Home is where the habits are

About to start reading

At the KGB -- picture by Ellen Datlow

It’s good to be home. After 10 days away, I realized that even when I’m enjoying myself — for example, living the high life in New York City, sipping sidecars at the Algonquin, drinking Belgian beers, going to a Broadway show, hanging out with my editor, lunching and brunching with various literary types — there’s a part of me that not only misses my usual rut, but wants to return to it as soon as possible. I want to lay down in it, and let the melting snow course down the back of my collar.

For one thing, my rut is where a lot of my favorite people hang out. Such as my kids. For another thing, it’s where I get all my work done. It’s this steady, boring pace — wake up, go to work, then come home and go out to write — that enables me to get words down on paper. Don’t knock boring.

Peter and Kathy at the KGB

Peter and Kathy at the KGB -- pic by Ellen Datlow

And don’t knock New York. Reading at the KGB Bar was fabulous, and I got to realize one of my rock and roll dreams by yelling “Hello New York!” into a microphone before a hip Manhattan crowd. Peter Straub packed ’em in. Ellen Datlow and Matt Kressel were great hosts. People bought books, I got to see friends that I usually only see at cons, including Gary K. Wolfe, who was in from Chicago–just to see me, I’m sure). If you want to hear more about how I prepped for the reading, and how it went, see my post over at the Clockwork Storybook blog. Oh, and more pictures from the reading are on Ellen Datlow’s Flickr site.

And afterward, Ellen and Matt treated Kathy and I to the best Chinese food we’ve ever eaten in our lives. Seriously.

But the whole weekend was like that. We ate at Babbo’s (getting a table in the dining room even though we hadn’t been able to score a reservation), had lunch with the Asimov’s folks, Sheila Williams and Brian Bieniowski, visited MOMA, and had a killer lamb & pita sandwich from a street vendor. On the way out of town we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and had brunch with Sam Butler and Susan.

Best New York moment, though? Passing a restaurant that advertised Pizza   Falafel   Ice Cream. Where else but New York?

When we got home on Saturday, I had one day to repack before heading south to Tennessee to see my folks. In a bid to trump anything I’ve done science fictionally, my father insisted on being operated on robotically. He came home without a minor organ, and only five little puncture wounds to show for it. He looks like he’s been worked over by Doc Ock, but now he’s doing fine.

But now I’m home. The rut is deep and comfortable, and won’t stay this way long, considering the eldest child is heading off to college this fall.

KGB -- with Brooklynite Sam Butler. (Yes, pic by Ellen Datlow)