Sunday, October 21, 2007
Collaboration/The Life of the Party
So, Michael Reaves, my sometime-collaborator and long-time friend, is coming up from L.A. for a short visit. We have a book-signing on the Star Wars novel at the local Powell's next week, and will hang out for a few days bracketing that.
Reaves and I go back almost thirty years. We have collaborated on several novels, short stories, and a bunch of kidvid animation for the tube. Currently, we are working on a fat fantasy novel, the first draft of which I hope to have done by Christmas. (Since this book is being written on- spec and not on a deadline, we may do something with it we haven't done in a while -- have people read it and offer comments we can use for the rewrite. More on that as it develops.)
Kicking around with an old pal for a few days will disrupt my home-alone-hermit-routine a bit, but is not that much of a challenge to an introvert.
Last night, Dianne and I went to a birthday party for a woman we know, a real sweetheart, Nancy. She and her husband Bob are great to sit down and visit with, smart, funny, talented, but in a house full of people, most of whom Dianne and I didn't know, we realized once again how tiring that small-talk party experience can be. Bright folks -- lawyers, doctors, singers, musicians, artists, teachers, but above our critical mass.
After a while, it starts to become for us a Phil Spector production: A wall of sound ...
Highlight of the gathering was when Bob gave Nancy a kitten; last year, they lost both their cats on the same day. One was terminally ill and had to be put down. The other was hit by a car while they were at the vet's. New kitty is nine weeks old, adorable, and named "Ella," after the jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald.
Um. Anyway, what I find is that I am much better talking to folks one-on-one, or in small groups, and especially with folks who share likes or values. Talking to writers. Discussing current event with somebody who keeps up. Having a beer with the silat gang. At science fiction conventions when I have what they call Small Group sessions.
At a gathering full of strangers, I tend to become a wallflower ...