Thanks to Juan Sanmiguel and the rest of the Oasis team for a terrific convention!
The day before Oasis, I returned home from errands to find a flock of ibises moseying around in the yard across the street.
Eudocimus albus, Family Threskiornithidae. Says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, "A wading bird of the deep South, the striking White Ibis is frequently seen on lawns looking for large insects as well as probing for prey along the shoreline."
Adds eNature.com, "Around their colonies, ibises eat crabs and crayfish, which in turn devour quantities of fish eggs. By keeping down the numbers of crayfish, the birds help increase fish populations. In addition, their droppings fertilize the water, greatly increasing the growth of plankton, the basic food of all marsh life. White Ibises gather at dusk in spectacular roosts, long lines of birds streaming in from all directions."
In this video, the ibis with dark feathers on its side is a juvenile. One of the adults decided to check out the other side of the street and clearly wasn't impressed.
Ibises in a Neighbor's Yard, in Light Rain.
On Friday I drove to Oasis 22, hosted by the Orlando Area Science Fiction Society. At first I overshot the LaQuinta where I was staying, which wasn't difficult to do because it was tucked behind a Denny's. I pulled into an iHop parking lot to ask directions and came face to face with Tito and his lovely lady macaw, Scooby.
Tito works at the iHop. In a minute, Scooby and I were getting acquainted.
Shortly thereafter, I picked up an education in Orlando's love of "No U-Turn" signs and got to see more of the city than I had planned, winding up at the Millennium Mall. I experienced deja-vu all over again as I again scooted down I-4, this time turning where I should have turned and settling, very briefly, into Room 253.
I shared this room and a sales table with Kathy Nappier. We had a roughly ten-mile drive to get to the convention hotel. My unplanned meandering led to my missing Kathy's arrival by just a few minutes. I did a quick shirt change, splashed water on my face, and high-tailed it to the Sheraton...
... and lost my way in torrential rain once I got off I-4 again. Pretty soon I was asking for directions for the second time that day, then wiping down my windows and mirrors because I was already having enough adventure without driving blind. By the time I reached the dealer room at the Sheraton I looked as though I'd just showered with my clothes on. Which I suppose I had.
I think I'm grinning like this because I plum survived the drive. My display included the paperback edition of Deviations: Covenant; e-books of Covenant and Vol 2., Appetite; 2009 Bram Stoker Award finalist Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet (Dark Scribe Press), which contains my story "Memento Mori;" IPPY Silver Medalist Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory (Scriblerus Press), which contains my story "Arachne;" issue #14 of Hugo Award nominee Electric Velocipede, with my story "Hermit Crabs;" and cards advertising my upcoming interview (May 28, 2009, at 6:30 PM ET) on Chronicles (Blog Talk Radio), hosted by Mark Eller. My "Literary Busker" basket got a bit of response as well. In addition to selling paperbacks (yay!), I offered free CDs of the e-books and took a cue from street artists (buskers), who set out a basket for anyone who might want to respond to their performances with a bit of cash. That part was all purely voluntary, so I'd say my experiment with my own busker basket was a success.
Kathy's display includes Full Wolf Moon (which I couldn't put down) and its sequel, Bitten (which I now have in my hot little hands), along with anthologies Twisted Tails II (with her story "The Thing Most Precious"), Twisted Tails III (with her story "Divine Messenger"), and Twisted Tails IV (with her story "Sex and the Emerald City").
Friday evening I caught this ferris wheel on pixel from the LaQuinta parking lot:
Fun Spot Ferris Wheel, Orlando, Florida
"Poetry Answers Art" was my first panel on Saturday, where I joined moderator Chris Ambrose, Bruce Boston, Marge Simon, John Tumlin, and Malcolm Deeley, all of us members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Photos from the panel will appear in the SFPA site's News section. We reconvened on Sunday morning for "Poetry Hour," a round-robin reading. In-between, I joined Marge, Malcolm, Glenda Finkelstein, Elenora Sabin, and Cheryl Wilson for "How to Make a World Believable."
And there was schmoozing to be had. Dinner with Marge, Bruce, and John on Friday night at the Sheraton; then with Kathy, William Hatfield, and William's wife Karen at Houlihan's on Saturday night. William and Karen sold jewelry next to us in the dealer room.
Kathy and I pose with romance author Gennita Low, who with Kathy and others took the dais for the panel "Sookie, Anita, Bella, and the Vampire Next Door" late Friday night.
I was especially looking forward to seeing Paul Vincenti's latest and stunning painting "Calliope," the first of his Nine Muses series. I'd been following his progress with "Calliope" on Facebook and learned that he brings a newly completed "wet painting" to each convention he attends. And I got to see, once again, his awesome Four Seasons series in person. You can catch the quartet here.
(Another advantage of following Paul on Facebook is learning about videos like this one, in which he paints on the spot as pianist Jamila Tekalli performs Liszt's B minor Sonata at an artistic salon called Timucua. Wowowowowowow.)
I took my Ideapad with me, checking e-mail back at LaQuinta. Thanks go to Matthew McClintock at Manybooks.net for including Covenant on his site and providing even more download formats here; and to SFSignal for the listing!
Vol. 2, Deviations: Appetite
Free downloads of both volumes here.
|To access Covenant in even more formats, go to manybooks.net.|
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