Oh Lord, stuck in Lisboa again…(or, still.)
Week seventeen of our Twenty Weeks of Buzz finds me in Lisbon, for rather longer than I had intended.
You see, there’s this volcano in Iceland that decided to erupt and cover northern Europe with the kind of ash that makes airplanes cough and fall out of the sky like flies hit with bug spray, and since passengers are not entertained by that kind of thrill ride, the airlines are leaving their planes on the ground and spending the days polishing the runways and letting people ride bikes up and down on the tarmac and fly kites on them in the sunshine. (Every news program felt compelled to make a clever remark about those being the only things flying. Every one.)
Except Lisbon’s airport, which is south of the cloud of ash and flying merrily along, its planes staggering under the weight of passengers who have taken trains and buses and hitchhiked and stolen cars for all I know to get clear of the flight ban and GET OUT OF EUROPE as if the plague was nipping at their heels.
My original intent was to go to Paris last Friday, do three days’ preliminary research for the 2012 book, and then join friends in the south of France for good food and writing and company and maybe a little rest before heading through the UK to New York for my East Coast book tour. Instead, I am in rainy Lisbon, listening to the planes take off and land, take off and land.
However, the rest of the world continues to move rapidly forward, including my own Twenty Weeks of Buzz. Last week we had the wildly successful Fantasy Library contest, and I thank everyone who sent in their vision. We also had voting on the “Beekeeper’s Gallery” submissions, the winner of which we shall announce later this week.
This week’s voting is for the Illuminated MyStory. We’ve had three absolutely gorgeous versions of Russell’s story from last year, please take a look at them here—and if you print them out and follow the directions for making them into a booklet, you can ask me to sign them when you see me on tour—NEXT WEEK! (Insh’Allah, as they say in Morocco: if it is the will of God. Or maybe the hive god…) I’m not sure when the voting will be active for the page, but if not today, certainly tomorrow.
Abbey Pen Baker has been kind enough to join us over at the Virtual Book Club, for a discussion of her dashing novel In the Dead of Winter. I loved the book when it came out a few years ago, and was very glad to hear of its reissue as an introduction to several more in the series. You can follow the VBC discussion here. Next month the VBC will be comparing last year’s The Language of Bees (out in paperback next week!) with Arthur Conan Doyle’s story about The Woman, “A Scandal in Bohemia.”
Next Monday, the start of Week Eighteen, I will either be in New York signing stock and preparing to take a train to Boston, or I will be in Lisbon, listening to the planes land and take off, land and take off…