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Our vacation up to Portland was goooood. Very mellow. I read the new Naomi Novik dragon book (great fun, vicious cliffhanger of an ending); Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking (great fun of a different sort); Dorothy Sayers's Murder Must Advertise, which has been on my to-read list for years, and which -- as a former copywriter, especially -- I loved; and Stephen King's The Colorado Kid, which I initially considered rather slight but which has actually stuck with me, and even made me rethink some of my ideas about mysteries and Mystery. (I have a tendency to wrap things up way too neatly in my work, which is odd, since I like a little raggedness and imperfection and asymmetry when I read fiction.)

What did we do? We ate many amazing meals (the best was at Veritable Quandry; thanks to Jay Lake for the suggestion!). We sat by the river and read books and ate ice cream, sometimes simultaneously. We lounged in a hot tub (well, I lounged in it; Heather lounged near it, and occasionally stuck her feet in, being as she's pregnant). We loitered in parks and near fountains. We shopped allll day at the Saturday Market (which was awesome), and spent an afternoon at Powell's (we filled our extra suitcase entirely with books purchased there), and went to the zoo, and the rose garden, and the Japanese garden, and a random public swimming pool filled with screaming kids: all fun things!

Funniest moment: At the rose garden, we were down by the gift shop, and there was this bold squirrel darting around eating popcorn off the ground, utterly fearless of humans -- except when they came too close, at which point, it would run and hide under a table. People were taking photos of the squirrel, and Heather squatted down to take a photo. Something startled the squirrel, so it ran for shelter... but rather than running to a table, it ran to Heather, and hid between her legs. She didn't know it was there -- it was directly beneath her! -- until people started laughing and pointing, and she looked down just in time to see the squirrel looking quizzically back up at her, at which point it ran away again. Hilarious. Wish she'd managed to get a photo of it when it was so close!

Mostly when we travel, I get antsy and homesick after a couple of days, but this trip was so very relaxing, we both wished we'd been able to stay longer. The trip home was uneventful and fairly relaxing. Work today will be busy. (Lots of obituaries to write, sigh. Fred Saberhagen wrote some awesome stories about killer alien machines, and I confess a junior high school love for his Swords series of fantasy novels.)

Vacation is definitely over. I have to rush to finish my weekly freelance work tonight, and I've got Poison Sleep revisions to do. My editor sent me the preliminary sketches for the Poison Sleep cover, and it's going to be gorgeous -- more than that, I cannot say. Blood Engines has a new cover, with a slightly different layout and a new blurb, whoot! You can see it (and read other blurbs, and the complete text of my early Marla Mason story "Pale Dog") at my ever-expanding website

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