Category: Caitlan Adkins

My sister got married!

I have to write about that, but first I have to pull some wedding pictures off the camera, which is way over there.

So instead, a quick navel-gaze: according to fan mail and a vague sense of the Ommatidia Facebook community, my writing tends to attract people who are a) very clever and gifted and b) much, much younger than me. Like, around a decade younger than me, because a lot of them are in late high school or early college.

Does this say something about the genre-trappings of the stories, the methods by which fandom propagates, or just the appeal of the format? The hoary journalistic trope to fall back on here is a bunch of rumbling about Kids These Days and Short Attention Spans and Nothing Longer than a Text Message, but I am resisting that because it’s dumb.

I suspect the reason is simpler: many of my favorite books are YA novels, because those are the best ones to read if you like stories where people do stuff and things happen. I write stories that I think I would like, and the influence of YA authors is heavy upon them. By definition, then, they appeal to young adults.

I think that is awesome. I wonder how long I can keep getting away with it?

Speaking of decades and youth, I’ve been a fan of Erika Moen’s for almost ten years now, since Scott Thigpen linked to Vera Brosgol who in turn linked to her. (Man, look at the arc of those three careers alone!) Erika just ended DAR, her autobiographical webcomic; it was sometimes explicit, always brutally honest, and very, very funny over its six-year run. I’ll miss reading it.

But I’m very excited about her new projects, in part because one of them is a graphic novel that I’m scripting! This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened! Erika broke the news first, and I’m not going to give too many more details than she did: it’s called Grimm, it’s YA, and it will probably run around six to eight “issues.” Not sure yet whether she’ll be posting a weekly page or one whole arc at a time a la Octopus Pie. Very sure that it is going to be great!

Three things make a roundup

Apparently there is wireless all over Innsbruck. And all it costs is money!

I have no doubt that Caitlan will enter a full report that details the fantastic services of Ryanair (you get what you pay for) (although I’m not sure we paid for the riot cops), our midnight bumbling around Bologna, finding our contacts (Christi and Melissa) almost by chance at the train station, and getting vaguely interrogated in our compartment upon crossing the border very early this morning (Polizei: “Gesundheit dachshundt ein knockwurst Deutschland?” Us: “…” Polizei: “… Americans?” Us: “Yes!”).

But we are here now and the mountains keep sneaking up on us. They look like giant matte paintings. I am suspicious that somebody keeps wheeling them around behind the buildings and will eventually jump out to say “Boo!”

We got here at 0700 today and couldn’t check in until 1700, so we crisscrossed the city a few times–almost on purpose–before finally filling our unwashed selves with bread and cheese and fruit and passing out in a park for a few hours. Now we are checked in, and scrubbed up, in a bright and breezy hostel where I understand they will shortly remove our eyes with blowtorches.


On Sunday I was supposed to meet Caitlan here so she could drop some things off before she, Kristi and Melissa went touring in London. The original estimate was that she would show up at 1:00, give or take an hour. Kevan and Holly left to go to Kew Gardens at 2 and Caitlan still hadn’t made it. By 4:00 I figured they’d just decided to lug things around rather than spend time getting here and back, so I decided to try air-drying all my laundry simultaneously. In my small upstairs room, this means festooning every available protuberance (coathooks, shelf corners, light fixtures, etc) with my underpants.

By 6:00, Catriona was home and I went out running. Circa 6:50 I returned and was greeted by Kevan. “Oh,” he said, “your sister and her friends came by. They’re upstairs.”

My life is a sitcom, second in a series.

I’ve been here for a week! This morning Holly made baby pancakes (which she called something much nicer that I can’t remember) and we ate them on the back porch, and the rest of the house failed to vote me out. I’m glad. This is a pretty great house!

I’ve been to Battersea Park repeatedly, and to the Science and Natural History Museums, and on a Tube Walk (pictures), and today I tried to go to a scheduled pickup Frisbee game at Hyde Park but it turned out not to exist. But still! I navigated to Hyde Park and back all by myself! I also managed to get to Victoria Station and back, twice, to pick up and drop off Caitlan when she visited.

Keen-eyed readers of this blog will note that normally I don’t go outside that much in a month, and will probably guess further that I am deliberately overcompensating to fight culture shock / homesickness / loneliness et cetera. Good guess, keen readers. But it’s working! And given my only other experience outside the country, I think overcompensation is entirely in order.

London is awfully big, but awfully neat too.

Update 03.07.2007 1243 hrs: Pikelets! They were called pikelets.

Remember my list of potential destinations? The least likely of them has become the best choice, and in fact the one I’m making: on March 3rd I’m flying to London, to live with Holly, Kevan and Catriona until Roz arrives in August to take their spare room for fall term. I’ve worked out the tax-related bits and I have my boss’s approval to keep working for Indelible on Greenwich time. I have purchased plane tickets and an iPod. This trajectory does not reverse.

The whole thing fell into place with a suspicious ease, as if we had assembled a Lego castle merely by shaking the bucket, but I am not looking askance. Five and a half years ago I was writing here about how I had to turn down my semester abroad to keep my Comp Sci degree; now that degree is making it possible to go after all, with people I like, and to hang out with my mom and sister and Maria there. Real life seems to have a plot.

I’m going to London!

Caitlan went out a week and a half ago and graduated from a small, private liberal arts school, after acing the comprehensive oral exams for two different programs (even though she’s a single major) and producing an Honors thesis, summa cum laude. Oh, and she did it in three years. She’s going to England in the fall to get a second bachelor’s degree, as the first and only successful applicant in her school’s credit-sharing program with Oxford.

When I explained Maria’s educational progress at a family gathering a while back, I watched my grandmother’s eyes grow wider and wider: yes, she went to an Ivy, yes, she’s going to be a medical doctor, oh, but right now she’s getting her PhD, and in brain sciences, right–and I had to laugh and admit the simple fact that my girlfriend is out of my league. I should have looked around, then, at the women there: my mother and grandmother, my aunts and my genius sister. When you grew up seeing the standards set that high, what else can you do?