Monthly Archives: August 2023

There and Back Again. Again.

So I did something foolish, which was to jump across the pond to spend a mere week in England while my wife participated in a conference. In retrospect, trying to work a few hours on DayJob tasks, rather than just taking unpaid time off was particularly foolish. (What was less foolish was traveling with my daughter since she’s 21 and quite familiar with the area around Bath and Bristol.)

The secondary reason for this sorta-kinda spontaneous trip was the acknowledgement/celebration of the spousal birthdays, which fall a week apart and bracketed the conference schedule. So we went. What $$ we saved on accommodations (we borrowed a friend’s backyard cottage for a few days) was certainly spent on some serious meals, tea, and an afternoon at a day spa.

Definitely a good tradeoff, and an important life lesson. While I’ve been enjoying working with the new DayJob writers, the possibility of another layoff, or “premature contract termination” has been nagging at me. Honestly, I didn’t think it was a wise idea to leave the country. But that created its own difficulties. Hence, the life lesson, which I tried to impart to my daughter:

Your job is important in that you have to pay the bills. However, these opportunities are precious, especially when they involve intimates or family. Don’t dismiss them out of hand.

Sure, the jet lag has killed my brain this week and I had to dig very, very deep to finish a story on deadline. On the plus side, I went to England. I saw Roman ruins. I ate amazing French food (ex-pats are the best); I drank a weird cocktail in a private drinking club on a rainy night. I did a truly cheesy comedy walking tour. I soaked in a giant copper tub.

I had exit row seats. And a cheery flight crew. Go, Virgin Atlantic!

I didn’t get COVID.

The bills will come next month and the entertainment savings account will be emptied. Oh well. For the moment, I am employed and Elizabeth is fully booked and we can save up more money. Maybe Worldcon in Scotland?

See you in the word mines.

Things are heating up

Cover of Stupefying Stories #24

No, this isn’t the Southwest, or the Midwest, or anywhere else suffering ridiculous summer heat. It’s just the cool, er hot cover for Stupefying Stories #24. And look there – a familiar name!

The editor/publisher, Bruce Bethke, has been an absolute gem, publishing my work no fewer than six times. That’s a happy record for me, and I look forward to continuing our relationship.

The latest story is “Krishna’s Gift” – a near-future SF tale about difficult family relationships and the cost of actual happiness. It’s more expensive than you might think.