Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Riddle:  What word can be written forward, backward, even upside down, and still be read from left to right?

Monday, October 15, at 6:30 pm, I will be speaking at the Public Library, 8001 Main Street, Maple Grove, MN.  My books will be for sale.  Once upon a time these things would be arranged with a phone call followed by a letter.  Now there are tax form and contracts to be signed, and the latter comes with multiple pages of explication of what is expected in the complex legal relationship my appearance creates and how neither they nor I are tp break any laws.  All this for a ninety-minute appearance.

This past weekend I was a guest at Gaylaxicon, a sf/fantasy convention aimed at the GLBT community.  The person in charge of organizing it is a very old friend who is also a fan of my Betsy Devonshire books.  Godwin DuLac, a gay man, is a running character in these books.  I was first asked to come to Gaylaxicon back in 2009, when Godwin was the focus of one of the books, Embroidered Truths, in which he was accused of murdering his partner.  (Poor Godwin hated being in jail; not only is it a dangerous place for a man of his delicate sensibilities, the orange jumpsuit they made him wear makes his hair look a funny color.)   I had an interesting time back then, and sponsored a beer tasting (I was working on Blackwork, which features a Wiccan who owns a micro brewery and was learning a lot about beer).  I lost money on the sponsorship but it created a stir and when Gaylaxicon came back to the Cities this year, I was asked to do it again.  So I did.  And this time I took a real bath.  Which is too bad, the lecture and selections of beer were really interesting.

I was on two panels.  The first was Writing Straight (When You’re Not) – I was there for contrast, because I write about a gay couple and I’m straight.  Gayla Morehouse, the guest of honor, writes fantasy and also romance novels (under a pseudonym).  She was witty, forthright, and very amusing.  The second was Straight But Not Narrow, on why, if you’re straight, you came to Gaylaxicon.  The answer, coming quickly, was mostly that we are sympathetic to gay problems and/or have gay friends.  The panel threatened to become political (and leaning far to the left) when I announced that I was coming out of my own closet: I’m politically conservative.  Someone in the audience confessed that he was, too; that led to a very pleasant discussion of where all of us, like most people, have mixed left and right views on a number of topics. The atmosphere in the room went quickly from tense to relaxed and friendly.  Whew!

Answer to riddle:  NOON


Betty Hechtman said...

Love the riddles! Good luck on your library appearance.

Monica Ferris said...

I'm having fun looking up riddles, Betty.

I recently expanded my standard talk, going more into Why We Tell Stories in addition to the amusing way I got into writing needlework mysteries.