The One With Lessons from the Zombie Apocalypse

So, I finally sucked it up, put my big girl panties on, and have been watching The Walking Dead. It's revealed some rather large gaps in my survival skills: Things to work on: 1. Learning how to operate a walkie-talkie correctly 2. Tracking skills 3. Firearm training (handgun, crossbow, shotgun, rifle) 4. Upper body strength (so as to better bludgeon the undead with rocks, screwdrivers, and axes) 5. Basic navigation 6. Stomach constitution

Something else I need to work on: blogging.

While I did mean to take a short break from blogging, it was supposed to be just that--a short break. Not a full two months! Here's what you missed:

The first week of October, I took a research trip to Boston. I needed to get a sense of the city before I really dove into Sequel, which involved walking around, brunching, and prancing around the Common. I actually really, really loved the city (far more than New York City, at least), and I'm still trying to figure out if it was just because of the glorious weather. It was in the 70s/80s the entire weekend I was there!

I met up with my aunt and a family friend and walked most of the Freedom Trail and maybe had a few moments of history nerdom in which I started reciting lines from The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere under my breath.

That same day, I decided to be brave and take the commuter rail out to Salem. And by brave, I mean I got a little panicky because I'd never been on it before and was having a hard time hearing the conductor announcing all of the stops. In the end, it was totally worth it, if only because it was Halloween and the witch-factor was ramped up 10x its normal level. While there, I also visited The House of the Seven Gables and got to crawl up its hobbit-sized stairwell up to the attic.

I got there around 4 or 5 in the afternoon, so my trip was actually pretty short, seeing as it got dark so quickly. It ended up being better that way, though--on the commuter rail ride back to Boston, I was frantically scribbling down notes for the Middle Grade story I've been toying with for a while. That's another thing I did on my two month hiatus! I wrote the first 100 or so pages of said Middle Grade. I'm attempting to get it in good enough shape to send to my agent as a partial, but we'll see. I HAVE to start in on Sequel again, otherwise I'll never finish.

Also in October: my first New York Comic Con. And it was terrifying.

Here's the problem with having a huge conference in NYC--you're limited to using the Javits Center, which is on the way, way, way west part of the city in no man's land. You have to walk a good distance to get to a subway stop, so I always end up taking a taxi and the taxi drivers always end up giving me shit for needing to go there. My editor once described the place as being the "armpit of New York City," which is pretty accurate.

In any case, Comic Con was a lot like the other big conventions I've been to, though the focus of it ranges from video games, to movies, to television, to anime/manga. There's so much going on--and so many people crammed into that convention center--that it's really impossible to actually see what's inside of the booths and get around. I was there for work, but I did get to walk around some, and I was pretty disappointed by how hard it was to get around and manage the signing lines in our booth. I count escaping the Javits Center that afternoon as being one of the most harrowing experiences of my young adult life, which should tell you something.

I also developed a new obsession this summer, which reached maximum peak in September and October. I watched the first episode of Downton Abbey last year, but couldn't really commit to it at the time. (The first episode is really slow and a little confusing since you meet so many new characters at once.) I tried again this summer and am happy to report that I zoomed straight through in time to watch the second season as it aired in the UK. Another point of pride: getting at least ten other people hooked on the series, too. Basically, I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life until the Christmas special in a few weeks. Probably cry over how beautiful and perfect Cousin Matthew's eyes are, and the stunning perfection of Lady Mary's eyerolls.

I think that's it for me! Next week I'm heading to Chicago for NCTE (work), and then leaving straight from there to Arizona for Thanksgiving. I'll be gone for pretty much two weeks, which is insane.

What's new in your world?