Monday, September 21, 2009

Holiday Greetings at the Autumnal Equinox

Today on the last full day of summer, I am taking this opportunity to say "Eid Mubarak" to Muslim friends, for whom the month of Ramadan ended on September 20 at sunset. The end of the fasting month of Ramadan is the beginning of the Eid-ul-Fitre festival, which is an important event in the Muslim calendar. I hope you all had a great day with family and friends!

For Jewish friends, this past weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the day of judgement/day of remembrance marking the beginning of a new year. So to all of you, "Shona Tova", Happy New Year, and our best wishes for 5770 to be a good year!

The actual Autumnal Equinox is late this year -- it will take place tomorrow afternoon 2009 Sep 22 at 17:18 EDT as the world (or at least the Northern Hemisphere part of it) hurtles inexorably toward the cold and dark of winter.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tesseracts Thirteen Book Launch

The Toronto book launch of Tesseracts Thirteen was held last Saturday September 12 at BakkaPhoenix Books on Queen Street. Nine of the anthology's authors, including Jill and our friend David Nickle, were on hand to do readings, greet customers, and sign books.
The authors who participated were Kelley Armstrong, Alison Baird, Suzanne Church, Michael Kelly, Jill Snider Lum, David Nickle, Andrea Schlecht, Jean-Louis Trudel, and Edo van Belkom.

During the course of the event, I took a couple of hundred photos [yes shutterbugs R us :-) ] and also successfully videotaped the reading.

Edge Publishing used many of my photos (uncredited, unfortunately, but now you know) on the sidebar of their webpage for EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing/Tesseract Books. Edge also have a blog devoted only to the Tesseracts series, called Totally Tesseracts.

Copies of Tesseracts Thirteen are available from BakkaPhoenix Books in Toronto. If you were so inclined, you could almost certainly contact BakkaPhoenix or Edge Publishing for a copy by mail order. You can also order the book from Chapters Indigo, from Amazon, or for our American friends, from Barnes and Noble.

Following are some photos from the launch event and the impromptu (but traditional) post launch gathering at the Wheat Sheaf pub at King and Bathurst.

Somewhere between forty to fifty people attended (it was hard to count numbers in the bookstore) and it wasn't clear that there was a one-to-one mapping between attendees and book sales. However, the one observation that was possible to make was that the pile of books available diminished substantially during the course of the afternoon.

For the second year in a row, our friends Warren, Ann, and their son Aaron came out to support us by buying a book. Thank you very much, and hopefully there will be more events like this!

The post launch gathering moved down the street to the Wheat Sheaf, where the talk (as you might expect) revolved around science fiction, canlit, and publishing.

As the evening progressed, a pool game started. After defeating Dave Nickle, Brett Savory went looking for other victims, and found a volunteer in Corwin.

Corwin demonstrated that he has a better grasp of applied physics than his old man, especially with regard to the consequences of elastic collisions. However, despite coaching from Dave, he too went down to defeat.

Our evening ended shortly thereafter -- apparently there is a law in Ontario that says a minor can't be in a pub after 9pm.

Our thanks to all those who came to the reading or to the gathering afterward. It was a great party, and a great launch for the book in Toronto!

Additional photos from the launch as well as photos from the gathering afterward are available on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

C3PO's No-Good Roommate

Stated last night by our friend Mark Azevedo, and reported on Facebook:

"Doesn't H1N1 sound like it should be C3PO's no-good college roommate? Hey, dude, I'm not a proto-col droid, I'm a party-call droid!!"

I am starting the ball rolling here, to make this the next internet Star Wars meme.

For Linda

I saw my cousin Linda at the family wedding gathering over the Labour Day weekend earlier this month. Other than a brief visit in July, this was the first time we had seen Linda since David's funeral.

My cousin is looking good. This is still a time of transition for her from her her life with David built over the last two decades to something new. This should be a time for those close to her to let her grieve and come to terms with her loss. Whatever Linda needs, whatever decisions she makes for her life, we'll be there to support her.

David absolutely doted on Nicole and Matt, and a day or two after an event like the wedding, there would have been an e-mail to David's peeps with lots of pictures of both of them.

But right now, it is all about Linda -- and for Linda to make the decisions to determine how she wants to move ahead with her life and those of Nicole and Matt. So, you go, girl! You have our love and support always.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cindy and Alex's Wedding

My cousin Cindy and her fiance, Alex, were married on Sunday September 6 over the Labour Day weekend. I shot over 700 images at their wedding. A selected subset of photos are posted on Facebook in this publicly available album. Over the next days/weeks, I plan on adding commentary to the individual photos in the album.

The condensed highlights of the wedding are represented by the photos posted here. The wedding was outside, so after the ceremony was over, there was a photo op in the park beside the tent where the banquet was to be held later.

Jill was sick that weekend, so it was only Corwin and I who went.

The day belonged to Cindy and Alex, and they were a beautiful and delightful couple. My cousin is talented, as well as a babe -- she made the cake and in fact, her bridesmaid and sister Bonnie told me that they had been decorating the cake up until 2am the night previously.

As is the custom in Chinese weddings, the bride went through a number of clothing changes. The final dress that Cindy wore was one that she herself had designed and made -- a clear case where career skills came in handy in personal life.

To my beautiful cousin and her new husband -- may you have a long and happy life together!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Back to Reality

I didn't blog at all in August, but that was because August was pretty event filled:

1 - Our friend Annalee arrived on the first Sunday in August. I picked her up from the airport, while Jill, Michael, Kate, and Sherry conducted a tech writing seminar in the back yard.

2 - A couple of days later, we all headed out to Anticipation, the World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal. We used a rental van, and with six occupants (the three of us plus Annalee plus Michael and Lorna), luggage, and several cases of wine for the Friends of Merril/SF Canada party, the van was pretty packed. In the leadup to departure, I discovered that my driver's license had expired last year. My renewal letter had likely gotten lost in the mail, and I never noticed.

3 - After seven days sampling the delights of the Worldcon and the city of Montreal, we returned to Toronto on a Tuesday. My driver's license renewal was a priority. Annalee returned home to the US a couple of days later on Thursday Aug 13. On Friday, we packed the car, did some final household maintenance, and on Saturday morning headed off to northern Ontario, to our usual spot just south of the town of Temagami.

4 - At Lake Herridge, we had two weeks with friends -- 26 of us the first week, 16 the second. Two weeks later, rested from fresh air, sleep, swimming, starwatching and satellite spotting at night, many fine meals, and an unending array of wine and cocktails and beer, we returned refreshed and renewed. The experience was marred somewhat by Corwin getting sick a couple of days before coming home. His cold escalated to fever, nausea, and vomiting, although after two miserable nights he was on the the mend by the time we began our return trip. The drive home was not the nightmare that I expected it to be - in all, a good thing.

5 - Back home in Toronto, we ended the month of August and moved into the first week of September with unpacking, doing laundry, coping with the aftermath of the garbage strike, getting Corwin ready to start school (which happens tomorrow!), going to the Exhibition and generally getting life organized.

6 - My cousin Cindy got married yesterday. She and her fiance (now husband) Alex had announced their wedding months ago. The wedding took place on a perfect summer day, but unfortunately Jill was sick (still is) and didn't make it. I went with Corwin, and took hundreds of pictures yesterday. The downside of all those pictures is that I will have to sort them. However, the last time we had a large family gathering was for David's funeral. It was good to get together with the family on a happy occasion.

7 - And of course, there are photos from Worldcon as well as Temagami that need to sorted as well.

That was my summer -- how was your's?