Stephanie Burgis
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birthdays, books, and eastercon
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Today is Patrick's birthday! HOORAY! Go wish him a happy birthday on his blog!

He's still asleep right now, but later today there will be presents and a trip out to his favorite restaurant and much celebration. :)

In the meantime, though, I've been cuddling MrD (who is now asleep on my lap), and reading Maureen Johnson's The Bermudez Triangle. I almost gave up on it in the first chapter, because the writing in the opening felt kind of clunky to me, but I'm so glad I kept going anyway. Ever since Chapter Two, it's been snort-out-loud funny and sharp and real, and I'm enjoying it hugely. The premise is that Nina & Avery & Mel have ALWAYS been best friends and done everything together...until Nina goes away for the summer. With one part of the triangle missing, Avery and Mel start looking at each other completely differently - and by the time Nina comes back, they've secretly become a romantic couple. With their senior year of high school beginning, the whole triangle of friendship is thrown into very funny and very believable turmoil.

I've laughed out loud at least once in every chapter, because even when the poor characters are going through the worst emotional convulsions, the writing itself is so sharp and witty, with such hilarious observations about the way people really do act. One of my favorite lines came in the description of the chain Irish restaurant where Avery and Mel work, which has one of those loud, embarrassing birthday routines for their guests:

The other servers fell in behind her, letting her lead them to the birthday table. You could always tell which one it was by looking for someone trying to slide down out of sight or covering his or her face with a pair of hands. Sure enough, there was a group of women in one of the booths, and one was slinking down, looking like her cover in the Witness Protection Program had been blown. All the servers linked arms and began to sing...

[After the song:] This was followed by a short jig (skipping in circles), with several more hi-di-hos, after which the singers skittered away as quickly as possible, like cockroaches when the light comes on.

I'm about 200 pages in, and so far it's been very, very fun.

And! I found out my Eastercon schedule. I'll be on an alternate-history panel Friday night, as well as participating in a group reading on Sunday afternoon (for the anthology Future Bristol - more about that later). Knock on wood, it should be perfect timing - Patrick's only commitment is a writing workshop that he's leading on Saturday morning, so we ought to be able to hand off Mr Darcy with ease.

Okay...pause for more experienced parents to insert hysterical laughter.

Well, we ought to be able to manage it without TOO much trauma and weeping. I hope. And with luck, I won't even get distracted and start talking about babies instead of novels in the middle of the panel... I keep remembering a scene from the old movie Song of Love, in which Katherine Hepburn plays the famous 19th-century pianist Clara Schumann. In the middle of her performance onstage, her nurse shows up at the edge of the stage, hidden from the audience by the curtain, but holding Clara's baby, who's wailing with more and more hysteria for his food. Desperate to finish and get offstage to feed her hungry baby, Clara plays faster and faster, astonishing the critics with her virtuosic and unusual interpretation of the piece... ;) Let's hope that nothing like that happens at Eastercon!

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