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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Another Year Older...

Well, my brother and I turned 40 on Sunday, and I had a soiree with some friends Saturday evening to celebrate and get a few presents. Thanks to everyone who came or offered their birthday wishes! And to Regina for the Purple Filipino Birthday Cake.

Spent a couple of evenings beforehand cleaning my place up. Every time I do this in a major way I'm amazed with how much better the place feels, and swear to keep it that way. Never lasts. I was actually going to get Molly Maid to come in for me, but they're booked solid for two weeks in advance. There's money to be made here folks.

On Friday night Dave and I got a ride with davemerrill and dwinghy to Screamfest, a Haunted House outside Toronto that my friend Rebecca helps out at every year. It's really quite impressive, the people involved have obviously put a lot of work into it. If you got to check it out you can download a $1 off coupon form the website. It's set-up on an ostrich ranch, so don't be surprised by the gift shop.

Also on Saturday fantasy author Tim Powers spoke at the Merril Collection about writing fantasy, and how it differs from SF, in that SF has an advantage as you're thinking as you read it "Well, this could happen" whereas if you're reading a fantasy that's not a given, as in his words "There's no such thing as ghosts, vampires, etc.". You have to be careful to maintain the suspension of disbelief, which you can do as there's still a tendency in our minds to believe in supernatural explanations, all the evidence to the contrary. Bumps in the night just might be ghosts.

There was a lot of good stuff in his talk and he and moon_custafer got into quite the little discussion, with moon_custafer constantly apologizing about taking up so much of his time (no worries, it was a great exchange). Turnout was very good, and there were a lot of unfamiliar faces in the room, so our work on better-publicizing Merril events seems to be paying off.