I had one heck of a great four days wandering up to Rhinebeck, New York, and back. Marianne and I toured Storm King. We dropped in on Opus 40. We tromped through Dia: Beacon, staring at challenging art until our brains hurt.
And, oh yeah, we attended the wedding of my favorite goddaughter in all the universe.
Alicia Ma is my niece. I've known her since she was an infant and thought I was the wittiest man in the world because I knew how to play peek-a-boo. Now she's a grown woman and married. It makes me feel old -- but in a good way. I've known this beautiful and talented woman all her life. That's an extraordinary privilege.
And over at the Commie bar . . .
The hosts of the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series (held in the KGB Bar in NYC, which is decorated with vintage communist posters and statuettes) are holding their annual fund-raiser. It takes the form of a raffle. Dozens of writers contribute prizes and you can buy one-dollar raffle tickets for the specific prize you want.
Let's say you really, really, really want the pre-submission draft printout of the first chapter of William Gibson's new novel, Zero History, signed and inscribed to you personally. You can buy a chance specifically for that prize, rather than for the story critique by Nancy Kress. (Nancy is, incidentally, so extremely acute on the mechanics of fiction as to leave me aghast with admiration. And I am not an easy man to impress in such matters.) Or, if you absolutely need Neil Gaiman's used keyboard, to infuse magic into your computer, you can improved the odds by buying lots and lots of chances.
Or you might look for something cool by a writer who's not terribly well-known yet but will later turn out to be the new Robert Heinlein. That way, your chances of winning go way up, as do your bragging rights later on.
I myself have contributed three pieces of unpublished flash fiction. This includes the original manuscripts, autographed, and also the right to publish -- under my name -- "Fish Story," "The Last Astronauts," and "Your Dream Book WIth Lucky Numbers" on your blog or Webpage or Facebook page or fanzine or whatever. Or keep them to yourself, if you prefer. I pledge not to publish the stories myself before 2015, so you'll have exclusive use of them for years. The stories are 196, 281, and 407 words long respectively.
Click here for the Fantastic Fiction at KGB site. Or here for the list of prizes. I guarantee you that there's something there you want.
Above: My brother-in-law Shieh-ya Ma, Alicia, my sister Pat. Not shown in the picture is Alicia's husband, Kevin Bolz. He's an impressive young man and I like him.