Friday, August 24, 2007

What I Do For Fun

I’m in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, right now, and my son Sean is posting an item I wrote before I left.

What shall I see and what shall I learn while I’m away? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out. In the meantime, here’s a brief, ten-photo essay which I provided for a display at the conference. The organizers asked for ten pictures of each participants engaged in his or her hobbies. Which presented a problem for me because writing is my hobby. When I’m not writing to earn a living, I like to relax by writing something whimsical and unprofitable, like my biographical essay on Hope Mirrlees or “Fool Moon,” a love letter to Marianne which I wrote as a story on the cover of a moon-shaped lamp I bought at IKEA.

Nevertheless, I do get away from my desk occasionally, so I chose ten photos that give some idea of the range of things I most enjoy and sent them to Science Fiction World (the sponsor of the conference, as well as being a major SF magazine and the publisher of the Chinese translation of my Bones of the Earth), along with the following captions. I have no idea if they’re going to use the captions or not. Personally, I think they should. But that might not fit in with their display.

1. I Get Involved With Public Art. (This is in Stamford, Connecticut.)

2. I Write About Neglected Fantasy Writers. (Here I am, laying a rose on Hope Mirrlees’ family memorial in
Glasgow, Scotland.).

3. I Waste Hours with Friends in a Sidewalk Cafe in Croatia.

4. I Spend Time With My Beautiful Wife, Marianne Porter.

5. I Interview Vladimir Mikhailov. (l-r: Mikhailov, me, Alexei Bezouglyi, translating)

6. I Speak With a Human Eyeball at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

7. I Have Dinner With My Friends, Russian Writer Andrew Matveev and His Wife Natalya Matveeva in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

8. I Hang Out With My Imagination.

9. I Study the History of Rocketry. (Inside the house of Sergei Korolev, “the Great Designer,” in Moscow.)

10. I Dance With Turtles.


Unknown said...

"3. I Waste Hours with Friends in a Sidewalk Cafe in Croatia."

So -- is that Vlatko Juric-Kokic on your right? I just realized I've never seen his photo. Or Nick Gever's.

Quite a tie, there!

Nor do I know where Chengdu is, continuing this litany of ignorance. But I trust you're having a good time there.

Cheers -- Pete Tillman, trying to get the mice out of our ceiling (sigh)

Unknown said...

@ Tillman - no, it's not Vlatko on the picture :)

hi to Michael and Marianne from Zagreb

Irena (programme coordinator for SFeraKon, just to remind you ;)

Michael Swanwick said...

Hi, Irena. Marianne and I do remember you -- and with great fondness. As we do our other friends there. If only we could afford it, we'd drop by Zagreb at least once a year, to hang out with you guys.

But I'm working on it! As Marianne says, "Type faster, Swanwick!"

Unknown said...

we would love it if you could come around here again, and Mihaela says you can always stay at her place :))