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Thursday, August 02, 2012

I Love Mail Days

I have "things" from famous people, but none have ever really meant anything. There was an autographed picture of Tommy John, because I went to grade school with his daughter (though the draw of baseball eluded me well into my 20s). I had a long conversation with Warwick Davis, his wife, Lou Ferrigno, and Bill Mumy once at a science fiction convention. They were away from the main thoroughfare and completely riffing on one another. That was entertaining, but again, all this did was reinforce that two-dimensional people on a screen are three-dimensional people, and the ability to rehearse and act is a job like any other. There was no golden light surrounding them. Many years later, I had the opportunity to meet one Captain Lou Albano at a community center in Albany, NY. My brother picked me up, and we were all set to ask him trolling questions about Cyndi Lauper and the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, but when we got within range of the man, all we did was stand in awe and thanked him for years of entertainment. I honestly don't know what happened that day - I think I felt a bad that no one was approaching him, considering (or because of) his portfolio.

Famous people have always had an invisible wall that separates them from the crowd. Sometimes it is hard-earned and deserved. Other times, it is a barrier that we construct for them, or that they imagine is there. (Hell, I'm a pretty big deal on this site.) I think this has lessened somewhat over the past decade or so, as technology has made the world smaller, but allowed it to gain depth. We are all people, and we often feel and think on similar levels about many topics. We don't always agree, but smiling for photo opportunities (or punching a cameraman, as it were) has gone by the wayside in favor of Twitter feeds and the occasional blog update to maintain that bridge between artist and the people who appreciate the artist's work.

At TAM 8, I was with my good friend Shane, and we talked with James Randi, Phil Plait, and hung out with Tim Cavanaugh of Reason Magazine, and a few others. These were certainly people to be respected, and who are incredibly smart and accomplished, but they were also willing to engage people in regular one-on-one conversation.

Now I am older - not necessarily more mature, but I've definitely moved along chronologically, despite my best efforts with hot tubs and cars. 

This past year, I was given two gifts from my girlfriend. One was a novella that Judith Tarr wrote for me (there aren't enough exclamation points to go here) about Charlemagne's horse, Tencendur. This was a winter present, and an incredible take on the unseen world that influences historical events.


The second was a birthday gift. This was also from Judith Tarr, and concerned itself with the eternal bond of Anubis and Bastet, and what they are doing these days.


Full disclosure: I asked for this story based on two plush friends who live with us. The story is (I think) a very accurate depiction of what these two might do when no one is watching. It would make an excellent illustrated story, and has become the preferred "out loud" bedtime reading in this house.
Ancient, fierce, and imposing powers from a bygone civilization!
I don't know where I was initially going with this, because I've been bouncing up and down (I've grown up, you see) because Judith Tarr wrote stories FOR ME! 

OH! I remember why I wrote this! Because I'm really excited and happy and wanted to brag!

Also, if you haven't read any of her books, you should go and do so. NOW! I have never witnessed history become so palpable in books before, nor have I read books where magic, science fiction, and the worlds in which they exist make so much sense. There is careful planning put into her worlds, and our own (when she pulls back the veil on the forces and beings working behind what is written about in the history books.

I can see where this is headed, so rather than make you scroll through miles of text about how awesome Judy is, I will paraphrase my above statement: GO READ SOME JUDITH TARR BOOKS!


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christine said...
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