Monday, December 10, 2018

Jasper Died on a Sunday



He died six months ago:
Sunday, June 10th, 2018.
He passed away at 4:27PM.
It was raining outside.

Tye was with him.
We were all with him. The whole family was together.
He was happy.
Tired, but happy. He was tired
and he just
went to sleep
one
last
time.

Our boy is gone and there's nothing for it.

I'm glad he was a part of our family.
I'm glad we had those last seven months--
good months--
with him:
months we weren't sure he would have,
months we weren't sure he would enjoy.
But he was happy.
We were happy.
I'll miss him forever.
I'm so happy that he was in our lives for so long.

Our boy is gone and there's nothing for it.

He was a great cat.
He was our tiny prince.
He gained a lot of different nicknames over the years.
He took a five-month road trip with us.
He loved to be shoulder-mounted.
He loved to eat cat grass
(even though it made him vomit).
He enjoyed crackers and bread for some reason.
He emitted a wide range of ear-piercing squeaks
(including what we dubbed "demando-voice").
He often had pointy or pokey feet.
He always liked napping in the bed with us
or curling up with Bayla or Tye.

Our boy is gone and there's nothing for it.

I still cry.
It's been months and I'll still,
every now and then,
see something around the house that reminds me of him,
and I won't be able to stop the tears.
Maybe it'll be like this for the rest of my life.
Maybe someday I'll be more happy than sad when I think of him.

Our boy is gone and there's nothing for it.

I miss so many things
and I don't want to forget.
I miss the way he'd come into the bathroom
when I was on the toilet
and rear up on his hind legs
to rub his face against my hands.
I'll miss his soft, chittering snores
and his low burbling purrs
and the way he'd twitch while he slept.
I used to wonder what he dreamt of,
why he often needed a wake-up snack.
For comfort?
Because he still remembered being feral,
being hungry,
not having a home?

I think we gave him a good home.
I hope we did our best to love him,
especially at the end.
I don't know.
I want to believe we did.
I should believe that.
Maybe later I will.
Maybe someday I'll know.

Today, all I know is this:

Our boy is gone and there's nothing for it.



Curtis

Friday, August 10, 2018

My Worldcon 2018 Schedule



I'll be in San Jose next week for Worldcon 76, and wonder of wonders, I am actually scheduled to be on some programming items! Here's where you can find me:


FRIDAY, 17 Aug 2018


SFWA Business Meeting
08:00 - 10:00, 210DH (San Jose Convention Center)
All SFWA members are welcome!
Cat Rambo (M), Kate Baker, Curtis Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Terra LeMay, Sarah Pinsker, Lawrence M. Schoen, Steven Silver, Nathan Lowell

Autograph Session 1 of 2
12:00 - 12:30, SFWA autographing table (exhibit hall)
I'll sign anything except body parts! You can also pick up a FREE Kangaroo-themed postcard from Mars or the Moon.

Lighting a Creative Spark Without Burning Out
14:00 - 15:00, 211C (San Jose Convention Center)
An entire novel in a month? A new song every week for a year? A drawing a day for a 31 days? Time-based artistic challenges like NaNoWriMo, the Song A Week Challenge, Inktober, National Poetry Writing Month, and others can stretch your creative chops, but they might also burn you out. Our panelists will discuss their experiences with creativity challenges. Learn what worked for them and what didn’t, how they were impacted when they did not meet their goals, and what success meant for each of them.
Pablo Defendini (M), Cameron Steiman, Curtis Chen, Sara Felix

What Can SFWA Offer Me?
15:00 - 16:00, 210F (San Jose Convention Center)
Learn what SFWA has to offer authors at all stages of their careers, from networking opportunities to sample contracts to the grievance committee. SFWA's officers will provide an update on what SFWA is doing and where the organization is going and answer questions from potential (or current) members.
Kate Baker (M), Cat Rambo, Curtis Chen, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Lawrence M. Schoen


SATURDAY, 18 Aug 2018


Autograph Session 2 of 2
12:00 - 12:30, SFWA autographing table (exhibit hall)
I mean it, folks. NO BODY PARTS. Maybe you have the August 2018 issue of Locus Magazine, which includes an interview with me? Or the March/April 2018 issue of Playboy Magazine, which includes my short story "Go, Space Racer!"? Or even a hardcover of my award-nominated debut novel, Waypoint Kangaroo, or the sequel, Kangaroo Too? You gotta work with me here.


MONDAY, 20 Aug 2018


Reading with Zandra Renwick
14:30 - 15:00, 211A (San Jose Convention Center)
My awesome friend Zandra is very generously sharing her reading time slot with me! Come let us share some words with you before the closing of the con.


ALSO


On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights I'll be staffing the SFWA Member Hospitality Suite (open to SFWA members and their guests only; members, check your email for details in The Singularity #49). Otherwise I'll generally be around. Probably at the bar.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest updates!


Curtis

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My Norwescon 41 Schedule

It's that time of year: I don't know why Norwescon always falls on Easter weekend (probably some combination of hotel contracts and fannish tradition) but it's happening again! If you'll be there at the end of this month, here's where you can stalk* find me (recommended sessions are ★ starred, YMMV):


Friday, March 30


Reading: Tina Connolly
10:30–11 a.m. @ Cascade 4
Something new and different. Tina Connolly reads something you probably haven’t heard before. There may be marshmallows. Rated: PG.
(SPOILER: I'm joining her to present a selection from BOX, a thriller play she co-wrote!)
Tina Connolly (M)

First Page Idol
2:00pm - 3:00pm @ Cascade 11
Curtis C. Chen (M), Tina Connolly, Mark Teppo, Cory Skerry
Feeling brave? Want to see how your first page holds up in a cold read? Send the first page of your manuscript to idol@norwescon.org to have it anonymously read aloud and critiqued by a panel of pros.

★ The Best Comedy Workshop You've Ever Attended
5:00pm - 6:30pm @ Cascade 13
Curtis C. Chen, Tegan Moore
Do you want to write funny stories? Or would you prefer to be a wry storyteller? What’s the difference between jokes and humor? (Don’t say one’s a liquid. DON’T SAY ONE’S A LIQUID.) Tegan Moore and Curtis Chen explain it all. No props, no animals, no hyperbole, no refunds. Presented by Clarion West. Ages 18+. Space is limited and advance sign-up is required in Cascade 1.


Saturday, March 31


Writer Talk: Dig That Rhythm
10:00am - 11:00am @ Cascade 10
Tod McCoy (M), Jack Skillingstead, E. Lily Yu, Curtis C. Chen
All writing must have rhythm: a balance between dialogue, internal monologue, action, and narrative. Without rhythm, a story bogs down and loses the reader’s interest. Tone is often tied to this rhythm, but authorial voice and theme can impact rhythm too. Chat with pros about how they find this music in their writing.

★ Reading: Curtis C. Chen
11:30am - 12:00pm @ Cascade 4
Curtis C. Chen (M)
Kangaroo Too. Kangaroo’s back! And this time it’s personal… maybe? Come hear an excerpt from the sequel to Waypoint Kangaroo, in which our hero travels to the moon in search of information and ends up digging up long-buried secrets from the past that will make his future very complicated. Rated: PG.

Autograph Session 2
3:00pm - 4:00pm @ Grand 2
Chris Pramas, Galen Dara, Ken Liu, Matthew Wedel, Nicole Lindroos, Barth Anderson, Tina Connolly, Fonda Lee, G. Willow Wilson, Joseph Carriker, Kat Richardson, Nancy Kress, Sandra M. Odell, Tanya D., Curtis C. Chen, Dawn Vogel, Nisi Shawl, E. Lily Yu, Eva L. Elasigue, Jack Skillingstead, Joseph Brassey, K. C. Alexander, Lee Moyer, Meg Elison, Pat MacEwen, Patrick Swenson, Rhiannon Held, Scott James Magner, Dean Wells
Our attending professionals are available to sign autographs. Please note that so as many fans as possible can participate, we will be enforcing a three-items-at-a-time (or single-sketch) autograph limit.

Ready, Set, Practice That Pitch!
5:00pm - 6:00pm @ Cascade 11
Curtis C. Chen (M), Susan Chang, Cory Skerry, Randy Henderson
Are you ready to pitch an agent? What’s the difference between the elevator pitch, a three-liner, and an extended pitch? Hear pros throw out some examples and listen as audience members share their elevator pitches with the pros. Find out if your pitch is worthy of a request for pages!


Sunday, April 1


★ What is SFWA?
11:00am - 12:00pm @ Cascade 5 & 6
Cat Rambo (M), Curtis C. Chen
Panelists will discuss the origin and history of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), what the organization does for professional SF&F writers and the genre, and what its direction will be in the coming years.



There is also a nonzero chance that I'll be at Friday night karaoke, one or more Saturday night room parties, and a Codex meetup at some point during the weekend. Follow me on Twitter for reminders and random thoughts!

*Stalking is bad! DON'T DO IT.

Curtis

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Year-End Writerly Post

It's that time of the year when writers blog about their award-eligible works published in the last calendar year. Well, I only had one work published in 2017:


If you read and enjoyed Kangaroo Too, please talk it up anywhere and everywhere you like!

And now I'm going to direct your attention toward some other writers who have published outstanding fiction in 2017. In no particular order:


FULL DISCLOSURE: I have personal connections to all of the above writers through conventions, workshops, professional organizations, and/or living in the Pacific Northwest.

Check out Cat Rambo's 2017 roundup for a more complete list of award-eligible works.

And don't forget, if you want to nominate for next year's Hugo Awards, you need to buy your Worldcon membership by this coming SUNDAY, December 31st!

Curtis