Monday, June 26, 2006

Back Home

I'm back at home and very excited to realize that I get to stay at home for more than four weeks! I will probably become a terrible hermit this month while I try to focus on the book, and while I try to recover from everything I've been doing. Today I feel like I'm doing the Dr Pepper detox program because I drank way too much of that stuff over the weekend. I feel like when I sweat, Dr Pepper is oozing out of my pores.

I had a major "I'm not worthy" experience when I moderated a panel with Peter S. Beagle on Sunday morning. I essentially interviewed the other panelists on how they develop magical systems and use them in their books. His A Fine and Private Place is one of my favorite books, one that left a haunting impression on me. Meanwhile, I came away from the entire convention with a long list of stuff I want to read, if I ever get the time to really go on a good reading binge. That may be what I do this fall. In general, this weekend, from meeting with my cousin's book club on Thursday to the convention itself, was mostly about talking to people about books, which is one of my favorite things to do.

I got home Sunday in time to take a nap and then head out to the theater to see Les Miserables. I've actually lost count of how many times I've seen that show. It's somewhere around eight or nine. I have season tickets to the summer musicals series, so I've seen it at least once every time it's come through town, and then there have been other situations where I've gone with other people, plus the time I saw it in New York. That's probably my all-time favorite show. I like my books funny, but it seems that I like my musicals to be dark and angsty. It's odd that a romantic comedy writer doesn't actually like musical comedy all that much. Give me a show where everyone dies at the end over one full of happy tap-dance numbers any day (and there again, I love dancing but am not fond of dance numbers in musicals). One thing that was really cool about last night was I felt like we were getting a real "A Star is Born" experience. They announced right before the show that the understudy would be playing Jean Valjean -- it hadn't even made it into the program inserts, so I'm wondering if something last-minute happened. Then the understudy came on and proceeded to blow everyone away. He brought the house down with "Bring Him Home" -- literally stopping the show for several minutes, and then got a huge standing ovation at the end. It was like something out of an old movie where the understudy gets a chance and then becomes a star. I made sure I noted his name because I have a feeling we'll be hearing from him in the future. When Jason Kraack wins a Tony, remember you heard it here first.

And now that I'm back home, I have to buckle down and get to work on a lot of things. I started my "boot camp" by walking to the post office today, and I have dance class tonight. Then tomorrow I plan to hit the grocery store and buy lots of fruits and vegetables (I probably have serious nutrition deprivation after this weekend). I'm also going to get serious about this book. And that essay due at the end of the week. Eeek!


Amanda Ashby said...

Wow, Peter Beagle is so cool. I still have A Fine and Private Place somewhere, but must go and find a new copy of The Last Unicorn.

Shanna Swendson said...

He's a great storyteller. Even in his panels, he had a way of answering questions so that it sounded like he was spinning a story.

Jayme Lynn Blaschke said...

You did a great job on that panel, Shanna. Kept things moving along, lively and interesting. I know I got a kick out of it from the audience.

Shanna Swendson said...

That's good to hear, considering I think most of us were at least slightly hung over and/or sleep-deprived!

I know I learned a lot just listening to the others.