Well. I’m here.

Here I am, blogging from my palatial room at the Banff Centre. The bus ride was quite smooth, and the driver got us to Banff in under two hours (which was impressive, considering the trip from downtown to the airport, and then from the airport to Canmore, and then on to Banff).

Waiting for the bus.

I caught the bus from the Palliser Hotel, downtown. Dad dropped me off, and I waited…oh, about twenty minutes. Not that I minded – it’s a beautiful day outside, and the bellman (bellperson?) kept me company and told me about the number of convention-going guests they have at the hotel right now. Quite a few, apparently. I had no idea there were even that many conventions going on at the moment, but there you go.

Nary a zombie to be seen, too.

The bus was quite comfortable, too – one of those big dealies with the tinted windows and all. I can’t for the life of me figure out why the ceiling was carpeted, though.

IMG_5090

Why? Why??

Quick stop at the airport to pick up passengers…all from Australia and heading to Lake Louise. They didn’t say anything about skiing, though, but they were all on holiday. I think they were a bit disappointed to hear that the weather was going to be mild.

Somebody's getting balloons.

Somebody got balloons, as you see. It wasn’t me.

Then…on the road!

My bus, passing the apartment.

The bus passed right by the apartment, so I twittered and then called the folks…mom stepped out on the balcony and flapped a dishtowel so I’d see her. And dad took a picture. I think that counts as a three-way geek out.

Bus driver extraordinaire.

At some point, the tech/IT department at the Banff Centre realized that I was live tweeting my trip…and Jim the Accessibility Guy (who turns out to be the head of customer relations) was emailing me on my Blackberry. I emailed as we were passing the power station in Banff National Park, and the tech crew saw me twittering as I pulled into the bus depot. There’s construction going on right now, so the bus company sent me the rest of the way by taxi…and I guess the tech people told Jim, who went to go and wait for the cab…and then the tech guys sent me a tweet to say that he was off to meet me.

I think that counts as…a five way geek out? Unsure. Depends on how many tech people there are. I’m going to go conservative and say at least three.

Jim carried my bag to my room (dear man, since I’m sure I overpacked), and got me all settled in. This room…wow, this room is enormous. And the view? Simply amazing. I suspect Jim switched the room assignment for me, because I’ve usually stayed in smaller rooms for writing residencies. I’m quite astonished by this one (and quite sorry I’m only here for a week). It’s full of natural light, and very quiet. Heavenly.

The room. Quite large and comfy.

There is construction going on right now – the Kinnear Centre is being built, but there’s not much noise from it now. When I was here last year, the ground was just being broken – but it looks as though the concrete has all been poured, and the building is really coming together. It’s fascinating to watch.

Kinnear Centre

And I have a balcony.

View from my balcony.

With more great views.

View from my balcony.

I’m going to be working on that anthology story this week. It’s not a genre I usually write, so I think it’s going to be a bit of a stretch for me. It’s a vampire-themed anthology, so that’s what I’ll be writing about. Yes. Me, who has to lie down for blood tests, who tries not to look at paper cuts, who averts her eyes when eating medium-rare steak, and who frankly has no stomach for anything hemoglobin related…writing about vampires. Yech.

But if my story is accepted, it’ll pay well – well enough to cover the cost of my antique typewriter. And when the editor told me about the other authors they’d pulled in for it, I was pretty excited. It’s not just that they’re better known than me (since most authors, I’d hazard to say, are better known than I am). It’s that some of them are fantasy and sci-fi authors I’ve been reading for years.

And frankly, I think it’s going to be a really interesting challenge. I’m hoping that it’ll turn out well. And, who knows? Maybe my aversion to all things hemoglobin will make it a more convincing story.

If I decide to write about a blood-hating vampire.

Hrm. This could take some doing. Maybe I’ll have dinner first.

Banff Centre.