Absolutely worth the drive.
I took a half-day off work Friday, May 11, so I could drive to Columbus for dinner.
I had toyed around with the idea for a day or two, and was still waffling about it Thursday night, and then Jenn pointed out that if I went, and it was awkward and no fun, I’d forget about it soon enough, but if I didn’t go at all, I would undoubtedly wish I had.
Big surprise: My wife was totally right.
I’ve been a fan of Jay Lake‘s writing for a few years now, and while we exchanged a few emails around the time I was reading The Specific Gravity of Grief, I had never met him at a convention or spoken with him. And though I have thought it would be kind of cool to visit Portland for “JayCon, ” his annual open-invite birthday party, that hasn’t been a viable option of late. So when he announced on his blog that he’d be in Columbus for a brief business trip and would be at the Northstar Cafe at Easton for an open dinner, I figured, Why Not?
Hey, look, here’s me, having just eaten dinner with Jay Lake:
I’m really glad Jenn encouraged me to go: Two other guests, Kris and Scott, were also there, and the four of us spent about two hours just hanging out and sharing stories and talking about science fiction and writers and movies and even a little sports. (Jay shared a great perspective on appreciating a sporting event from a storytelling point of view: I know he credited someone else with pointing it out to him, but the gist of it was that unlike stories told through books, television or movies, the ending of a game remains undetermined and unknown until it actually unfolds, and the resulting tension and drama can hold great power.)
Good food too: I had a tasty turkey sandwich and a surprisingly unique rice salad, and then we all shared a gigantic, gooey, eyeball-vibratingly good chocolate-chocolate-chip cookie.
Everyone was easygoing and fun to be around, and I felt really comfortable from the moment I sat down.
The sun was just setting when I headed back north on the interstate, incredibly glad that I’d made the drive.
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