Lo, She Comes…

Posted: September 18th, 2013 under Conventions, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
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Very early tomorrow I  leave here to drive down to Austin and catch the train, arriving in Washington (if all goes well) early Saturday afternoon after changing trains in Chicago.  I am excited.   I’m taking knitting along (you guessed!) and hope to finish both the current pair of red socks and the green/purple/red/blue pair of short socks.  This may not happen if the writing fit hits.

Anyone who has the time, please do come down to the National Book Festival on the Mall.  I know many of you can’t come, but I’d love to see a friendly face (once you introduce yourself–remember my face-recognition problems)  from this group.

My official stuff is on Sunday afternoon (presentation at 2:45 in the “Graphic Novels and Science Fiction” pavilion, signing at 4:00 pm) but I’m also going to stop by the Barnes & Noble pavilion to sign stock either Saturday afternoon (the train’s on time, I can get my checked luggage quickly, get into the hotel and change and walk over to the Mall) or Sunday morning (if Saturday’s running late.)   I’m hoping my hotel room will be available a little early, because someone who’s spent days on a train really should have a gallop through a real shower before meeting the public. Clean hair is a good thing.

Sunday night I’ll be dining with my agent, and Monday we take the train to NYC.  I  have a free afternoon which may be spent wandering around, or visiting my editor, or (most likely) flat-catting into the bed to catch up some energy.  Tuesday I head for New Jersey; Wednesday is my presentation at Rutgers University;  Thursday I head back to NYC and my train to Chicago.   And will arrive home (the travel gremlins allowing) Saturday evening.

I do not know how much time & connectivity I will have to stay in touch, but I’ll try.  If you’re there and get a picture of me,  I’d love to see it.


  • Comment by iphinome — September 18, 2013 @ 8:04 pm


    Can’t make it to Washinton but would be quite agreeable to stopping by the train station to say hello again while you’re in Chicago, I’ll even bring bagels (the perks of living 200 meters from a kosher bakery.)

    Of course I understand completely if you feel you’ll be too tired from travel.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 18, 2013 @ 8:14 pm


    Bagels? Which time is better for you, Friday afternoon (train gets in early afternoon; next one leaves late afternoon/evening) or the following Friday morning? Though I think I remember that’s the shorter gap, and we will have had breakfast. But still, bagels. I am never (almost never) too tired for a nice crispy bagel. I don’t need bagels for both (working on the bulge) but one would be nice.

    Suit yourself, and if you can’t make it for some reason, don’t worry. I have yet to starve in the Chicago train station. (I’ve caught bad colds there from people sitting next to me in the waiting room, but I didn’t starve.) BTW, do you know a grocery store near the train station? I will probably want to zoom in and out of it for Special Treat when headed to Texas.

    Gotta go wash hair now. (Is it really after nine already? And am I still not packed? Yup. But I did have a nap; that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.)

  • Comment by iphinome — September 18, 2013 @ 8:31 pm


    Nothing really supermarket-ish, my google map pulled up a walmart market that I’ve never been to and a convince store within a half mile walk.

    Either friday is fine though this one would probably be better for you especially if want help carrying grocery bags, I’ll email you my cell number.

    Plan bagels, raisin bagels or some of the fancies?

    Perhaps kerry aka Trouble is readign and also wants to stop by? I’ve not seen either of you since #chicon7

  • Comment by cgbookcat1 — September 18, 2013 @ 8:45 pm


    Safe travels! I’ll wave at you as you pass through NJ!

  • Comment by Wickersham's Conscience — September 18, 2013 @ 11:38 pm


    I won’t get any closer to your route than Anchorage, Alaska, I’m afraid. A safe trip, many inspirations and flawless knitting along the way.

    And it appears I will be shoveling snow on my return to Fairbanks. An early winter, with most of the leaves still on the trees. Nature bats last.

  • Comment by Sharidann — September 19, 2013 @ 1:52 am


    Safe travels!

    Living on the other side of the pond, won’t quite be able to make it. 🙂

  • Comment by Naomi — September 19, 2013 @ 3:02 am


    That’s some itinerary, good luck with the knitting too!

  • Comment by Annabel — September 19, 2013 @ 3:59 am


    When are you next coming to England?

  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — September 19, 2013 @ 6:04 am


    @iphinome – Kerry aka Trouble is indeed reading, but I live and work about 50 miles west-north-west of the loop and doubt I could get in to the train station before the east-bound train leaves. I did get to spend some time with Elizabeth at LoneStarCon3, so it must be your turn ::grin::

  • Comment by GinnyW — September 19, 2013 @ 6:56 am


    I will have to wave to you as the train from Washington to New York passes through Philadelphia. Regretfully, this weekend is impossible for getting away.

    Enjoy the knitting! Union Station is a wonderful place to visit by the way. Catch a nap on the way so you are not too exhausted to appreciate the (restored and now commercial) architecture.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — September 19, 2013 @ 8:25 am



    Here’s what I get from my brother (who also regularly uses Amtrak from Chicago when traveling) about the grocery establishments “near” the station.

    “What I can think of is a new “SuperTarget” in the loop. All of the “true” grocery stores for “downtown” are along Roosevelt Road/12th Street (I can recall at least 4 groceries along Roosevelt between Canal St. and Michigan Ave. plus another SuperTarget) which is one mile south of the train station located between Adams and Jackson at Canal Street.”

    Hope this helps.

  • Comment by Julia Coldren-Walker — September 19, 2013 @ 9:16 am



    I will try very hard to make it down for your 2:45 talk. I live in Laurel which is 20 miles north of DC. If you see a red head (post 60) in a wheel chair it is probably me.


  • Comment by Julia Coldren-Walker — September 19, 2013 @ 10:25 am


    P.S. Weather forecast calls for rain after 3 p.m. in Saturday with a cold front coming through overnight and showers Sunday morning.


  • Comment by Kathleen — September 19, 2013 @ 7:52 pm


    Thanks for posting. I’m just south of the beltway. So I’ll try and be there and bring friends. Is there a limit on the number of books we can get signed. (Would like to bring the 4 new Paks books.).

  • Comment by iphinome — September 20, 2013 @ 6:10 pm


    @Kerry aka Trouble Bagels were eaten, I guess that makes it your turn.

  • Comment by Julia Coldren-Walker — September 22, 2013 @ 4:40 pm


    Saw Elizabeth. She did a wonderful talk. Got a book signed. She said she and her Ipad are not talking to each other.


  • Comment by elizabeth — September 23, 2013 @ 7:20 am


    It appears to be a defective bluetooth connection in the external keyboard. I am a dud with the screen keyboard. But it was great to see all of you who showed up, and I hope you had as much fun as I did.

  • Comment by Richard — September 24, 2013 @ 3:13 am


    Speaking of matters literary, browsing an online retailer I’ve discovered that Dragonwriter, the tribute to Anne McCaffrey to which our Author contributed, has been out since early August.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 24, 2013 @ 6:45 am


    I thought I had mentioned that…if not I was remiss. Sorry.

  • Comment by Sharidann — September 25, 2013 @ 12:08 am


    @Julia … jealous. 🙂

    But glad to read you had a good time.

    @ Richard … Got dragonwriter on my reading pile, as soon as I finish a partial Pern-reread.

  • Comment by Sharidann — September 27, 2013 @ 12:52 am


    @ Elizabeth: wonderful text about Lessa and you. 🙂
    About the ipad-keyboard: I often get trouble as well, usually switching the keyboard from on to off then on again solves the problem.
    The only thing which can really drive one mad fast is forgetting to switch the keyboard off when you just want to use the ipad to surf… your virtual keyboard doesn’t appear as the ipad recognizes the keyboard.

  • Comment by GinnyW — September 27, 2013 @ 6:35 am


    Julia: I am jealous too.

    I am enjoying Dragonwriter, not only the Lessa piece, but the insights into the writings and the personality of someone whose books and stories have been part of my life for a very long time. (I was introduced to Anne McCaffery through Analog/Science Fiction, when the first of the Pegasus stories appeared. My father read, and saved, Analog, so I was somewhere in elementary school.)

    I was particularly pleased in the “Lessons from Lessa” to hear about the significance of characters growing and developing. It is a feature that attracted me to PERN, and which Elizabeth is carrying to high art in the current Paksworld series.

    Very often, growth in characters is characteristic of “adolescent” fiction, and the characters tend to be in their late teens and early twenties. It has been encouraging to see the middle aged characters in Legacy grow and adapt in constructive and surprising directions especially to problems that are characteristic of middle age.

  • Comment by Dawn Roseberry — September 27, 2013 @ 10:04 pm


    Had planned to make the 2 hour drive north to see you on The Mall, but my Mom decided to take a tour through the ER, followed by a four day stay in the hospital. Family trumps favorite author, sorry.

    Mom is fit as a fiddle, Dad is happy to have her doing the cooking again, and I’m happy they’re happy…but a little grumpy about missing you.

  • Comment by Amanda — September 28, 2013 @ 1:44 am


    Not a regular on here but I do stop by sometimes.
    Just wanted to let you know that I have successfully finished reading “The Deed of Paksenarrion” out loud to my boyfriend over our ooVoo calls. He really enjoyed it despite my mess ups and I am sure my many mispronunciations of names/places. It was a long journey and the last book he kept begging me to read more and more chapters every night. Now to start on Gird’s Legacy 😀

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 29, 2013 @ 5:30 pm


    Dawn: Family definitely trumps seeing a writer. Sorry your mother had a health problem and glad to hear she’s doing well. Maybe we’ll cross paths another time–hope so.

    Amanda: You read the whole thing aloud to your boyfriend??? That’s a lot of words. So glad he enjoyed it!

    Richard: It’s interesting how different printings (and web displays) show up different details.

    GinnyW: I love how you (and others, but you were doing it this time) think about the characters…it’s parallel to how I think about them when writing them. That they’re real people, with complex “innards” and resonances between characters that can spark one or another to a new understanding of himself/herself or of another character. Some of that never surfaces in the narrative, of course: it’s left for readers to infer if they choose. Sometimes these ruminations (not even really “ideas”) wander around in my head for years before popping up in a character’s life. We talk about people being biological, or political, or artistic “heirs”–tracing lines of descent that are not biological as well as those that are: Bach had musical offspring of his body, but also of contact with him or his music without a genetic connection. We are all heirs of those we have no genetic connection to: our entire civilization was handed down to us, for us to pick through and choose what resonated. What fascinates me, as a writer, is how absolutely individual people are even when it seems they are firmly defined by their group (whatever it is.) I was just talking to a friend today about her twin grandsons. One is the early bird on every accomplishment. The other is always a day to a week or so behind, more the observer until he sees the first one do something. She said you can see his mind ticking away: “Hmmm…that’s interesting. Bet I could do that.” And then he does. So from infancy their experiences will be different–the one bashing his head against novelty, forcing his way–and the one who sees that observation can make the process easier. And what fascinates me about this group of readers, here on this blog, is how very, very insightful and thoughtful you people are…it’s rewarding to write complex characterization when readers appreciate and discuss it so well.

    Rest of you: Sorry but I have to quit for a bit and move a bale of hay into the barn…husband’s back is very definitely “out” and I need to do the heavy stuff. Wish I’d realized I was that close to the end of a bale while we still had our son home for the weekend! DUH. But I just came in last night on the train and hurried to feed this morning before driving down to church.

  • Comment by Richard — September 30, 2013 @ 2:22 am


    I found more in my browsing than just details in the current books’ covers. I found that there was an earlier(? – that’s just my guess) pair of covers for the individual Gird books than the ones reproduced on this site’s Fiction page. The one for Liar’s Oath I want to subtitle, “Would you buy a used sword from this man?”

  • Comment by Richard — September 30, 2013 @ 2:57 am


    Good, the url worked, but Oops, the publication date quoted suggests this is a newer cover. Now for the Paks covers themselves: as well as US and UK omnibuses I found three sets of three (but only eight pictures, as one for Sheepfarmer’s Daughter was used twice). What I really wanted to show anyone who (like me) hasn’t seen them before is the third set, which this time I am sure is the latest (early 2000s?): Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold by Dominic Harman, but most especially Todd Lockwood’s Sheepfarmer’s Daughter. That is the interpretation I’ll be measuring all others against. Should he ever do enough Paksworld art to make a calendar, that is one I would consider buying.

    How to find them? They are the first three in the Images strip when I Google “Paksenarrion cover art” (not a search within Images, which for some reason comes up in different order). The third image (SD) comes from a blog site that shows all three pictures at a good size http://aidanmoher.com/blog/2010/01/art/cover-art/cover-art-the-deed-of-paksenarrion-trilogy-by-elizabeth-moon/ with links to the artists’ own sites, but Lockwood is on another site too where his illustration appears in its original uncluttered glory http://www.tolo.biz/2010/04/23/spectrum-17/

  • Comment by GinnyW — September 30, 2013 @ 6:20 am


    Richard: I enjoy the covers, but since Elizabeth does not draw? paint? the covers, I think deciding on the cover art is in the hands of the publisher. So, any time the book is reissued, in paperback or now e-book, or a new cover is possible. The UK covers are apparently usually different from the US covers. It gives more scope to those who want to collect the cover art.

  • Comment by iphinome — September 30, 2013 @ 5:05 pm


    @Richard goodreads is pretty, uh good as it were– about keeping copies of different edition’s covers on each book’s main page. Might make your research easier.

  • Comment by Richard — October 1, 2013 @ 5:15 am


    Yes, Google had led me to goodreads but I hadn’t realised how far down I could drill. Not all editions are fully attributed to publishers but I think I’ve got it sorted now …

    Ginny, for copyright reasons I guess Elizabeth can only show here what the publishers let her, which for the older series are the jackets from the original hardcover editions, is that right?

    Lockwood’s picture for Sheepfarmer’s Daughter deserves wider publicity – it must now be the definitive reference for cos-playing a Phelani/Fox soldier – but has been the paperback cover (US) only since a reprint. (December 2000?) Before then the original hard-cover artwork was repeated on the paperback and also on Orbit’s UK cover (slightly cropped for the latter).

    Dominic Harman’s two covers (DA and OG) have been the US paperback ones longer, right from the beginning so far as I can tell, which would mean his Oath of Gold illustration pre-dates the Omnibus cover one.

    The other covers I found for DA, OG, SN and LO (“Shifty Selami”, see #26) are the UK ones.

  • Comment by GinnyW — October 1, 2013 @ 1:20 pm


    Richard: I love the things your research turns up.

    Elizabeth: I hope your husband’s back problem resolves itself. That is a fascinating tidbit about the grandchildren. Being twins they will spend alot of time together bouncing their different styles off each other. Some stories are meant to be lived, not written.

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