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Stephen King & An Anniversary

The speaking tour was a grand old tradition of the 19th and early 20th century, but it has largely fallen from favor, or at least out of the public eye, with the rise of the newfangled radio, television, and internet. But you couldn't tell that to the full house at Benaroya Hall last night to see Stephen King. The Seattle Arts & Lectures series brought Mr. King to town to take us all on a walk on the dark side of the imagination, which he did with wicked glee.

For some reason, the format of reading and questions from the podium reminded me a little of what Mark Twain's speaking tours might have been like: crowded, casual but polite. The interplay with the audience was warm and a little potty-mouthed. King has the aura of a man of letters who doesn't take himself too seriously. And sadly, he is looking ever so slightly frail, having recently recovered from a serious bout of pneumonia.

With beer at the Pike Pub afterwards to round things out, the evening was well-spent. I laughed, I enjoyed the readings from the new book, I talked with the smart, competent, and beautiful women, including ironymaiden, Lorelei, scarlettina, Irene, and Elizabeth. I wrote myself notes for current projects, as King's perspective set me thinking in new directions. Can't really ask for more from the cheap seats.

Other news:
  • Egyptology meets sex and booze! Imagine 700,000 drunken Egyptians at Cancun the Temple of Mut during the festival of Sekhmet. Yes, it's Egyptians gone wild.

  • The Castle Shadowcrag adventure for Open Design reached its funding goal on Halloween, which made me all kinds of happy. The patrons and I are settling into the design phase of things with a look at new monsters such as the shadow fey, and the plot elements are coming together. Gothic is such a wonderful genre.

  • Reading Three Days to Never, and it's okay but it's only okay. I guess my Tim Powers bar is pretty high. I abandoned Kelly Link's "Magic for Beginners" as too annoying to continue with. It's the sort of book I might have liked in college, but now I'm just frustrated by it. I may be hitting a patch of "I can't read anything without hating it." More non-fiction is likely to fill the queue.

  • I need to get serious about my Gothic castle research: anyone have a reference book or site they'd recommend?

  • This week is the 15th anniversary of my hire as an eager young editor at TSR. I started the same week as John Rateliff, Thomas Reid, and Rich Baker, a group that quickly became known as the New Fish. Thomas is in Texas now, but I'll be joining Rich and John for an anniversary lunch to mark the occasion. Can it be that long ago?


( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )
Nov. 2nd, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
I think you need to write a story re: Coptics Gone Crazy! ;)

Clarify what you want re: Gothic castles, eh? Are you talking thematically (i.e. Castle of Ontranto) or architecturally? Either way, I'll go digging through me sources and see what pops up. To tide you over, try:

And I have to wait for February 5th for my 17th anniversary of my descent into TSR wage slavery. ;) Then again, we'll need to do something to celebrate the 17th observance of Jeff Grubb Day on the 8th of that month too! :)
Nov. 3rd, 2006 01:00 am (UTC)
Mostly I'm looking for Gothic as in architecture, though honestly it's Gothic in theme as well. Thanks for the pointers.

Spis Castle is, alas, too sunny to work, but the castles for sale could turn into a lot of daydreams....
Nov. 2nd, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
Julia Martin is also at 15 (which I only know because WotC counts TSR time when announcing anniversaries). Alas, they don't count years of temp time, so it's only my "first" anniversary.
Nov. 3rd, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
For some reason, the urge to count like The Count suddenly overtook me: "VUN! VUN anniversary! Ah ha ha! Vat, that's it? On with the counting!"
Nov. 2nd, 2006 11:13 pm (UTC)
For some images that you can use as jumping-off places (not literally, I hope), try Castles On The Web. Lots of pics broken down by country of origin, and some links to other castle-related resources.
Nov. 3rd, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)
Wow, I hate the interface, but I love the pictures. Thanks!
Nov. 3rd, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
The Marsden Archive -- Gothic Pictures on the Web.
Nov. 3rd, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
Very cool stuff, thanks for the pointer!
Nov. 3rd, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
Flattery, sir, will get you everywhere. ::wink::
( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )

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