what’s going on.

And then I had dinner with Robert Redick at a Mexican restaurant in the old town. Robert and I were in college together at the University of Virginia, both in the English Department. We had a great time talking about writing and our careers. I talked about where I’m going next, now that I’ve finished my Ph.D. Because you know, I don’t quite know. In a way, I want to sit quietly somewhere and just wait for what comes to me. Wait for a sense of where I’m supposed to go next. But my life doesn’t allow for a lot of quiet sitting or contemplation. At least not right now.

Then we went to an especially good panel on fairy tales with Holly Black, Patrick Rothfuss, and Delia Sherman. And then, I was so tired that I went to bed. There is something exhausting about socializing so much. When I write it out like this, it doesn’t seem as though my day was particularly full. But it involved a lot of walking around, a lot of randomly meeting people, sitting down with them, talking for a while, so that I don’t remember now exactly whom I talked to. Jeffrey Ford at one point, and Rose Lemberg from Stone Telling, and Jessica Wick from Goblin Fruit, and many other writers and editors.

Honestly, I would be doing more if I weren’t so tired. There are events I’m missing, people I’d like to see that I may not run into. But there’s still time today, at the banquet. I’m too tired this year to be as active as I’d like to be. But that’s all right. This is my world, and it will be here for me when I recover from this very difficult year of finishing my dissertation.

Tonight I fly home, and tomorrow morning I head straight from the airport to the university, where I have a full day of teaching ahead of me. It’s going to be exhausting. But it was definitely worth it, coming to San Diego. When I get around other writers, I learn about what they’re doing, how they’re living. They give me a sense of my own possibilities, how I could live my life. Now I just need to rest for a while, recover some. And think about those possibilities for myself.

Here are some pictures from yesterday morning.

Charles, Juliette, and I sat out in the sunlight.

Unfortunately, the picture of me is refusing to load right now. But look: roses!

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