Interview with Go Indie Now

At When Words Collide this year, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Joe Compton of Go Indie Now. I have to say that Joe asked some really good questions, different from the typical author interview, and I had a blast talking with him.

He also really did his homework, pulling up photos of this year’s trip to Japan and my dogs!

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Area 51: Aliens & Exercise

After I left When Words Collide in Calgary, I drove south and followed the Extraterrestrial Highway (NV SR 375) to tiny Rachel, Nevada (population 54).

I’d signed up for the ET Marathon — the half, actually, because I’m not cool enough to do a full marathon. I’d booked the race and my room long before #StormArea51 was born. I arrived early and holed up in a mobile home to work on Blood & Bond.

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Make Like A Tree and Stay Right Here

It has been an absolute whirlwind of a month or so. I celebrated the release of Shard & Shield, I attended the Realm Makers writing conference in St. Louis, I attended and taught at Gen Con in Indianapolis, I was home approximately 24 hours and then took off to attend and teach at When Words Collide in Calgary, then drove south to tiny Rachel, Nevada where I holed up for several days at the Little A’le’Inn (just outside Area 51) to work on Blood & Bond and hit the road for the ET Full Moon Marathon (I did the half), and then I drove home. (More on much of these to come.)

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GeyserCon Report & Rotorua

After our backpacking trip, Jon and I traveled to Rotorua to get ready for GeyserCon, New Zealand’s 2019 national science fiction and fantasy convention.

We got into town a little early, so we stayed at a tourist cottage with Grace Bridges, con chair. Grace booked us into one of her regular favorite places, where we had hot pools and a hot beach and a steaming stream and warning signs all over the yard about the ground potentially burning your feet, be sure to wear shoes.

Rotorua is one of a very few (countable on one hand with fingers left over) communities in the world built on an active geothermal site.

Lake Rotorua, on whose shore our cottages sat, is a water-filled caldera, still active. You can walk along the beach and find little hot springs bubbling up through the sand and lake. This is a good place to wriggle your toes in — but be careful, because it’s easy to find one that’s too hot.

Note the bubbles coming up between my toes.

Remember those chilly wades we had in Abel Tasman? This was the opposite. Even though we were less than a week from the official start of winter, I waded into Lake Rotorua and, with chilly lake water biting at my legs, pushed my toes into the sand to find the heat. My ankles were cold, but my feet were warm.

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The Abel Tasman Track: A Great Walk of New Zealand

I’ve just completed a four-day trek through Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand, along the stunning Abel Tasman Track. I wasn’t going to go all the way to New Zealand for GeyserCon, where I was an author guest, and not fit in some tramping!

We flew into Auckland, sent our convention luggage (books, costumes, normal clothing, etc.) on to Rotorua, and immediately caught a flight for Nelson, where we stayed in a cozy studio (referral link to save $25 anywhere) hosted by the delightful Kate. It was just upon our arrival to Nelson that Jon informed me our cookstove, meant to give us hot food over our four days of late autumn hiking and chilly wading, had also gone on to Rotorua. Oops. Kate was kind enough to give us a 7 am ride to a local store to pick up a cheapo model before our trailhead pickup.

We got a ride into Marahau, a town at the southern edge of the national park, from Abel Tasman Aquataxi. We confirmed the time and location of our next pickup four days later and crossed the street to pick up a local walkway that would lead to the national park entrance.

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A Vicious Spiral of Niceness

This morning I flew into Tokyo. Okay, it was afternoon by Tokyo standards, and night by my home standards, but I slept on the plane so it was morning. Or something.

By night, sakura blossoms and the moon.
By night, sakura blossoms and the moon.

I know just enough Japanese to make it seem like I know more. I can’t understand much of the airplane announcements, but I know enough of routine airplane announcements to fill in the gaps. I cannot have a conversation about the specifics of a hobby, but I can exchange a rail pass and get directions and be generally civil.

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