Making Me Happy (x2): Spokane, Portland, and Seattle

Well, I have discovered just how difficult it can be to write something, even something short, when you are traveling fast and far. The massive head and chest cold that started in on me the night of the 27th didn’t make it any easier. When I wasn’t traveling, I was busy trying to just breath. C’est la vie. So this will cover two weeks of what was making me happy, and I’ll try to hold down the extraneous sidelines so it isn’t too massive a post.

So for the week ending August 23, there were a couple of possibilities. Hiking around the Devils Tower in Wyoming was certainly a highlight, beautiful views and nice exercise combine nicely there. I hope to get back and explore some of the longer trails that show more of the geological makeup of the area.

But it can’t really compete with the Sasquan Worldcon in Spokane. 5 days of nerds and geeks doing their thing together, something I have missed since Marcon in May of 2014. Had a couple of nice conversations at parties, spent way too much money on books (Well, not too much, but more than was wise from a budgetary POV.), enjoyed the various Cosplay folks wandering around, and attended some interesting panels. It was the first Worldcon I haven’t worked at for years, and it was a lot of fun.

The highlights for me revolved around Laura Ann Gilman (@LAGilman). I have been buying and reading her books for years, urban fantasy, straight fantasy, mystery, and went to her reading for her newest book, an Old West Fantasy. Or rather, the Devil’s West. Silver On The Road is the start of her Devil’s West series, and the reading showed it was off to a great start. Enough so that I went to her Kaffee Klatch and enjoyed a nice sit down with her and 9 of her other fans.

There were things that weren’t great during the con, both personally and part of the convention, but it was definitely a good thing, and it made me happy that I decided to go.

For the week ending August 30, it was much easier to decide what made me happy. Driving down to Oregon and doing some hiking around Mt. Hood was nice, and beautiful. Driving up I5 and stopping in to explore around Mt Saint Helens was too short, as was the time I had to wander around exploring Seattle. In the normal course of my life, those would make for a very nice week of making me happy. But for this week, a person beat them out handily.

I wrote a short review of Felicia Day’s (@feliciaday) book, You’re Never Weird On the Internet (Almost) when it came out, and was somewhat enthusiastic about it. And I was disappointed that her signing tour wasn’t going to be anywhere near where I lived, and not close enough to drive on my limited time off. (And my time off right then was even more limited than normal.) Then I realized that she was going to be in the Pacific Northwest at the same time I was, if I actually attended Sasquan in Spokane.

So I drove the 400 miles to Portland from Spokane on Sunday and Monday to attend her Beaverton signing at the Powells there. (It isn’t actually 400 miles if you go directly. I made some detours, which is why I was an hour late for the start of the signing. But Mt. Hood is beautiful and worth the time.) I was next to last in line to get my books signed, as gifts for a couple of young ladies I know. And Ms. Day was cheerful and pleasant, despite having signed literally thousands of books and talking to hundreds of people. The only disappointing thing about the even was the fact it was just a signing, she did not speak or do an interview.

That made Wednesday night even better. I had enjoyed the side trip to Saint Helens, and wandering Seattle during the day Wednesday. But the highlight was attending Ms. Day’s interview that night at the University Temple United Methodist¬† Church. Tracey Conway (@ShockedTracey) did the interview, and while it mostly focused on things that Ms. Day has mentioned before, it was fun and interesting. Then it was standing in line again to get my copy of the book signed. It didn’t take as long for me to reach her this time, as I wasn’t near the end. And I even got her to say she liked me, it just took some dark chocolate as a gift.

So there are two weeks of what made me happy. Posted late, but at least I got them up. I’m going to try hard to do better this week, but just finding what to write about will probably make things a bit more difficult, since I am back to work, with this cold dragging me down.

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