Saturday, December 30, 2006

Viable Paradise, day one

Sunday...very tired.
Have two manuscripts to read and crit before sleeping. Managed to nap a fair amount in the airport, on the plane, and on the bus. After arriving at Boston I had my usual panicky time assuring myself that the bus stop right outside International was indeed the correct bus stop, but after asking three bus drivers in succession about getting to Woods Hole I felt somewhat calmer.
When the Peter Pan / Bonanza bus rolled up I saw that I shouldn't have worried, as they are completely unmistakable, painted with scenes of Peter and the Lost Boys frolicking about. Each has a name, also. Ours was Fly Away Home, and others were Wolves and Crocodiles, Peter's Promise, and Home Again. But, gentle reader, you note that I have said 'ours'. I was carrying my Making Light totebag with the list of auctorial insanities, and it was recognised. Evelyn Browne, my roomie-to-be was on the bus already, and so was Chris Miller (online Chris Azure). So we bunched up--the bus was nearly empty--and spent a little time swapping nervousness and excitement.
I slept through most of the bus trip (fortunately Woods Hole was the last stop) prying my eyelids up occasionally to notice sun-spattered leaves and much general greenness. So my opinion of Mass. so far is that it's sunny and green.
The ferry terminal is about the size of the Saltspring/Fulford terminal, but less organised. It was all very sunny and bright. The lack of sleep made me feel like an overexposed photograph, bleached to sepia shadows (there's probably a Photoshop filter that does that). At the ferry terminal I noticed a woman with an English accent and wondered if it was Lucia, but felt a bit funny about asking just on that basis. It turned out that yes, it was, and the second redhead was Retterson. Evelyn spotted two (three?) more, but the only name I remember right now was Evan Goer, no, wait, John Chu as well. And we formed a clump disembarking, though somehow I ended up in front, possibly from many many years of riding ferries. I were riding the ferries afore some of ye were born, aaarrrhhh.
We were met, by one of the staff (a burly fellow with a van, probably Bill--thanks Jennifer!) holding a VP sign, and followed him like Robert McCloskey ducklings across the street. He gave us a brief travelogue while driving to the Inn. Martha's Vineyard is insanely picturesque. I managed to stay awake, probably because it's a very short drive. I could have walked it, though it would have been a pain with the bags.
The Island Inn is very nice and the townhouse is huge. Mur Lafferty's got the upstairs bedroom, which is reached by a skinny spiral staircase, all treads and wire struts. Not what one would want to ascend while inebriated. I wonder how the maids manage, because it doesn't look like fun to haul anything large up or down. Evelyn and I have the downstairs double bedroom, which is again roomy, none of this turning sideways to squeeze between the beds. It has a long hallway/closet that leads to the passthrough for linens, so I imagine the maids have an easier time of it downstairs.
The sitting room is a storey and a half high, wooden plank ceiling, plastered walls and french doors leading onto the verandah/porch. There's a tv and a sound system that I suspect will be untouched. And a small but complete kitchen, though Mur has determined that there are no baking sheets, which limits the usefulness of the oven. Maybe I'll pick some up if I go shopping again.
The view from the porch reminds me, oddly, of Suffolk. Flat, hedges, trees, green. I started thinking of Mary and Griffin and Jem again. Or Tom, trudging along the edge of the fens in The Astrologer's Death.
Almost immediately after signing in (and Evelyn cleverly thinking of picking up the highspeed internet connection thingy right then, before the office closed - turned out it was the last one) we were off again on a shopping run with Jen Pelland. Me, Evelyn, Bart and John Chu. I had to borrow $10 from Evelyn on discovering that my US$ stash was still in my laptop bag. Remember to pay this back!
Mur arrived after we got back and then she went off shopping. We asked her to pick up a sponge for washing (Erin having let us know that there were only paper towels, and both of us having forgotten that.)
Meet and Greet. Dinner was hamburgers, meat or veg.
We got portfolios with info in them (mine is blue) and printouts of the stories we'll be group-critting as well as our own. I must read those tonight and make notes. In the folder is a how-to sheet which is pretty much the Clarion style used at VCon. I can probably do it if I limit my comments to that and don't run on and on.
But then we played Thing (which I kind of enjoyed)--though our group was at one point reduced to spinning the bottle to pick Things--and Mafia (which I couldn't get a handle on at all). TNH was accused early on of being Mafia and staged quite the flounce, which made me sympathetic yet suspicious--on the other hand, it seemed likely to be a more entertaining game with her in than out, and the value of 'winning' was unclear, so I voted to let her live, as did most others. I can see where the games do get one acquainted with the other students, and I have a handle on a few of them now. The Mafia circle was everyone, so it was harder to keep track of name/face connections, but more were covered at once.
I wish I were one of those personable people who remember names easily. Good thing we all have nametags.

I've begged off the last game so I can get the crits done, so I'll stop this instalment now (though I may fill in gaps later) and go do that.

2 comments:

Jennifer Pelland said...

Andy never did any of the ferry pick-ups, so that was most likely Bill, especially if he showed up in a van.

batgirl said...

Thanks! I'm not good with names, and even less good when functioning at a diminished level of awake.
It was a van, so I'll correct to Bill. Yay for increased accuracy!