Thursday, December 02, 2004

plugging conFusion

I thought I was gone too, and after this I pretty much will be. (First I'll drive into the nearby town and buy food for an empty fridge, and plug-converters as I left mine in the odd hotel I was in in London. Then I'll write.)

But I owe Anne Murphy many favours, because she's been my minder at four or five conventions or events over the last year, and has magicked up cuff-links an hour before the Hugo Awards and reminded me to eat when I forgot and so on. (She actually made a Guide to Neil Handling for conventions.) Also her husband Bill makes balloon animals. I don't know why I find this so impressive, but I do (and so did the people at the Chicago Humanities Event, who were wandering around with balloon poodles and crowns).

She writes to say:

The pertinent details are that The Fabulous Lorraine will be appearing in concert with Emma Bull and Steven Brust at 9 pm on Friday, January 21 atConFusion, which is a science fiction convention in the Detroit Michigan area the weekend of January 21-23, 2005. GoHs: Emma Bull and Will Shetterly, Steven Brust, David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, Derek Grime,Christian Ready. Pre-reg is only $30 through December 15, and folks can register through the website, which is at
The hotel is the Troy Marriott, which is really quite swank for the $84/night room rate (the Marriott reservation # is 1-800-777-4096- get theConFusion group rate) . ConFusion is well known for its fabulous programming, kids' programming, and party scene, and includes a Masquerade, Dealer's room, Art show, and 24-hour Gaming and ConSuite. Right now we are especially pushing for submissions to our writers workshop as the deadline is December 11. Questions? Write to Lorraine will be hanging out with us for the whole weekend and it should all be a crazy lot of fun.

So there you go.

When were u born and where. its for a book report. thanks.

On the tenth of November 1960, about 6:30 in the evening, in Portchester, Hampshire, England.

Dear Neil, I used to consider myself a writer. I also used to have ideas. I remember what it was like to have ideas; my stories never made any sense because I'd restart them halfway through because an even more brilliant plotline occured to me. I never seem to have ideas anymore, and this makes me really sad, as it means I very rarely write, and I like writing. You, however, seem to be full of ideas; I was wondering if you could give me some hints on how to re-inspire myself. Thank you very much!Much love, Jay

Sure. Write. More ideas that you can't use right now turn up while you're writing than turn up while you're doing anything else. The trick is making note of them and remembering them, and not abandoning the track you were on because you've suddenly realised that no-one's ever written a story about fish ventriloquists before...

Neil,One quick question. Is there a universal policy for bringing a voice recorder to a book store reading/signing? I'm going to my first, and it's one of my favorite writers (Pete Hamill), so I'd love to capture it, in an unobtrusive way. Also, in reading your commentary on Alabama's pending book ban, I finally joined the CBLDF. If you get gold stars or holes in a punch card for inspiring new members, feel free to add another on my account. :) Regards,Jim

Often, before a signing or a reading, a managerial type will come over and say "there's a young/old man/woman/person in the audience who wanted to know if he/she could record/video/film what you do tonight. Will that be okay?" And I say sure. There are often other people who do it without asking, which doesn't really bother me. (They're always good about turning recorders off if I ask them to.) Just ask politely and I expect it'll be fine. And thanks for joining.

Shopping. Writing. Gone.