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MythCon & Other Awesomeness

Back from Mythcon! Which was fantastic!

Seriously, if you told me I'd enjoy an academic conference that much, I...well, I am generally too polite to call anyone a liar to their face, but I would have been deeply skeptical. But it was awesome! (Collaborative Beowulf readings. Who knew?* Also there is something deeply surreal about being in a room where everybody else can recite the opening to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English.)

It was a great honor to be able to present the Mythopoeic Award ("The Golem and the Jinni" won) and I'm trying to get the text of my speech edited to post here--it's the usual thing where you write the speech and then you spend the hours beforehand scribbling margin notes and cutting bits, so what I wrote is not exactly what I said. Will try and badger it a little closer and then will put it up here. (I mean, it's mostly about the revelation about Aslan being Jesus, and some of you have heard variations on it before, but there's also a lot about how I wanted to be Smaug when I grew up. Anyway, everybody laughed--a lot--which is what I ask for in a speech and they did not repo my Aslan statue, so it's all good.)

Also, while I was gone, we cracked 500 copies sold of Toad Words! (We're actually closing in on 600, at the time of this writing!) And how cool izzat?

And my ARCs of Castle Hangnail arrived and oh my god, it's finally a real book. That one seemed to take forever--it's the witch book--although it was actually a pretty fast turnaround as these things go.


(I'll try to do a giveaway or something--AFTER I get back!)

Now I get basically two and a half days to prep for London. Madness! Bunnies!

*The organizer laid out the Anglo Saxon version and the translation and asked people to come up and read if they were moved to do so. Kevin said "Oh my god, it's English major altar call!" And it totally was. And it was pretty darn awesome. The con-chair is apparently an authority on the subject, judging by the young man who read in the original language, then collapsed in his chair behind us, panting "I read for Drout and he didn't throw me out of the room!" as if he'd just won a gold medal. It was pretty delightful.

Oh! The little goth witch! This is the one you were asking fashion advice for, right?

Loved Toad Words, it really is lovely to have all of the stories in one place, and Boar and Apples was wonderful.

...bugger. I basically had to choose between Discworld Con and LonCon this year, and as there was a good chance it would be Sir Pterry's last* DWCon won. Ah well, hope you have a good time, and will be acquiring Toad Words once I have money again :)

*Sadly turned out that the previous con was his last, poor soul, although he did do his best to visit by video link.

Sounds like a lovely time.

**grins** Isn't it fun to be nerdy, nerdy geeks together, whatever the subject? And the more esoteric the subject, the better, in my opinion. Example: I once ended up singing the words to the Agincourt Carol to the tune of the Banana Boat Song with about 20 people (it was at a giant SCA event, so that makes sense) all because somebody on the side of the road was wandering along singing it. We all just sort of joined in-- you could tell who had been either a Medieval Music major or in a madrigal group-- and it was magnificent. I didn't know any of them, and it didn't matter at all.

I once ended up singing the words to the Agincourt Carol to the tune of the Banana Boat Song

I've heard that! It works startlingly well. It also makes people twitch... similar to how some people twitch if you point out that Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas". ;-)

Hwæt! We Gardena...

Collaborative Beowulf readings sound awesome. I would just have to purge my mind of Beowabbit before participating...

Toad Words is wonderful! "Boar and Apples" was mighty fine. I read "The Sea Witch Sets The Record Straight" to my darling spouse Monster Alice, and she loved it.

I don't think I could do Beowulf (maybe, a tiny bit, years ago...), but the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, oh yes indeed. We did that for O-Level (lo, these many years ago, er, back in 1970, that is), and our English teacher gave us the first 20 or so lines in a good approximation of the Middle English pronunciation, and I can still remember most of it.

"Whanne that Aprille with his shoures soote
The drocht of Marche has perced to the roote..."

Oh my god, you too?!

*had to memorize it for university, pronunciation and all*

*also only remembers that the first word of Beowulf is Hwaet! with the letter my work keyboard can't reproduce*

See you at LonCon! (I could only wish that you'd have copies of Castle Hangnail there...)

Is it like the Eye of Argon readings, such that people read from Beowulf while other people make faces at them and try to get them to crack up? ;)

Loved Toad Words! Loved all the stories, but most especially "Boar and Apples." What a great way to make the story seem real.

we cracked 500 copies sold of Toad Words! (We're actually closing in on 600, at the time of this writing!)

I know there is a copy travelling around with me in that part of the globe referred to in some circles as Middle Earth. As a spectator from that obscure corner of the planet, I'd be idly interested in the geographic spread of those nearly 600 copies of Toad Words if your various outlets are able to provide that information and Kevin has the inclination to collate them.

I could never get into Chaucer, but I can do the entire Herald's introduction to Marat/Sade!

OH my god.
I must go to this Con someday.
I may be a math and science girl first, but there is a silly little English nerd buried inside me who is still proud of being able to quote the prologue to Canterbury Tales in Middle English.

I can recite the beginning of the prologue to the Canterbury Tales from memory! Had to learn it in high school, lo these many decades ago.

Can't remember how to spell the Middle English, though.

To be fair, it's not like there were hard and fast spelling rules...

Yes, Drout is a fairly big deal. Sounds like it was an excellent conference.

As with so many people who are a fairly big deal, he was terribly sweet. *grin*

You know, my professor for historical and comparative linguistics was also an institution. He always let people read Anglo-Saxon and Middle-English texts in courses and when someone did something wrong, he corrected with that benign smile of: "I actually know that this is complete nerd-dom and I accept that you aren't really interested in that, as long as you try." Very nice man, learned a lot from him...