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Sunday - August 30th
B/W headshot
<So this is only months late....>   Sunday morning and too much excitement gets me up somewhere around 8AM even though I only went to bed around 3 or so.  I walk around LA a little and then plunk myself down in the lobby to read the Anthology.  There's a pleasant lack of rush on things now since the big events of Saturday and it's really cool to just dive into the headspaces of my fellow writers.  We're due for pick up to go to the Borders in Pasadena at 1:00PM so after and hour and a half's worth of reading I finish off the chicken foccacia sandwich I'd bought earlier in the day and gear up.  I grab my copy of the 25th Anniversary book figuring that there should be some down time to get some autographs.  Loaded up and on the move, we head to Pasadena.  We circle the block, we circle the block - the bus is like a hungry shark looking for its opportunity and finally we find the back entrance and are dropped off.  Inside the folks at Borders have set up a large "U" of tables.  Nameplates are set up so we find our seats easily.  Happily in most cases we're seated next to our illustrators so when the fun begins, I can flip open the page to Rachael's Illustration for her making the process easier.  But before things get really rolling, I looked down the line and realized that next to my "twin" <writing/critique partner> Paula is Tim Powers.  It doesn't take much instigation to get him to sign the Anniversary book and he plunks it down in front of Jerry Pournelle, who then passes it on to Larry Niven - nice folks, they made the work easy.  Once again we're signing and meeting new folks just like the night before.  It's lots of fun to watch the folks come up to Larry and Jerry with their big stacks of books.  Something for us all to aspire to, perhaps.  The Borders folks are very nice to us and treat us to a round of coffees and drinks.  Then too quickly, we're back on the bus and headed for Hollywood.  In a short bit we're off to Author Services for an awesome dinner spread served in the L.Ron Hubbard library area.  Shortly after that we go downstairs for a performance in the Golden Age Theater of one of Hubbard's works.  Now I wasn't sure what exactly to expect and was pleasantly surprised at cool mix of live dramatization and old style radio delivery by the three men who performed "Tough Old Man".  Afterwards there was a brief reception in the library once again.  After all that you'd think the day might just be winding down, but now the group of the writers set off for the bar looking for another opportunity to glean some wisdom from prior winners Steve Savile and Jordan Lapp.  We sat outside beside the pool talking shop until it got cool enough that we moved around one of the fire pits and started telling humorous but true tales.  At last the security guard gave us a final send off which we took as the perfect cue to move to the hotel lobby, where we continued until the clock found its way passed two.  One by one we said goodnight, knowing that all of us were leaving on morrow at different times, heading back to home and bringing this unique chapter to a close.  It was a bittersweet moment, knowing that what we had this past week would never come again in such as fashion, but that we all together were damn lucky for the opportunity.

Monday - was travel, oh, yes it was.  Some how I went from the afternoon straight into evening.  Lift of was cool because we curved out over the ocean and the view was amazing.  The prior flight's excitement made this one seem longer but I still spent a great deal of it looking out the window listening to the mp3 player- although I did break that up by reading more of the anthology.  Coming in over Baltimore at night kept reminding me of Bladerunner.  On the ride home, talking to my brother, I realized that no matter how much I spoke about it, I was never really going to be able to get across to someone else just what the past week was really like. 

<now> Fortunately I am still in contact with the amazing people that I met in August.  Everyday we drop emails or post on facebook or the like.  Most of us have received our trophies and artwork and they will serve as constant reminders of an amazing experience. We are the 26th band of Writers of the Future - guess its time to write that future....