Leaving in the morning I headed up to John Scalzi's -- he lives like a feudal lord on the same amount of property that comprises a New York city block. "If we lived in New York," he told his daughter, Athena, "there would be ten thousand people living in our yard."
I had initially thought that Where I Write would be an easy project. I'd just go to New York and Los Angeles and I'd meet everybody and I'd be done. I didn't realize that when you write full time, there's no need to live in New York and you can take the money you'd use to buy your two bedroom in Soho and use it to buy a castle in the midwest with enough land that you can fearlessly fire arrows from your back porch and hit nothing but air. There's an appeal to that -- especially when you job involves not being bothered for eight or ten hours a day.
Scalzi's done a teriffic job of useing the Internet to shrink the world when he wants to, through his bizillion reader blog, Whatever and twitter (@scalzi) and a network of well connected friends.
In fact, while we were still in the office Tobias Buckell answered one of John's tweets to say "hi". And eventually I was off, through the corn, to the far north to meet Toby.
Tobias' office is clean and comfortable and, accompanied by his faithful collie Ginny (Jenny?) we made short work of the portrait and headed out to dinner with his charming wife, Emily, & then back to the house where there was scotch and conversation and playing of Halo (which he wrote a book about, incidentally.
Toby is not really as stern as he looks in this photo....
I crashed on the office floor on an air mattress so huge one could fill it with helium and hang a gondola from it. I slept soundly and woke up at ten, realizing that today I'm another year older and it seems like a good place to be on my birthday.
Now, under the watchfull eye of Ginger, I shall leave fully loaded for Cleveland, where the wonder begins all anew. I'm a bit sad to go, but there's so much ahead.
Be awesome today, do something special.