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vacation days and birthday countdown!
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We landed in Toronto on Friday afternoon - whew! I've never before traveled internationally without having to transfer planes anywhere. It was a wonderful change - and after some of our previous trips, the 7-1/2 hour plane trip felt almost short. We stayed overnight in Toronto before driving to Michigan on Saturday. Before we could leave, I was determined to visit Bakka-Phoenix Science Fiction & Fantasy Bookstore, so we hung around the neighborhood (very cool, filled with funky, left-wing shops and cafes) for a couple hours until the bookstore opened. I walked in and saw a familiar-looking woman behind the counter - familiar from photos I'd seen, though we'd never met. It turned out I was right - it was Leah Bobet! Very cool to finally meet her in person, and so unexpectedly. It was a Small World moment. (Of course, Patrick pointed out that it was only a Small World in extremely controlled circumstances, since it was three SF/fantasy writers meeting in an SF/fantasy bookstore...but I still thought it was really cool.)

Since then, we've been relaxing in Michigan, hanging out with family and drinking lots of good coffee (well, okay, that part's just me - Patrick has mostly been drinking mediocre tea). I'd already stocked up on books in Bakka, but then we went into the East Lansing Public Library on Monday and my jaw dropped open. Every book I've wanted to read! Free! I piled my arms high with books. Right now I'm in the middle of Flora Segunda, by Ysabeau Wilce, and I'm absolutely loving it. Flora's voice is so frothy, effervescent and fun - the kind of voice you'd want to read no matter what the plot was like - and the story itself is so wonderful, with quirky characters, wonderful adventure, and real issues that add depth without dragging the story down. It's one of those books I wish I'd written. I love it.

I've also been reading Interfictions, which I was lucky enough to win a free copy of in the Small Beer Press online lottery. I'll put up a real review of it once I'm finished, but it's taking a little while because I'm reading just one story at a time and really savoring the experience. It's a very, very good anthology.

And I'm turning 30 this weekend! Since we're traveling on the actual day of my birthday (leaving Madison VERY early Monday morning), I've decided to celebrate my birthday twice. (Hey, 30 is a birthday that deserves at least 2 celebrations, isn't it?) I'm going to celebrate it at Wiscon on Sunday with good friends I only get to see once a year and my wonderful writer-brother Ben - hooray for having my birthday and the Dessert Salon on the same day! Then I'll get to celebrate it on Monday with my parents and my wonderful youngest brother Dave, who will be arriving in Michigan just in time - more yay! (And after that, there are rumors of an extended-family celebration later in the week, since 3 of us in our family have birthdays in the same week - so there may be a 3rd day of birthday celebration on Tuesday. With 30 years of hard-earned experience behind me, I'm sure I can rise to the occasion and eat EVEN MORE cake. Somehow. :) )

I really love vacations. :)

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