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Steady On

Back in the world, now, back from vacation. Vacation was a combination birthday present-slash-eighteen-year delayed honeymoon for myself and Jennifer. We flew to Anchorage with Nunzio and Christie, then took the Sapphire Princess from Whittier down to Vancouver, a journey of some seven days of cold, rain, damp, and spectacular scenery.

I suck at vacations. I find it next to impossible not to work. I inevitably end up in a corner with the laptop, telling others to go on without me, as if I’m bleeding from some terminal bullet wound while shells are exploding all around us in Verdun. Seriously.

For a variety of reasons, most of them beginning and ending with the concerted efforts of my bride, that was not the case this time, and – despite coming down with a rather nasty cold just before the half-way mark of the trip – I think I actually, uh…vacated. Which was remarkably pleasant, once I got past the whole “must check email must finish script must keep editors happy” panic. Far as that goes, I suspect this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for all of us, and for that reason alone, well worth it.

I was in Alaska last year for Bouchercon (which will be in Baltimore this year, by the way, beginning on the 9th of October, and which I will be attending). As it was on the last trip, the scenery left me in perpetual awe. I am not a city boy, though I suppose I can’t claim to be a country boy, either. But growing up with a father who, to this day, thinks a good time is walking in the woods and mountains for eight hours at a time did instill me with a certain familiarity with nature, as well as an appreciation of the same. I have hiked Big Sur, camped in Yosemite, nearly started a forest fire in the Sierras. I am not a stranger to spectacular scenery. But seeing Alaska from the water, as we did, was something else, and that, alone, recommends the trip.

My photography skills do not deserve a “z,” but me and my digital camera did our best all the same. Below the cut are some shots from the trip, almost all of them taken in Glacier Bay National Park. What the camera absolutely fails to capture is the sense of scale, the enormity of it all, the ice and the water and, even aboard a cruise ship, the tremendous stillness and silence.

You can make out a tiny boat in this next one. Gives you some sense of the scale.

It was a very good trip. It was made all the better by the company of Nunzio and Christie (who’ve posted about the tip on their blog already, with the addition of the story about the Epic Fail: Symbolism Moose)

Of course, the penalty for going away for ten days is that the whole fucking economy collapsed and I didn’t notice. OK, I overstate. I noticed. I just didn’t care. Kinda makes me want to go on another cruise.

But instead, I think I should probably get back to work. Last FC: Revelations script still to write, and another Stumptown, and Whiteout, and, uh…two other things I’m not talking about.

I’ll be posting the first chapter of Walking Dead later this week, the second chapter a couple days after that, to get me into a Bouchercon mood. I’ll also be posting my B’con schedule early next week, for those of you attending.

24 Responses to Steady On

  1. tigernach

    I know it’s a “book” walking dead this time! ;) not the “comic book”. I’m such a dork some times…

    thanks for shoring us up, encouraging me and Neal that there is light, and there is a reason to hope. You and Jen are very precious to us, more than you can imagine. thank you for being there.

  2. admin

    It is, I assure you, our pleasure.

  3. kozemp

    Think that’s October 9 for Bouchercon, chief.

    I would have hit it this year but I have two weddings on the same day that weekend, and am in one of them to boot. It’s a shame, it’s always a hell of a good time. I met DHS at the one here in Philly lo these many years ago, a con that also featured me having freakish encounters with Elmore Leonard and Dennis Lehane…

    Enjoy Charm City, though.

  4. admin



  5. jared465

    Nice dude. Glad you dug the trip. The Alaskan Cruise has been on my lady friend and mines vacation list for some time. I think it will be next after tropical beach-frozen drink vacation.

    We are trying “Fall in the Adirondacks” for this years vacation. Hopefully it will be pretty pretty……..

  6. jonlaw

    Beautiful shots Greg. What an amazing trip. I am glad that you actually got to step away from things. I am lucky, my work has a team and people can fill in. A little more tricky for an author.

    One way I have found to bring more life to photos like these is to edit them into a slide show and put them to the right music. Of course, it is another thing you don’t have time for, but it does make a nice way to revisit trips and make sure you aren’t just filling up a hard drive with photos no one ever sees.

    Also gets to one up my dad. No big carousel of slides for me, no siree, I slap my show on a DVD by gum.

    Hope to see you in B’more.

  7. stealthbunny

    Fall in the Adirondacks is (literally) my neck of the woods. It will be pretty, as long as you get here before Columbus Day weekend. After that, it starts getting more towards winter.

    Actually, it’s already a cold autumn, so might want to keep that in mind while packing. I’m still running around in shorts and barefoot, but not outdoors and not for very long, I seem to be the only one around doing that, and people have always said I’m not very sane.

  8. stealthbunny

    *nearly started a forest fire in the Sierras*

    I gotta hear that story. I’ll trade you for my “Got Chased By A Bear In King’s Canyon When I was Seven” story!

  9. odessasteps

    Depending on the schedule for work, may try to get down and do the signing you folks are doing at the Geppi Musuem.

    Unfortunately, since we are setting up at Baltimore Comicon the week before, that’s where our energy/focus/money are going.

  10. thatnickguy

    I’m getting excited for the inevitable release of the Whiteout film. However, one thing concerns me is the lack of promotion, specifically a trailer. It’s coming out in, I believe a month? And still no trailer. That worries me for its success.

  11. admin

    Whiteout is scheduled for release at the end of April ’09, which is why you haven’t seen nor heard anything on the subject. I would expect the press machine to start its slow rumbling sometime early in the new year.

  12. admin

    That would be excellent!

  13. admin

    That story is, for legal reasons, classified.

    Let’s just say we woke up before the third tree caught on fire.

  14. jonlaw

    I only recall one tree, or was that a different fire?

    “NOT Bambi!!!!”

  15. jared465

    We are coming the week after Columbus day…i figured we might miss the prime fall stuff but i’m holding out for there to be a few leaves on the trees….but yeah, I’ll be packing the cold weather gear!

    And either way, the spa and the bar will be open….. :)

  16. stealthbunny

    Well, even if it was only one tree, that is still before a third three. Strictly speaking.

    Unless there IS another fire, and Greg is holding out on us :)

    *mutters something about classified and pthtthbt. At least that’s what the mutter sounds like. Could be wrong on that.*

  17. admin

    See, this is the problem with having a man who deals in facts for a friend.

    Let us, for the sake of drama, call it 2, and leave it at that. ;)

  18. jonlaw

    Ah yes. THAT fire.

    Don’t know a thing about it.

    Also looking forward to chapters of Walking Dead muchly thank you very much.

  19. kali921

    Greg, since you just co-wrote a DD story and used to write Elektra, you may appreciate some of these.

    Also, whenever you reply to my e-mail re: Georgian, I’ll dig up the answers for you.

  20. jonlaw

    Okay, bleeping tech! This was not a riff on the Two-Face thing, this was technology behaving badly.


  21. stealthbunny

    Then of course, after waking up this morning to 40 degrees out, it was a beautiful 78 this afternoon, proving yet once again, if you don’t like the weather in the Adirondacks, wait ten minutes.

  22. thatnickguy

    Ah, my bad. For some reason, I thought it was coming out Sept/Oct. I could have sworn I saw it listed as upcoming in mid-late September.

  23. admin

    Initial speculation had talked of releasing in September/October, so you’re not mistaken, although nothing was ever confirmed. At SDCC, Joel Silver gave the release date as April 24th, 2009, which was the first “hard” date given thus far. From everything I hear, that date is still good.

  24. crisper

    Yeah, it always breaks my heart that most of the pictures I’ve taken of some of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever seen in my life invariably turn out to be good for nothing more than reminding me of the experience; they totally fail to convey any of the sense of being there for anyone who hasn’t, well, been there. Whenever possible, it’s good to get something into the frame for scale, or at least yourself or a loved one so that the picture has sentimental value. :-)

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