A Tale Told in Tweets – featuring Lisa and John Scalzi

A day that did not start out particularly well:

  • I was bummed that clouds had kept me from being able to catch a glimpse of the Transit of Venus in person Tuesday night.
  • I was extra upset because I didn’t realize it was the day Enterprise was to be brought by barge to her new home on the Intrepid, and so couldn’t make it up to New York in time to watch!
  • Enterprise was damaged in transit and that made me sad.
  • When our office intern came back with lunch, mine was not what I ordered/wanted, and kind of lame.

It was just one of those days… but they I saw this tweet:

…One of my favorite authors heading for my city (and terrorizing fellow train-goers)? That has potential. πŸ™‚ So I asked what was bringing him to Philly…

and, of course

Lisa saw this exchange and expressed envy, which was followed by the following sequence of tweets:

Me: Cooooome to me! I will bring you to @scalzi!

Lisa: [this one mysteriously disappeared, but was something along the lines of “Waaah work til 5.”]

Me: Screw work, leave at 4! Plenty of time then!

Lisa: …do you think I could make it? With the traffic?

Me: Yes, the sooner the better, but if you leave by 4, you’ll make it.

Lisa: I’m in, let’s do this thing.

!!! *gasp* I seriously never expected her to agree. We play this game a lot. But she’s “responsible” and busy, so she hardly ever goes along with my crazy drop-everything-and-come-hang-out-with-me-schemes! But this time…

And she did! We both bailed out of work early and converged on a random shopping center parking lot not too far out of the way for either of us, joined forces, and headed downtown! While I drove, she tweeted:

We found our way to a parking spot, the bookstore, and the little corner of the 3rd floor where Mr. Scalzi was reading a new secret short story. Which was awesome. But secret, so that’s all you get to know about that.

Then he read an excerpt from Redshirts, which is not secret, because you can buy and read it, but I’m not going to tell you about it, because you should buy and read it!

The scene he chose to read was chock-full of witty banter, so rather than read the back-and-forth himself, he brought out a surprise special guest!

This was followed by some seriously entertaining Q&A time, during which he mentioned that there will probably be more books in the Old Man’s War series, which makes me ridiculously happy!

He talked a bit about his writing process and style, which are both devoid of superfluous details. I hadn’t really noticed as I read his books, but thinking back, you do realize that there’s not a whole lot of description, whether of the characters appearance or their surroundings or whatever, unless its actually relevant to the story. It works for him style-wise, keeping the plot moving rather than lingering amid pages of endless adjectives, but it’s not like he’s leaving things out – it’s not even in his mind. He tends to figure out the particulars only as he needs them, rather than planning everything out in advance.

He hung around a bit to meet folks and sign books… the bookstore gave half of us panic attacks when they apparently ran out of copies of Redshirts – they thought they had more than that, but couldn’t find them for the longest time! Finally one of them found the other box of books so the rest of us could buy ours and get them signed. Though I had been one of the first few people to get down to the register, I was one spot too far back in line and had to wait for the second batch, so by the time I got my copy and got back upstairs, we ended up being just about the last people to get our books signed. But that was actually okay, because we didn’t feel quite so rushed as those sorts of lines tend to be.

Scalzi’s good people. (By the way, he blogged this too!)

So, yay random awesome things happening!

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