May 14th, 2008

smirking-winslet

The Jim C. Hines Reading and Signing

Last Thursday...

... I mentioned I was already at Schuler's Books and Music on Alpine Avenue just north of Grand Rapids MI for the reading and signing by Michigan author and WOTF winner jimhines Jim C. Hines. Here's the one photo I took at the end:



That's Jim C. Hines at the right in his Official Authorial Leather Jacket, along with one lone copy of his new book Goblin War. On the far left I believe is brainstormfront, another Michigan author who has a new book coming out. Also on the left is one of Jim's brothers -- who knew that Goblin writers had families and stuff? (grin)

The signing was spoiled only by the fact that they had almost no copies of the first Goblins book and only a few of the second. That's Schuler's fault -- you got an author with a series you've got to have some copies of the earlier books. Even if the people who arrive have read up to the new book, they might actually want to buy sets for new people to get hooked on the story. Just sayin'.

The reading was spectacular. First of all, we convinced Jim to read the Acknowledgments from Goblin War, in which he speculates what his main character Jig would likely due to him, his beta readers, etc., for all the grief visited upon him in three books and a least one short story. (double-jeopardy-grin) Then on to the next book, The Stepsister Scheme coming out in January 2009, which revs up and completely upsets the fairy tales of yore -- and he's starting from the real versions, so Cinderella's stepsisters are, shall we say, not undamaged from trying on that damned glass slipper? (triple-witching-hour-grin)

A Very Favorable Crowd

Most of the people there were friends and family and people who know Jim through ConFusion or LiveJournal. So what? It sold some books, made some publicity, and gave Jim and others something to blog about.

And there were some new faces, including a mother and her teenage son whom she described as "thinking he wanted to do some writing". Jim and his merry band of hecklers I think did a fine job of talking about how to get started and what NOT to do, which is almost as important, if I do say so myself. (reaches behind to pat myself on the back)

An excellent time.

Dr. Phil
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smirking-winslet

Turkeys

Goblins? No, Gobbles!

In the previous post I wrote about the Jim C. Hines reading and signing for the third Goblins book on Thursday. On Sunday, we had a different brush with things Gobbish: During the long soaking afternoon rain, I noticed that near the low spot in the gravel driveway, pecking about, was a huge wild tom turkey. We've known there have been wild turkeys in the area since we've got here, but this may be only the second time I ever recall seeing one near, if not on, our property. Then he disappeared into our stand of jack pines.



Then at the other end of the trees a female turkey emerged, strolling along, eventually followed by the male, who kept a respectful distance of 10-20 feet away at all times. As they both passed between our house and neighbor to the west, the male was quite close. But I didn't want to spook them and besides, the windows on the south and west sides have screens, making it difficult to shoot pictures. I settled for the kitchen where there was a closed window without a screen and used the HP camera with the modest zoom lens.



We wonder if they were already a mated couple or whether this was still spring courtship, because the male would stop and slowly spread his tail display about every minute.



Eventually the pair wandered off unmolested. Didn't hear any shotgun blasts from the firearms crew behind us that likes to blow things up, so they didn't see the turkeys -- I think there's a spring season right now, though there'd be the issue of distance to houses, of course. And the west neighbor's dogs were not outside.

Very amazing thing on an otherwise dreary soggy Sunday afternoon.

Dr. Phil

ADDENDUM: Oh, forgot to mention that as I was getting the garbage can ready to take to the road this morning, Mrs. Dr. Phil spotted a lady turkey -- same one or not, who can tell? -- over in the weeds at the other end of the east neighbor's property. Could do worse than having turkeys as neighbors, you know. (grin)
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    enthralled enthralled
smirking-winslet

Turkeys

Goblins? No, Gobbles!

In the previous post I wrote about the Jim C. Hines reading and signing for the third Goblins book on Thursday. On Sunday, we had a different brush with things Gobbish: During the long soaking afternoon rain, I noticed that near the low spot in the gravel driveway, pecking about, was a huge wild tom turkey. We've known there have been wild turkeys in the area since we've got here, but this may be only the second time I ever recall seeing one near, if not on, our property. Then he disappeared into our stand of jack pines.



Then at the other end of the trees a female turkey emerged, strolling along, eventually followed by the male, who kept a respectful distance of 10-20 feet away at all times. As they both passed between our house and neighbor to the west, the male was quite close. But I didn't want to spook them and besides, the windows on the south and west sides have screens, making it difficult to shoot pictures. I settled for the kitchen where there was a closed window without a screen and used the HP camera with the modest zoom lens.



We wonder if they were already a mated couple or whether this was still spring courtship, because the male would stop and slowly spread his tail display about every minute.



Eventually the pair wandered off unmolested. Didn't hear any shotgun blasts from the firearms crew behind us that likes to blow things up, so they didn't see the turkeys -- I think there's a spring season right now, though there'd be the issue of distance to houses, of course. And the west neighbor's dogs were not outside.

Very amazing thing on an otherwise dreary soggy Sunday afternoon.

Dr. Phil

ADDENDUM: Oh, forgot to mention that as I was getting the garbage can ready to take to the road this morning, Mrs. Dr. Phil spotted a lady turkey -- same one or not, who can tell? -- over in the weeds at the other end of the east neighbor's property. Could do worse than having turkeys as neighbors, you know. (grin)
smirking-winslet

Huh

What? Western Michigan Makes Political News?

I don't spend a lot of time in this blog on political matters, not directly, but occasionally on the side effects, such as Michigan's swift move to have an early primary. But given that this end of Michigan is heavily conservative and Republican, it is fascinating that the day after Hillary Clinton's win in West Virginia, that rival Barack Obama chose to come to the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids MI. The main speech was scheduled for around 7pm, they opened the doors at 5pm -- first come, first serve -- and I heard on the radio that people were lining up by 7am.

Okay, so Obama was making nice to Michigan -- a state he didn't campaign in because the Democratic Party had issue a death penalty of sorts on "our" early primary, not that it was my idea -- why not? Michigan will be a player in the national election in November, no matter whether their delegation is seated, partially seated or excluded from the convention in August.

But after I got up from a late afternoon nap, I found out that John Edwards was in town -- and he was finally making public his endorsement. And he was endorsing Obama. From Grand Rapids, in West Michigan.

Of course, some of the coverage we saw early this evening never actually mentioned where this was taking place. And from a clip during Edwards' speech, I did clearly observe a student in the background with a gray Western Michigan University athletic sweatshirt. Otherwise, there was nothing to distinguish the location from anywhere else. Nevermind. We know. We know that it happened "here".

Huh.

I'm Not Sure I'd Want To Be...

... the person who had to interupt Hillary Clinton at her fundraiser in Washington DC, as the Blackberries around the room were buzzing. (grin)

Dr. Phil
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