So we circled the wagons, called out the troops, and staged a shin-dig.
Tom Purdom begged out saying that it was Isaac Asimov's birthday and he felt obligated to write a novel today (declaring it National Novel Writing Day). True to form, the prolific Michael Swanwick responded "I don't see why I can't do both."*
So, this morning trillian_stars and I went to the library and met up with Michael Swanwick. Greg hurt his back last night and couldn't make it. (If I said Greg hurt his back jumping a flaming school bus on a 400cc Kawasaki dirt bike that would be starting rumors and I don't want to start rumors.)
The collection of Poe manuscripts owned by the Free Library is -- astounding. The obvious jewels are the only known handwritten copy of The Raven, a handwritten copy of Murders in the Rue Morgue with Poe's corrections on it, that was twice saved from fires and twice taken from the trash, a copy of Tamerlane and Other Poems, the actual RAVEN the actual BIRD ITSELF that inspired Poe's most famous poem, owned by Charles Dickens -- well, you get the idea. It's incredible to stand there and look at Poe's efficient but otherwise unremarkable handwriting, to read his letters discussing his dire straits, to read observations of his tragically ailing wife by visitors -- it was moving. We spent two hours moving 70 feet.
Afterwards we met Tom Freaking Purdom at a wonderful Mediterranean restaurant on 22nd and Arch that I'd never heard of and had a really amazing falafel sandwich. We witnessed and occasionally participated in the most wonderful conversation. So much history and talent wrapped up in such nice people.
I would not trade this life for money.
Trillian's out at her first performance of Angels in America. I'm supposed to be writing a play for her. But I'm goofing off on livejournal instead.
Curse you interwebs!!!
*Inspired by Michael I said "I promise I shall write something for Isaac's birthday. Something with sideburns". (And I did! This is not to be confused with the play that I am currently Not Writing.)