Full Saturday

The dog granted us a late start to the day, and she was well rewarded with a long walk — amble, really (so many yard sales!). Some time to get the tomatoes surrounded by their Walls O' Water.

The ones in the garden are struggling again; the ones against the south-facing wall, a little better; the ones up against the house a bit better still; and the little runts that didn't have a place and wound up in the planter out front by the door, quite nicely, thank you.

And then off to this month's 7000 BC meeting; on the way, wound up behind an ol' Crown Vic with a sticker on the back that read "My Enemies Are Not Flesh & Blood" that was, near as we could figure, full of mariachis.

Rolled into Warehouse 21 a bit late, along with other members … to discover quite a crowd awaiting their comic-making workshop. Jeff took the lead, ran through some of the basics of comic storytelling, and then got the group makin' their own, based on ideas drawn out of hats.

A whirlwind couple hours, left us some time to dash to Flying Star before everyone had to head their own ways.

Mon and I were off to Garcia Street Books for a reading and signing by Alan Furst, tipped by a co-worker's husband who works there and knows my fondness for Furst's espionage novels.

A couple years ago, after finishing The Company in one fell swoop on press check, I was in the mood for more spy stuff — and John pointed me to Furst. The shadowy pre-WWII European world suited my sensibilities awfully well — but also: that guy can write. He's one of those who just can put a sentence together, pace a story, find new ways to describe the familiar in a way that's just a joy to read, irrespective of the genre. He's also a skilled presenter at these kind of events; I was expecting a more reserved, academic sort, but he was lively, focused, and a terrific presence.

We were behind a woman drawing him for the reading, the brisk q&a, and then moved inside for the signing. Though I've devoured his books, they were from the library. This book tour is for the paperback release of Spies of Warsaw which, though a great read, set in Poland, and a fondly-remembered accompaniment to last year's staycation, wasn't my favorite — but all his books were available (paperback only, unfortunately), so I was able to grab Night Soldiers, the one recommended I read first and still like best.

The quick event allowed us time to walk and feed Cheyenne and make it to Jon's birthday party — at long last getting to his and Susanne's house, another Stamm in a different neighborhood. A good time visiting, getting the tour — they have an actual basement (a later addition [!]) — and visiting with other folks there, including catching up with some friends.

I foresee tomorrow involving moving the giant pile of mulch that used to be Russian Olive in the backyard from where it was chipped in the driveway back around. And maybe finally plugging in the digital converter box, see if we have TV. Off from work Monday, though, and I hope for another hike with Cheyenne.


Anonymous said...

Awesome! He has less hair than I might have thought.

You might check out Jonathan Rabb's new "Shadow and Light." Its more of a police procedural than a spy novel, but tons of Furstian atmosphere.


Bram said...

And, as you can see, what hair he had was flying everywhere. Not what I expected at all, overall, but he was pretty great.

Thanks for the heads-up on the new author. I've kind of been casting about for some new books.

And welcome back! Hope all's well with the whole family!