Yes, I’m a potpourrist for all seasons (and a neologist as well, it appears.) The Berries have a show up in Simpsonville tonight, but I thought I’d jot a few things down in the meantime…
Completed my first 20-mile walk week since I started doing this stuff back in May — actually 20.2. Were it not for having weekend plans that already involve exertion, I’d be tempted to get 5Ks today and tomorrow for an IKEA marathon. Still, I would not have expected to have made even the progress I have at my age and size in this span of time. I’m also down (as of yesterday) 53 pounds from where I was in May, 88 from my all-time high. There’s still considerable distance to cover in all senses of the word, but I suppose that (in the words of Chiun), “Even the subtlest of languages begins somewhere with a grunt.”
And speaking of beginnings, I’ll unofficially start year 14 at Mondoville this week, as the pre-season faculty in-service happens on Tuesday and Wednesday. It occurs to me from time to time that I have become the senior member of the English program here, but every year differs, so while I’d like to think I have 13 years’ experience, it’s possible that what I really have is a set of 13 one-year experiences. Either way, I’m glad to have it, and I hope that I’ve done some good and that I’ll continue to do so.
I’ll be teaching one of my favorite courses this term — the Seven Deadly Sins. No lab work, I fear, but I currently have 24 kids signed up. That number will likely drop when they see the reading list, but such is life. It was nice, though, that when I mentioned the course on Facebook, several of my former students commented on how much they had enjoyed their time in it, while others lamented never having had the chance to take it. Kind of makes me feel like I’m in the right place.
I got my funding request approved this week, so I can officially report that I’ll be in attendance at NoirCon in Philadelphia on 26-30 October. I’ll be participating in a Noir at the Bar reading on the 26th, and appearing on a panel (chaired by Roger Hobbs) about the techniques some of our favorite suspense writers have used. I’d tell you who I’ll be discussing, but that would spoil the suspense, wouldn’t it? (See, there’s a reason I’m in this business.) I’ll also have a new story in the convention’s program, which I’ll happily sign for anyone who wants such a thing. I hope to see you there.
Meanwhile, plans are underway for a couple of events for the launch of In Sunlight or In Shadow. I’m not going to give all the details yet, but I hope to participate in at least one of them, so watch this metaphorical space. And if you haven’t already ordered your copy, you really should. It’s a beautiful book, with some really terrific stories from folks like Robert Olen Butler, Joyce Carol Oates, Jeffrey Deaver, and some guy named Block who could really go places in this business. You’ll like it.
And here’s a bit of music to wrap up this installment. First off, here’s a group I ran across not long ago. The Allah-Las are practitioners of present-day garage and psych from SoCal, and have been at it since 2008. Here’s a cut from their eponymous album from 2012, and I’ve been spinning it quite a bit lately. This is “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind).”
And this song’s darker and moodier, but I heard it on the campus station yesterday and it reminded me how much I like it. From Hamilton, ON, this is Junkhouse, with “The Waiting.”
With luck, I’ll post the after-gig report tomorrow. If I don’t see you tonight, I hope I’ll see you then!