I have things to tell you!

One, I will be Guest of Honor at Mythcon in Albuquerque, New Mexico this weekend. Come and see me give a long talk about fairy tales and medievalism! Drink with me! I have a few extra days to hang out in town, so I hope folks will come out to play. Also I will get to see some of my family there, as my aunt and uncle and cousins are coming to see me! This is the first time any of my "people who have known me since I was born" family who will have come to a con. Eeeps!

I’ll also be doing a reading/signing on Sunday at noon at Alamosa Books in ABQ–please come out and listen! I’ll do a Q & A with the usual dry humor as well.

Also! I am now doing a regular podcast with my buddies  ,  , Paul Cornell, and Lynne Thomas. It is called SFSqueeCast, and you can find out all about it here. In it, we are all positive about things we like! Therefore, you can be sure that once a month I will be eaten by a pod person who will say kind, gentle things about books and movies in my voice.

Also also! My story The Wolves of Brooklyn is in this month’s Fantasy Magazine–will be available for free on the 18th, but available now to subscribers. It is about giant wolves eating people in Brooklyn, and inspired by a stray   comment last winter. You want to read it.

Also also also! In seven little days, a massive prequel novelette to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making will go up on Tor.com. It is called The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland–For a Little While, and it is about Queen Mallow, in her salad days. AND they hired Ana Juan to illustrate it OMG. Thus, it will be beautiful, and perhaps tide you kids over til the Fairyland sequel comes out next year.

Finally, GRUDGINGLY, I am on Google+ as Cat Valente. I don’t trust it, and want it off my lawn. But the Hangout thing might be worth it. Writing dates, you know? Pair it with Turntable, with which I am currently obsessed…awesome?

I am probably forgetting things.

New house pics tonight!

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As the final space shuttle launch for the foreseeable future goes up today, and the melancholy of that finality tinges the excitement of a spaceship leaving the atmosphere, I thought: wow, I never posted about the launch last year. I livetweeted, but never posted. Bad internet kitten.

So. Last year, as part of the Nebula Awards, a bunch of science fiction and fantasy writers got to see the launch of STS-132, also shuttle Atlantis, on a very sunny Florida day in May.

Now, the only reason I actually attended the Nebula ceremony was to see the launch. I had no hope of winning, see. (History makes lulz of us all.) But it was  ‘s childhood dream to see a shuttle launch, and I consider it part of my duty in this world to make  ‘s childhood dreams come true. Also, I was one of those dorky kids who watched Spacecamp like 900 times and worshipped Christa McAuliffe and was gonna be a for-real astronaut when she grew up, not like how little kids want to be an astronaut, but how big little kids want to–with some actual plans, but ultimately shitty follow-through. I went to Florida for that little girl, really.

As an odd aside, when I told my mother that I was going to see the space shuttle launch she said: "Oh! Did I ever mention that I was there to see the moon landing guys go up in ’69? We were living in Florida back then, and the ground shook like an earthquake." OH MY GOD NO YOU NEVER MENTIONED THAT HOLY CRAP. The things our parents forget to tell us! I’ll bet when she saw that ship go up she promised herself she’d tell her kids. But then so many other stories crowd in and before you know it your daughter is thirty and going to see a launch of her own. Much like I meant to post this, last year, and so many things got in the way, other stories, other triumphs and failures crowding in, asking their due.

That hot May day last year, we bused out to the site, and sat in the bleachers in the blistering sun, and watched the giant red numbers count down (then count up a little, then down again). We talked about writing, and about space shuttles, and we watched the big, shining ship out there on the pad.

I expected it to be a pretty cool thing to see, but I was unprepared for just how extraordinary it was–the sound of it roaring and the ground shaking, yes, like an earthquake, and the clouds of pale exhaust pluming out. But what I felt wasn’t really any of that, it was the collective desire of everyone in those stands, holding hands instinctively, just willing it to go up and up and up, to carry all our hopes with it (and yes, a simple research mission, but it didn’t matter what they were going up for, just that a handful of humans were flying, flying into the heavens, further than any of us would ever go, better and faster and brighter, the hope that fuels all those novels and all those kids clutching toy shuttles), a group of earthbound advanced primates, our want and wonder so focused and sharp, willing everything to be perfect, for nothing to hurt, for the world to be as it should be, as it sometimes is in our books–us, our little folk, reaching further than our grasp, and for nothing bad to happen on the way there.

Because as it rose higher and higher I realized that the last time I had seen a launch was on a television screen in my first grade classroom in 1986. I watched the Challenger and my hero Christa explode into pieces that morning, and cried only later, when I understood what had happened. Then I just watched in total shock and disbelief. And it was the same image, the shuttle rising into a perfect blue sky. Until that moment I had no idea how much my heart had held onto that image of the Challenger, the instant before it was obliterated. And watching the Atlantis, my whole being just held its breath, thinking: please don’t explode, please make it, please don’t burst into flame and fall out of the sky.

And it didn’t. And only later did the clouds of we’re not going up anymore, for all these sensible and not sensible reasons roll in. In that moment, all I felt was hope and joy. Unalloyed, unironic, full of ascending fire. And I cried again, just so full of wonder and optimism, as the image of the Challenger inside me was replaced and redeemed by a new one: the Atlantis, dwindling away from us, looking like nothing so much as a perfect, brilliant star.

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I swear, I am not dead. Or even maimed, mute, or mangled in any fashion.

Instead, I have been on tour for the last two months, which is a little liked being mangled by the sweetest, cuddliest, cheerfulest book bear ever. I’m not done yet–I’ll be Guest of Honor at Mythcon in Alberquerque next weekend–but I’m nearly there. While I’ve been gone, we’ve moved into a new house, summer has stickily and greenly arrived, I’ve gotten behind on just about everything imaginable, and I’ve spent more time in airplane cabins than humans are actually probably meant to.

And I’ve completely let the blog slide. When I’m working so hard for so long, I tend to default to a kind of baseline cavegirl state: eat, move, perform, eat, sleep, eat, move, perform, eat, lather, rinse, repeat. And I keep going until someone stops me or I collapse. Which means a lot of things which are not in that list of basic mushroomless starless actions slide. There were so many amazing moments on the tour, for the book, for me personally, for all my amazing friends all over the country and the world–but they were paid for by a very exhausted and ragged Cat who is only now beginning to recover.

But! I am back, and the summer is beginning (for me at least! I’m like three weeks behind the rest of the world) and I will be blogging again, god willing and the creek don’t rise. (It took forever even to get net access in the new house. I find myself in the odd state of googling for net help, a stackable washer and dryer, and Plymouth Rock laying hens, one after the other. MAINE LIFE YO.)  I miss you all and I miss being alive on the internet and seriously, y’all, some STUPID things have gone down since I blinked out online (looking at you, The Guardian).

I feel vaguely bad that I’ve kept up reasonably well with Twitter, but not with LJ. I suppose that’s what Twitter is, something that requires less mental energy and lifting, but still, it feels like I’ve been seeing a girl on the side, and yeah, maybe she’s not as nice or pretty or smart as my main squeeze, but she’s easy and doesn’t demand much? And that is a sleazy feeling, friends. So fiddlesticks to it, no matter how long it’s taken me to write this post while being all: everyone will have abandoned LJ and/or forgotten me, I shall begin shining up my dusty digs here.

If there’s anything I missed while I was gone, tell me–I seriously have no idea what’s been shaking, personally or otherwise, with anyone anywhere.

Hello world! I missed you!

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I swear I will get back on here–I’m recovering from the tour and kind of hiding from the internet. Stuff has happened! I want to tell you about it! But I am le tired.  However! I owe a prize winner!

The winner of the Fairyland prize package is  ! Email me your mailing address!

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I don’t even know how to write this entry.

I never thought this would happen. I remember telling Carrie Vaughn a couple of years ago that this was not something that could possibly happen to me, considering what I write. The story this tells is an amazing one, and I can’t believe I’m living in it.


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
debuted at number 8 on the New York Times Bestseller List.


That icon was me all day, except with more crying and calling my parents and   and  . I keep trying on the idea in my head and laughing because it’s so unlikely and so awesome and OMGTOPTENWHAT.

I still have no coherentness. I am a third grade girl who just got the best pony ever for her birthday. That’s how loud I screamed when I got the call. In the middle of a restaurant.

I am just so grateful. To all my citizens of Fairyland who had faith in me and this book. I keep dorkily thinking of the line from Babylon 5: Faith Manages. Oh, how it does. Thank you, all of you, thank you so much.

I wish I could hug everyone. I will do some straight-up hugpunking gleebouncing at Powell’s tonight. Until then, I’m sorry I haven’t been posting–I’ve barely had a moment to breathe on the road. Prize winners will be drawn tomorrow.

Sometimes, just sometimes, the world is made of magic and we land in the right timeline.

Fine print: the deal is that in order to stay on the list it has to sell as many copies this week–so if you were thinking of buying one, now would be an awesome time.

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