I'm not terrible with a camera, provided the camera in question is a good one and I'm interested in my subject. (But then again, that can be said of a lot of people.) I learned I can, in fact, travel alone in a country where I don't speak the language and have fun. I learned I really do have a great ear for accents and speech patterns and that due to this I am capable of learning a second language. (Watch out, French. Here I come to butcher you mercilessly--particularly spelling. Oh, gods, the spelling.) I learned that Paris is every bit as wonderful as people say. Although, the Eiffel Tower is a bit dull in comparison to all the other wondrous things in the city. I no longer worry that I'll never return when I travel. Travel is, in fact, possible for me. (Now, if only I could manage to get Dane on the plane with me.) Castles are amazing. Flowers are fantastic. Visual art is my creative life's blood, and I need to remember to visit with it regularly. (This is why I've been feeling so creatively dead lately. How about that?) Just like tea is better in the UK, all wine is the best in France. Luxembourg has great wine too. Great food is heaven. Cooking really is its own art form.
ZOMG, European chocolate! And French pastries!
In Houston, I learned that I can, in fact, manage car issues without having it over-run my work. I also learned I'm now better with intermediate writing students than I am with beginners. (I'm working on that.) Also, Houston isn't horrible...sometimes--not that I'll ever live there again. The fact that there wasn't a terrible storm during my trip home for a change made the Houston venture slightly less stressful.
People are amazing, and communication is even more magical than I thought. You can glean a great deal of information from expression, tone, and body language. It's true. There were so many times I did that very thing, and it was like mind reading. All it takes is careful attention and focus. I have to say that Americans are really not ever taught that.
Anyway, April was incredible. I honestly didn't think I'd get another "trip of a lifetime" experience and well, I did. Many, many thanks to Ani and his family, Luxcon, Ellen Kushner, and Delia Sherman. It wouldn't have happened without y'all.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.