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February 17, 2003

Back: Sorry for the lack of posts. Just as we were getting ready to leave for Boskone, Teresa got word that her maternal grandmother—99 years old, and a tremendously important person in her life—had died. After a quick consultation over schedules we decided to go to the conference in Boston anyway, and thanks to the help of several friends and the generosity of one friend with a lot of frequent flyer miles, Teresa flew from Boston to Phoenix today, in time for the funeral tomorrow and a couple of days of visiting after that. And I’m home, having been driven back to NYC by another friend who works part-time as an EMT driver in northern New Hampshire and who was thus unfazed by the prospect of driving several hours in near-blizzard conditions. Goodness, that was interesting.

Boskone was frazzling. On top of the impact to Teresa of a major death in her family, we also ran headlong into the belated realization that we’d committed to organize an evening Tor Books party without considering the fact that, this particular time, we wouldn’t have any assistants or junior editors around to help hew wood and draw water. And meanwhile we were scheduled to speak on roughly 47 different program items. So Friday and Saturday were Way Too Rushed, and we owe about a dozen friends serious thanks for helping us make bricks without straw. On top of it all, on Saturday afternoon it was relayed to us that we really ought to be at the convention awards ceremony. Really. Huh? Okay, we went, even though our party was scheduled to actually start around then. And they gave us this.

As I managed to say at the time, “This can’t be right. This is the kind of award you give to someone who’s been in the field for dec—oh, shit.” [08:52 PM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Back::

marty ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2003, 09:06 PM:

Of course you should have it. I am not surprised at all.

My condolences to Teresa. Hard to lose a piece of your life.

Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2003, 09:23 PM:

Congratulations on the Skylark Award, and I'm glad to know that you both made it to your destinations safely.

This weather is All Teresa's Fault, by the way: her first visit to Boston, which included Boskone 15, precipitated the
"Blizzard of '78." I'm definitely going to put the snow tires on my car before she shows up for the next Noreascon!

Cory Doctorow ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2003, 09:45 PM:

Condolences to Teresa, so sorry to hear it.

Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2003, 10:11 PM:

Condolences to Teresa, indeed. I think I even once was at this particular Grandmother's house -- perhaps even twice, now that I think on it a bit.

And a Skylark? Yow! ((Are the NESFA folks
-aware- of the stuff that you get published? )) ((Here's to science fiction with bolts and rivits that stick up INTO the slipstream! ))

Devra ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2003, 10:36 PM:

Heartfelt condolences to Teresa. But hearty congratulations on the award!

Greg van Eekhout ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2003, 10:40 PM:

So very sorry to hear about Teresa's loss. Best wishes to you both.

Laurel Krahn ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 12:13 AM:

Congrats on the award!

Condolences to Teresa, I'm so sorry. I know too well how rough it is (lost both my grandfathers last month and I'm still reeling). Glad you both made it to the con and that things worked out as well as they did with travel arrangements.

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 12:15 AM:

My maternal grandma was extremely important to me, so I fully sympathize. My condolences to Teresa, along with my observation of how lucky she is to have had a grandparent for so long. (My grandma died when I was ten, and all my grandparents were gone by the time I was sixteen.)

Also, congrats on the award!

Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 01:56 AM:

First of all, my condolences to Teresa on the loss of her grandmother. I'm glad she was able to get there in time for the funeral.

I'm also glad to hear you got home OK. I was a little worried knowing so many people who would be traveling in this weather! I'm sure it was indeed an interesting trip.

(Someday I probably need to put on my website or my blog the story of how my very first automobile ride got to be in a police wagon. I was a week old. My mom and I were still in the hospital when a storm very similar to this one hit Pittsburgh -- there was over two feet of snow -- and we went to stay with my Aunt Ruth, who lived in the city, since my dad couldn't yet make it into town from where we lived, 15 miles away. But the hospital promised they could arrange transportation to my aunt's . . .)

And, of course, congratulations on the award!

David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 03:38 AM:

Congratulations on the award; it was well-deserved. And I'm most sorry for Teresa's loss. It's just past the second anniversary of my grandfather's death, and my grandmother died a few months later; at times I still find myself crying.

Michael R Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 05:54 AM:

Oh, dear. Well. Some weekend.

Sorry to hear about Teresa's loss. Glad she could at least make it back to Arizona to say good-bye.

But congrats on the award. That is some impressive lens. My. It borders on the eroptic.

Jane Yolen ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 06:59 AM:

And of course, be sure to put the Skylark where the sun doesn't shine! (Thank you, thank you.)


Kip ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 08:12 AM:

Teresa, I'm sorry about your grandmother.

Congratulitudes on the award, though.

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 08:29 AM:

So sorry to hear about Teresa's grandmother; I'm sure you've both told me tales of her in the past. She's the one whose strength of character was matched only by her yerba mate habit, right?

And congratulations on the Skylark.

Barry ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 09:07 AM:

My condolences and congratulations to you both.

(And here I was, whining about the lack of new posts :( )

Peg Duthie ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 10:02 AM:

Chirked me right up, the part about the award. (I used to participate on rec.arts.books.sf years ago, and whenever I saw your posts listed I'd think, "Oh excellent, Patrick's here." Even if you were just taming the wild speculation about Robert Jordan's schedule for the umpteenth time. *grin*) Mazel tov!

John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 10:09 AM:

Congrats to both of you—and my condolences on the death of Teresa's grandmother.

I'm sorry I missed the party, in spite of the confusion and troubles...it was a weird weekend.

Paul ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 10:49 AM:

My condolences to Theresa, but congradulations on the award.

It's always been my theory that those most deserving of such an honor are the last people who think themselves they should receive it.

Trent Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 11:49 AM:

My condolances to Teresa.

A big whoop and congratulations from your class of 2002. Well deserved. Skylark--how cool is that?

Ulrika O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 12:47 PM:

My most heartfelt condolences to Teresa. Maternal grandmothers are special, even if they aren't as exceptional as Teresa's. Mine died about ten years ago, and I still feel it. But I was lucky to get to see her again before she died, and to stay for the funeral. I'm glad for Teresa that she was able to go.

Emma ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 12:51 PM:

Condolences to Teresa. And I'm glad she got to go home to say goodbye--I couldnt' with my grandmother, and I hadn't seen her in thirty years.

On the other hand...you'd forgotten you'd been around for that many years, eh? I guess they old cliche is true: time flies when you're having fun. Congratulations!

Renee deSelby ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 02:00 PM:

Condolences, and congratulations.

Jane Yolen ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 02:36 PM:

Give T a big hug from me when she returns.


Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 02:56 PM:

Hmm. Everyone's said "sorry for your loss and congratulations."

Well, me too. With regard to the latter, wish I could have been there to see you get it.

Pamela Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 05:40 PM:

Goodness, talk about mingling delight and dole. My condolences to Teresa. And a Skylark! Whee! That is so cool.


Edd Vick ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 06:59 PM:

My best to both of you. Having lost too many relatives in too short a time makes me very attached to those left.

Timothy Burke ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 10:13 PM:

"and they passed in thought out into regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness."

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 10:37 PM:

Timothy Burke, how did you know that's my favorite paragraph in the book?

The climax of The Lord of the Rings isn't when the Ring falls into the chasm. It isn't when Barad-Dur comes tumbling down. It's when the minstrel comes before Frodo and Sam and proceeds to sing the lay of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom. "'O great glory and splendor! And all my wishes have come true!' And then he wept."

Eucatastrophe--and Tolkien knew that the most exalted moments are shot through with pain, and vice versa.

Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2003, 11:16 PM:

Yes, Tim, the NESFA folks are _aware_ of the stuff that Patrick gets published. We even read it.:)

The Skylark is for more than that, of course; it's, as the page says, for contributions to science fiction "...both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late "Doc" Smith well-loved by those who knew him." Patrick and Teresa are thoroughly deserving recipients, and I was tickled pink to do the presentation.

But I hope they'll heed the traditional safety warning which Jane repeated above, about where to put the Skylark.

I'm very sorry about Teresa's grandmother.

Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 02:02 AM:

Very sorry to hear about Teresa's grandmother.

And very glad to hear about your award.

At least she missed the blizzard. Highs are in the 70s here.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 02:34 AM:

Alan Hamilton: I just got back to Seattle from an involuntarily extended Boskone trip myself. And I have to tell you not a jury in the country, particularly a Bostonion one, would convict me for what I want to do right now. Highs in the 70s, hmph.

Patrick: I couldn't hear the voice Jane and the others were talking about in a previous entry, but I heard it loud and clear on, "Goodness, that was interesting." Personally, I think you guys were nuts to drive back to NYC on Monday. You should have stayed over and enjoyed Snokone with the rest of us out of towners.

Omnes: Patrick also said something roughly like, "But you don't get this until you're in your fort--oh shit."


Jane Yolen ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 07:20 AM:

Eucatastrophe--yes! You don't hear that said often. Certainly not often enough. I used to use it when speaking on fantasy and always got a big "Hunh????"

It's what is missing in so much happy-ever-after fantasy. It's as if the point of Tolkein's story, of his genius, is missed by all but a few.

Someone online somewhere made a big point of--I went to the movie, bought the books, slogged through them, to find that the Frodo goes back to a ruined Shire. I waded through all that just for
this ending?

Sorry, sir, you missed the point.


Mris ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 09:51 AM:

I'm sorry to hear, Teresa. Ninety-nine years seems like a long time, but not nearly long enough, I'm sure.

Jennie ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 10:14 AM:

Hi guys,

Just wanted to add my congrats and condolences.

And thanks for "eucatastrophe". Lovely word.

Emmet ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 10:15 AM:

My profound sympathies to you both.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 11:14 AM:

Thank you all.

Some specifics:

The friends who got together and figured out how to use their frequent flyer miles to get me here were Erik Olson and Jordin and Mary Kay Kare, and the miles were Mary Kay's. Not only that, but Mary Kay got up horridly early on Monday morning to go with me to the airport and make the arrangements; and then she got snowed in and I didn't because her flight was just a little later than mine.

The friend who volunteered to take Patrick back to New York (Patrick had more stuff with him than he could carry, so the train wasn't an option) was Jim Macdonald. He drove Patrick down to Brooklyn, right in the middle of that storm, then immediately turned around and headed back north because he was speaking at some college in Connecticut the next day.

I'm not sure who all was behind that Skylark Award, but Elisabeth Carey seems to have been a major culprit.

For other reasons, thanks also to Jo Walton, Bob Webber, and Paula Lieberman.

I have such good friends.

Berni Phillips Bratman ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 08:57 PM:

Congratulations on the well-deserved award.

My sympathy to Teresa on the death of her grandmother. I look forward to a new blog entry on what a special person she was.

Kudos, too, to all your fine friends who helped you both through all this.

Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2003, 11:48 PM:

You wrong me, Teresa, you wrong me! I had my one vote, just like all the other NESFA regular members! Surely I can't be held guilty merely for having a strong feeling that we got the right winner(s).

Granted, I was the one encouraging people to remember to vote, and had the happy task of counting the ballots and seeing the result come out as it did. And, of course, the delight of making the presentation.

Nothing else would have induced to wear the Cruella deVille boots a second night in a row.

Derryl Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2003, 01:23 AM:

Teresa, my deepest condolences. It's a hard thing, I know, especially when you're so far away.

Cowboy Kahlil ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2003, 07:39 AM:

It's hard to fashion a graceful way to put congratulations and condolences in the same sentence.

Both are genuine expressions of my feelings. My condolences surely outweigh though. Somehow I sense that Grandma made a lot of her own light; I trust Teresa will continue to reflect it, along with her own.

Peace to you all.

LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2003, 08:00 AM:

I'm delighted to hear about the Skylark! Congratulations to you both.

Maureen Kincaid Speller ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2003, 02:04 PM:

I think it's probably all been said by now but I still want to add congratulations and condolences as appropriate

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2003, 03:30 PM:

Oh, and by the way. I've offered several times to help on Tor party setup if necessary and it never was. So why didn't you ask me this time you twit? I wasn't that busy on Saturday.


Shalanna ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2003, 09:16 PM:

Teresa--I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Know that she's now one of your Balcony People, watching over you and cheering you on when you need it. Hold fast to the memories and what she taught you.

Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2003, 06:50 PM:

Gee, Mary Kay, think about the extra clean-up
help they may have needed this year? ;->

I have a photo of Bruce Coville giving
"the obligatory Skylark warning" to you at Boskone:


(The Skylark is the award right in front of T)