What I got up to in the UK + What happened while I was away

Hello my darling Gentle Reader! I’m back from the land of tea and crumpets.

Teacup Flower Display in Nottingham

I’m so sorry to have been so long away from this blog. I took the grand and fateful step of Traveling Without My Computer. Which basically meant I couldn’t do any blog posts and had to relax once I hit Devon. Instead I got sick in Devon. Just a head cold, the direct result of traveling with someone who snores (and shall remain nameless to protect the guilty).

Wait, how can snoring make a girl sick?

Well, it’s not all that interesting, but I’m one of those annoying people who sleeps. A lot. 8 hours or more a night. If I don’t sleep, I pretty much instantly get ill. And eating too much sugar doesn’t help. But there are so many yummy custards in the UK.


Unassuming but delicious.

Speaking of which, I made the acquaintance of a Portuguese Custard Tart, new to the train stations and confectioners of England since I last visited. BEST THING EVER. So simple. So yummy. Just a super flaky crust, possibly filo, filled with a thick vanilla custard, possibly semolina. (Kind of like Galaktoboureko without the syrup or Bougatsa without the cinnamon ~ just so we’re clear these are my two favorite deserts of all time.)

But I am getting ahead of myself, as I tend to do with custard.


What I got up to in the UK

First thing to happen after I landed was 9 Worlds. I had a smashing time and highly recommend this convention. I thought the programming tracks were beautifully coordinated and the panels were fascinating as well as being thoughtfully filled with amusing talking heads from all walks of life. The energy was young and vibrant. It reminded me, in the very best way, of my first conventions back in the 90s when I was a cos-playing fangirl with no professional cares. 9 Worlds is Geek Fest-taculor, so be ready for ultra-fandom with all the Dr. Who-scarf-bedecked Jayne-hatted huddled-cigarette-dangling-emo-Goths cross-playing candy-colored-hair mustachioed-steampunk goodness. I understand this may be a bit much for some, but my general feeling was… hooray!

With Anne of Pornokitsch

After that I trucked up to Nottingham where I had a wonderful event at the local Waterstones. I admit to liking signings and Q&As better than most other authors do. I find them the best way to meet my more devoted readers. 40 people was a real turn out on a Tuesday evening. (Thank you all for coming.) Many traveled great distances to see me, and most I knew in some capacity over social media already. It was a genuine pleasure to put faces and physicality onto tweets and user icons. The store put on a lovely little spread of nibbles and (of course) tea. Such fun.

With some very well dressed Gentle Readers.

I spent the rest of the week in Derbyshire. I’ve not had an opportunity to visit the Peak District before (despite the fact that I lived in Notts for several years). Some of my best friends in the whole world still live in the area, so spending time with them, in a real house rather than a hotel, hiking stone circles and talking archaeology was a much needed respite.

Stone Circle!

Then it was back to London for WorldCon.


OK OK, Patrick won but I had to stand up in front of a massive crowd and give a speech and then lug his rocket ship around for the evening (hand-to-head, woe is me), but it felt like I won too. To be fair, other people won as well.

Thanks Hello, Tailor!

However, I’m getting ahead of myself.

World Con was a great time. Different from 9 Worlds because of the size (biggest one ever, at about 10,000 people), location, lack of a centralized bar, and various other reasons (some of which are discussed in this interesting article.)

via Liz de Jager ‏(@LizUK on Twitter) WorldCon Humour in YA panel
@gailcarriger @FrancesHardinge @JodyLynnNye Jack Campbell @Suzanne_McLeod

Friday, during the day, I had panels. My time at this con was evenly split between YA, steampunk, and general authorial tracks. I’m afraid the panels somewhat run together in my head. I do remember the first one was Decontextualizing Steampunk moderated by the lovely Ann Vandermeer. Here’s an audience member’s report. Friday night was spent in the company of old friends and NASA peeps (I know, I fraternize with non-authors) so that I never did find the parties.

via Paul Weimer ‏(@PrinceJvstin on Twitter)
Gloom at @loncon3 with @msagara @KateElliottSFF @gailcarriger and @PatrickRothfuss

Saturday I had more panels during the day, including a game of Gloom in front of an audience ~ a first for me. I lost badly but then again I usually do, I’m not a very competitive person (unless it’s a game I always win anyway). That evening I finally managed to track the crew down. Hello, crew. There’s various drunken evidence about the net of our shenanigans.

via Myke Cole on Twitter
@MykeCole @sexoskeleton @laurenalexg @gailcarriger

Sunday I had a Kaffeklutch (my favorite), a signing, and then the Hugos. Patrick’s category was Fancast and since he couldn’t make it he asked if I could pick it up for him if he won. As you well know, Gentle Reader, this is the category for which I’m a genuine fan girl. I LOVE podcasts. The competition was amazingly strong. I honestly didn’t think I would actually have to go up there. Not that SF Signal didn’t deserve to win, just that there were so many awesome podcasts in this category. When they called Patrick’s name, I might have squeaked loudly in surprise. Adam Christopher can attest to this, I was clutching his hand at the time. I gave a runny-nosed and very nervous speech (regretted not wearing a fake beard so I actually looked like Patrick), mispronounced several names – to my instant Twitter shame – and stumbled off the stage. I trotted about clutching Patrick’s rocket all evening and feeling very superstar-ish. My brush with fame! Thanks for choosing me, Patrick.

Adam Christopher’s ‏(@ghostfinder on Twitter) Obligatory Hugo selfie with @gailcarriger and @mightymur.

After WorldCon I escaped to Devon (which brings us back to the snore-born too-much-sugar Gail-is-an-idiot illness). It was lovely to tramp around my old haunts. (I went to uni in Notts, but spent large chunk of my childhood in south Devon). I took plenty of photos of Sophronia’s moors but I’m saving most of them for a different post. Also I read a ton, I’ll blog about the books soon as well.

Haytor, Dartmoor

I posted lots of other pictures to my Tumblr feed and some on Twitter. I’ll try to get them up in my Flikr gallery if possible. Since Yahoo’s blocked out Google, it may take me a bit. Over on Retro Rack I’ll be gabbing about a bunch of my outfits and such, but here’s a preview of my favorite…


While I was away

Copy edits for Prudence came in. So those are next on my docket. We are still on schedule for the March release. You’ll like Rue a lot, I think. (Speaking of edits this podcast episode is spot on: Writing Excuses 9.35: What to do when you disagree with your editor.)

There was a 6.1 earthquake here in NorCal, it was nowhere near my home (even if I had been in it). The Popster grumbled about wine barrels tipping over (he oversees a vineyard near the epicenter) and a friend said all the rum fell of her top shelf, so for my peeps the disaster seems mainly alcohol related.

I am still in #AmazonJail. That’s why you can’t pre-order my up coming books and shipping is delayed on everything else. Pretty much everyone else is already talking about it, there is nothing I can add to the discussion, or do to change the situation. All I can say is: thank you those everyone who is switching venues to support me. And, I am so sorry to all of of my loyal readers who are caught in the middle. Trust me, I’m as frustrated and saddened as you are. However, I have a little scheme going with B&N that I hope will make things a bit better. More on that to come next month.

Other then that, I hope you are enjoying this month’s read along. It came up in panel discussion at both conventions, not once but several times. And not only me, but others also mentioned Clockwork Heart. I was asked what steampunk gadget I would like to try, and I said Taya’s wings. I mean, who doesn’t want to fly?

And now I am back to self medicating with Thai food, smoothies, and copious amounts of tea.

Treacle Tart

P.S. Yes I ate a piece of treacle tart in Devon. Yes it was just as horrible as I remember. Bakewell Pud, on the other hand, is lovely.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for August? Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti. Next month is Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Derbyshire Costume Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Vintage-style Pet Trailers.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The Difference between Afternoon Tea, High Tea, Cream Tea and Elevenses.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Another is the ridiculous way of omitting the possessive S in words ending with that letter; for instance, “Sims’ Hotel” instead of “Sims’s Hotel”—”Jenkins’ Bakery” for “Jenkins’s Bakery.” Would any one, in talking, say they had stayed at Sims’ Hotel, or that they bought their bread at Jenkins’ Bakery. This is ungrammatical, as it obliterates the possessive case, and is therefore indefinite; and moreover, it looks and sounds awkwardly.”

~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)

Book News:
The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 250): A Conversation With Chuck Wendig and Gail Carriger Live From The Pikes Peak Writers Conference

Quote of the Day:

via Twitters


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Posted by Gail Carriger

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  1. Tassiegal said:

    AH! you discovered the delights of Pastella de Nutta otherwise known in my extended family of choice as "Lisbon cookies!". Those things are evilly good and impossible to make at home (I have tried).

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