Sumiko and Carolyn’s Excellent Adventure

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Richard Pini, Sumiko Saulson, and Wendy Pini at Convolution

The first week of November has been an incredibly busy one for me and my mother, Carolyn Saulson. We were working double time the last week of October to finish the first issue of our joint project, “Living a Lie” in time for it to debut at Convolution, which took place in Burlingame at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency from November 1st  through November 3rd. We were there the first two days, and had the pleasure of seeing Unwoman open up for Tricky Pixie at the Goblin’s Ball. We had a great time dancing.

The Publisher’s Alley, where we were situated, was in the same room as registration, so we got a lot of foot traffic from people who were just arriving at the convention. We were also in the same room as the book signings, and I was very excited because Wendy and Richard Pini, the team behind ElfQuest, were out there half a dozen times. They were friendly and personable every time I saw them. I’m a huge fan of their work. The Pinis are working on the Final Quest of their long-running series.  Debuting in 1978, ElfQuest is 35 years old this year.

Monday, I stayed home sick with the flu. Between me and you and the wall… well, not the wall, but the blogosphere, I still have this flu. And I have an opening for an art exhibit today at Café 3016.

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Christopher Rice, Anne Rice, Sumiko Saulson, Carolyn Saulson (photo taken by Beckett) at Books Inc in SF

Tuesday night my mother and I went out to San Francisco to see Anne and Christopher Rice at a book signing at Books Inc. at Opera Plaza in San Francisco. We got there early, so we didn’t have to stand in a line halfway around the block like we did the day we came to see Anne Rice for a signing related to Wolf Gift about a year and a half ago. She has a sequel to the book, “Wolves of Midwinter” out now, and her son Christopher, an accomplished author in his own right, is debuting his first supernatural thriller, “The Heavens Rise.”

I’m a big fan of his show with Eric Shaw Quinn, The Dinner Party Show, and two other fans (known as the Party People, so dubbed by Anne Rice, who is a Party Person herself) were there – Justin Simpson and Buffie Peterson. I was a ways behind them in line, but Buffie and her family came back to hang out. It was awesome!

Thinking about all of this in retrospect, I am touched by just how much family was involved in this. My nieces Franchesca and Elisabetta Saulson came out to the signing, although they were in line separately. I was with my mother. Anne Rice and Christopher Rice were doing a mother and son book signing. Buffie Peterson was out with her entire family, and although her sons are growing up, they act like they are going to be close and doing things together forever just like me and my mom do. The Pinis are a husband and wife team – another family unit.

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Sumiko Saulson and Buffie Peterson at Opera Plaza

It was touching to know that my family is not alone in bolstering each other, in leaning on one another, in gaining strength in one another’s presence.

When we came to the book signing for “The Wolf Gift” back on my mom’s birthday in 2012, my dad was with us in line, but he got intimidated and took off in his mobility scooter when we reached the door. It was a funny story that would be told over and over again later, as my father would pass away in January 2013.

My parents were divorced when I was seven years old, and my parents have both been fighting cancer over the past four years. My mom is in remission.  For those reasons this was a rare moment when both of my parents were out together somewhere during the last year of my dad’s life. Although my dad wasn’t there Tuesday, he was definitely with us in spirit.

Today is another day I will spend with family. I am headed up to my brother’s house in Vallejo to get my brake pads replaced and pick up my mom’s new sound system – one my brother got for my mom – and head back down to Café 3016 for the opening of the Art of Agrippa, where I will read, and my mom will perform and DJ.

Art isn’t just something we do individually.

Art is part of our connection as a family.

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~ by Sumiko Saulson on November 9, 2013.

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