<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
As the afternoon ticks away...

So, waiting for contractors to send me their timesheets so that I can send invoices to provincial Ministries before fiscal year end (a fascinating process, let me assure you), I decided that I’d much rather not do work than actually do work, despite my location, and so have spent this afternoon delving into my old Bloglines subscriptions, greeting them all like old friends. And somehow my tangent took me to the Pinko Marketing wiki, which is entertaining despite the fact that I have nothing to which I can apply the concepts at the moment, which took me to various other blogs, and eventually to the discovery that there is a conference here in Toronto this May called mesh – a web 2.0 conference.

Oh joy! I cried, envisioning myself hearing interesting speakers and participating in workshops and seeing delightful new online tools, while not having to explain or have explained to others in the audience words like “blog” and “wiki” and “RSS.” (Please note that the cry of "Oh joy!" should be taken merely as a way of explaining my enthusiasm rather than an actual utterance. I am, after all, at work and have a reputation to maintain.)

After all, in the long run my geek-marketing self is not fooled by all this tech-geek jabber that I feed to it on a daily basis. Reading technical resumes, my geekish heart informs me, is not even remotely exhilarating. (While the SF/F geek part of me wishes I’d just go back to reading my book already, the writer-geek is pondering ways to nearly drown characters for maximum effect, and the rest of me is trying to convince someone to go down to Tim Horton’s and pick me up a tea and an apple fritter, already.)

The discovery that this joyful conference would cost me $350 stopped me cold. $350 for two days? Um … no. Sadly, but no.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 4:25 PM (1) comments

Sunday, March 26, 2006
So ... very ... tired ...

I can think of many good ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. None of them, however, involve me spending all afternoon and a chunk of the evening alone in the office doing work, which is, of course, what I did today.

I shouldn't complain; it needed doing, and I was the only one who could do it, so. Yeah. Two gigantic cups of tea and a box of Timbits were very necessary to help me through the day. Now I find myself inexplicably craving a pork chop and potato salad. I think my body's in shock.

I'll admit, I'm a little worried about how I'll get through this week. Despite sleeping 12+ hours on Friday and Saturday, I'm still falling asleep anytime I stop moving.

"I'll just read my book on the couch," I say, "just for a little ... zzzzz."

"Oh, look, a cold metal bench where ... zzzzzz."

"Why aren't we moving? Stairs are for walking, people. Let's get .... zzzzzz."

Also: what on earth is it with me and crazy people on the subway? Carly unfailingly sees attractive guys when she travels by TTC; I, however, am always stuck with someone some kind of crazy. And, sadly, my crazy-power overwhelms her attractive-power anytime we travel together.


Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 8:35 PM (0) comments

Mythspring Launch

So this Thursday was the long-awaited launch of Mythspring: From the Lyrics and Legends of Canada, held at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the Lillian H. Smith library downtown. This was an invite-only event -- mainly family and close friends of the authors and editors.

I arrived early and starving, having eaten barely anything at the chaotic mess that is my day job at the moment, and promptly became far too jittery to do more than look longingly at the piles of cookies, bars and chocolate-covered strawberries. Took me a bit to relax enough to stop feeling like a total twit, but once we were rolling everything was fantastic.

I was joined by fellow authors Karin Lowachee (who agreed that our names and their spellings are the best), Mark Ladouceur, Lorne Kates and Roben Goodfellow, editor Julie Czerneda, and then the star of the show, author/editor Genevieve Kierans.

Gen, for those who don't know, is a fabulous author who attended Clarion the same year as I did. She also has ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, which is just about as mean a disease as I can imagine. This anthology was her idea, her brainchild, and to be honest, I think my biggest contribution to Mythspring is not my story, but the fact that I was able to introduce Gen to Julie and give her the opportunity to pitch the concept. Quite literally, this anthology is the realization of a dream she's had for years.

There were a few delays as Gen arrived at the event and her friends and family helped her get set up, but the point was that she could be there at all, and no one minded the wait at all. After a few group pictures, Julie introduced the authors, had us say a little about our stories (and shouted before I could give any spoilers for mine, creating a situation far funnier than anything I could have said, anyway), then read a piece from Genevieve's first story in the anthology, "Mirror, Mirror."

And throughout, we signed books -- boxes and boxes of books. Most interestingly, I signed books for Liam Neeson, Phil Collins and Loreena McKinnett -- seriously. Not that any of them were there, but the books were theirs nonetheless. I was ... somewhat taken aback.

Julie has pictures of the event up at her website, kindly taken and posted by lovely photographer husband Roger. They're great shots, actually, which capture the feeling of the launch very well -- other than that one in which I appear to be holding an invisible grapefruit, of which I am not too fond for rather obvious reasons.

Also, just so you know, I'm totally in love with the skirt I wore to the launch (and my boots, my lovely boots!). Yes, important things.

Launch #2 -- the public launch -- is being held at Ad Astra this coming weekend, on Saturday at 12:00, during the time when the convention is free to everyone so feel free to stop by, even if you're not buying a membership. And hopefully, by then, I'll have had time to read the rest of the anthology!

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 12:09 AM (0) comments

Thursday, March 16, 2006
Chatty Geeks Wanted

Anyone in the Toronto area interested in working for an IT consulting company as a recruiter? My consulting company, to be specific -- which, I can attest, is a strange and interesting place. No experience necessary (to which I can also attest -- an IT consultant? Me? Apparently). The working environment is casual, busy, at times chaotic, with lots of freedom and frequent chatter. The core of the company? Six guys and myself.

What we're looking for:

(All of which I would summarize as a smart, geeky individual who likes to talk.)

If you’re interested or would like more info, send me an email: ksumnersmith [AT] shorecg [DOT] com. And if you're not interested … carry on, nothing to see here.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 4:12 PM (0) comments

Thursday, March 09, 2006
Five Habits Meme, via Elaine

(Weeks late, yes, but answered nonetheless.)

1. I name my cars. Sometimes I name other people's cars, too. I don't think that cars are alive, though it's clear that different vehicles have different mechanical personalities -- a rattling noise, a sticky lock, a fanbelt that just won't stop squeaking. And yet I find it comforting. The car and I, we can be partners driving at 120 kilometers an hour down the 427; just the two of us against the pavement and the rain.

2. I don't leave the house without at least two tissues. Such things are required when one has a nose like mine. And yet it causes difficulties on days when I wear a skirt.

3. I can be bored by my own hunger. Sometimes I feel that if I just ignore it long enough, it'll go away and let me get on with things already. This is usually a problem at those times when I haven't been grocery shopping for about three weeks and cannot face a meal of tuna on crackers, or freezer-burned bread crusts, or a lone boiled egg and a pickle.

4. I prefer to sit crosslegged, even in chairs or on airplanes or when curled up on my own couch. It is better, somehow, than having my feet on the floor; more comforting, perhaps, and warmer.

5. I save things: chocolate, letterhead paper, a particular colour of sparkly bead, an earring box. Because though I want to eat the chocolate now, just think of how much more delicious it will be later; and if I use all the paper, then it won't be special, it'll only be gone; and if I wait to use the beads then surely I'll think of something even more beautiful; and though it's only clutter now, perhaps I'll find a use for that box one day and then I'll be so glad that I kept it. I have to remind myself to take joy in things now, that not everything needs a contingency plan, and that sometimes it's better to just let things go.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 7:30 PM (0) comments

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