Tonight I went to the Philip K. Dick Awards at Norwescon. It was a cool and fun experience. I’m so glad I went. And after I was done, I realized that I would’ve missed it if I hadn’t been willing to follow my interests that are different. I left my friends and went by myself.
On the way home I remembered that many of my favorite experiences have been when I left the norm of what my friends were doing and went on my own to do something I wondered about or wanted to try. I became interested in reggae many years ago, but no one I knew wanted to go see Black Uhuru with me. I complained to a friend who was older than I, and he asked, ‘Why don’t you go by yourself?’ I hadn’t even thought of such a thing. I went, loved it, and spent several years after that going out to reggae dancehalls and shows and having the time of my life. I still love that vibe!
Norwescon is celebrated as a place where people of all kinds can come and express themselves and be accepted and encouraged, and yet somehow I feel different here. I feel oddly normal and abnormally odd. But I’m fine with being myself and exploring new horizons.
The image above is a page from my new sketchbook I sent away to The Sketchbook Project. To me it captures the concept of looking for adventure and discovering new worlds – feeding the senses and nourishing the mind and soul.
By the way, congrats to Meg Elison and Sybartic Press for The Book of the Unnamed Midwife – this year’s Philip K. Dick Award Winner and to Jennifer Marie Brissett and Aqueduct Press for Elysium – this year’s Special Citation. It was a privilege to hear the nominees do their readings and a thrill to see you, as winners, so overwhelmed and happy. What an awesome achievement. Thanks for inspiring me!