We've arrived safely Naperville (in spite of a white-knuckle half hour on Interstate 80) and had a lovely Italian dinner at a little place called Angeli's. Good, real Italian food, served in a little place with checked table cloths and Sinatra and Bobby Darrin playing in the background, full of elderly people and attentive wait staff (I say wait "staff" because it wasn't just the waiter, the busboy was there every two seconds to refill the water glasses). The driver in our expedition needed a treat, and she was from an area with a strong Italian population. (And it's a cuisine sadly lacking at home.)
And as I sit here, mellow with artichoke ravioli in a light cream sauce, and great bruschetta, I find myself far away from the drive of recent weeks. I can't spend too much time online, and I can't obsess too much about my stats (either on the blog or book sales). And I don't have my active manuscripts with me, so I can't work on them - and that's on purpose. For one thing, there's nothing worse than schlepping around a neglected manuscript when you're at an event and too busy to work on it.
But the other thing is that this is a forced vacation from my active stories. And since I am at a science fiction and fantasy convention, I might as well use this as an imagination booster for the serial. While the serial is primarily (in plot and style) a "golden age" manor house type adventure mystery, it will have a somewhat fantasy setting. And I've got a lot of world-building to do, so I might as well just wallow in that.
Interestingly enough, though we came to see Sharon Lee and Steven Miller, the authors of the Liaden universe, we are both here with classic old mysteries in hand. My friend is reading Kate Ross (and had lately been reading Georgette Heyer's mysteries) and I've got an iPod Touch full of Leslie Charteris mysteries and a copy of Agatha Christie's Man in the Brown Suit waiting at home.
I guess this is a thematic weekend.
(One more interesting note. It just goes to show you how much influence steampunk is having on the science fiction world - in this very small dealers room, there are no less than THREE purveyors of corsets.)
See ya in the funny papers (or tomorrow, whichever comes first).