Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Dog and Pony Show

So, I haven't posted for a few days, primarily because I spent most of it sleeping. The cold settled in and finally wiped out my Friday, parts of Saturday, and Sunday. Nasty and unpleasant, I only roused myself to mow the lawn (because if you don't take advantage of a sunny weekend in Seattle, it will be three weeks before you see another) and to play in John Rateliff's most excellent Cthulhu game.

And so I was nearly back at full speed as my writer's group, the west coast branch of the Alliterates, met at the Dog and Pony Ale House in Renton, down the street from the remnants of Boeing.

Now, the Dog and Pony has the makings of a semi-permanent hang-out for the gang. It is an old garage/gas station, of blockhouse mode, and has excellent food, a no-smoking environment, and more excellent beer than you can shake a stick at (I am partial to the Farwest Ireland Dubbel, myself). The couple at the next table were arguing about their EverQuest characters. They have wireless (found that out from the web site).We will be returning to this place for a unprecidented third month in a row next month, and while we may wander again, its nice to have a regular joint.

Six of the seven West Coast Alliterates were present, and while the Alliterate cone of silence masks our secret meetings, I can report that three short stories were presented and reviewed - two for an upcoming Forgotten Realms collection, and one for as a submission for a Zeppelin collection of shorts. Praise and constructive criticism was lavished upon the manuscripts, gossip was swapped, and one of our number reported on a convention of children's book writers that he attended in New York. And one of the group threatened to kick my ass if I don't start writing original fiction (though he meant it in the most positive and supportive way possible).

At the close of the evening, the waiter, who had been at the table as we discussed dragons, Realmslore, cannons, history, and Patrick O'Brien, wanted to know if we were from Wizards of the Coast. A few of the others laughed, and at that moment, I suddenly realized that, while all of us had been WotC at one time or another, none of us were currently officially Wizards employees. It was a strange post-apocalyptic moment for me, in that we were all survivors of our previous employer. It felt interesting, relaxing, and strange. But then, that could have been the Farwest Ireland dubbel.

More later,