Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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Atlantis - dark sky outline

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Reading the terrible news about the tornado in Tuscaloosa this morning, and all the deaths and injuries.

I've lived in tornado alley all my life, and only saw one once, back in the early 90s. It was a clear sunny summer day, late afternoon. I had left work a little early with a bad sinus headache, and was sitting in the living room of the fourplex I lived in. I noticed my cat Kate (the cat who lived to be over 23 years old) who had been sitting next to me, had gotten down on the floor and under the heavy wooden endtable next to the couch, not something she normally did. Then I heard my neighbor banging on doors. Then she banged on my door, and I opened it, and she said, "There's a tornado in the field behind the house! I thought you should know!"

I said, "Thank you!" and she ran back toward her apartment and I shut the door and ran into the kitchen, where, framed in the sliding glass doors, was an enormous tornado. I think that's the only time I ever said, "Oh my God" and meant it. It did look like it was in the open partially wooded field behind the row of apartments, but later we found out it was actually in the field on the other side of the highway. But it was so huge, it was hard to tell how close it was.

I ran back, grabbed Kate and stuffed her in her carrier, went into the downstairs bathroom to take cover. Only I couldn't stay there. I had to know where it was. So I crept out to the kitchen and looked again, and it was gone. I didn't think that was a good thing. I went outside to the backyard (I know) to where I could get a better view of the field. Still nothing. Then I looked up.

Yeah, it was up there. Before this I thought I would have trouble identifying a tornado from directly below it, but it was actually pretty easy. There was a big dark thing in the sky, and it was very very wrong, and should not be there. I can't remember if I could hear it or not.

I crept back inside, like if I made noise it would get me. Waited a while, then had to go back out and look for it again. This time it was gone. I later found out it had gone off to hover over the university's baseball stadium where a game was going on. It never touched down in town, and half the population spent the time staring at it in terror, the other half had no idea it was there.

Anyway, that's my tornado experience and I hope it's the only one.


Victoria Janssen on Crime Couples: Benjamin January and Rose Vitrac from Barbara Hambly's mystery series.

Tayari Jones on Five Things I Wish I Had Known When I Published My First Book

Shannon Hale on Mortification Monday on horrible experiences at talks and book signings. (Speaking of which, I have a book signing in Houston, this Saturday April 30, 4:30, at Murder by the Book. If you can't be there, you can call or email the store to order signed copies.)

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wrt book signing in Houston...

And in typical the-universe-plays-games-with-me, I will be in College Station this Saturday afternoon....

Any chance we can get you to pimp ApolloCon while you are at MbtB?

Re: wrt book signing in Houston...

I'll definitely mention it! Any chance you could get someone to drop some flyers by the store tomorrow or early on Saturday?

Re: wrt book signing in Houston...

I think we can manage to get some flyers there. Possibly today, more likely tomorrow.

Should we drop them off in an envelope with your name on it?

Re: wrt book signing in Houston...

Sure, or you can just tell them what the flyers are for, that I want to have them at the signing tomorrow, and they might put one up for you or put them out now, or something. They're pretty big on promoting local events there.

Thanks! Have fun in College Station :)

Re: the tornado

All I can say is... wow.

Be a cool thing to put in a book though, wouldn't it? ;)

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