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Robin Hobb's Infrequent and Off Topic Blog

Events in 2024

Signng books!

I enjoy being a hermit.  That is absolutely true.


But I also enjoy getting out and meeting readers and talking books and listening to panels.  So I have begun to make my plans for 2024.  I may add some events, but for now, these are the ones on my schedule.


Feb 29 to March 3, 2024 are the dates for Emerald City Comic Con at the Convention Center in Seattle Washington. I've applied for my professional pass, which hasn't come through just yet, but I'm fairly sure they will let me in.  I probably won't be there for all the days, as driving from Roy to Seattle is a harrowing experience. But I will most likely be there for the Saturday, and will likely sign at the University Book Store booth.  I will update this information as I know more.  For now, passes are still on sale and you can find them at https://.www.EmeraldCityComicCon.com .  




On Friday, March 1, I will be on a Dark Horse panel at 3;30 in the Summit 431 room.  Fantasy Storytelling in Comics; with Jody Houser, Jim Zub, and possibly a few other folks TBD. 


On Saturday, March 2 from 2-3 PM, I will be signing at the University Book Store booth.


Then, from 3:30 to 4:30, I will be at Booth 20515 in Book World.  I will be signing and giving away free copies of Assassin's Apprentice.  Limited supply so don't be late!



May 24-26  I will be a guest at Phoenix Fan Fusion in Phoenix Arizona.  I will be there for all three days.  I haven't attended this one before so I'm not sure what to expect, except a lot of fun!


June 28-30  Isle of Wonder is a new fantasy festival to be held on Cres, Crete. I will not be there, unfortunately, but I do look forward to doing a virtual event with them.  Again, I will update details here as I get them.


July 24-28   Comic-Con International in San Diego, also fondly known as SDCC or San Diego Comic Con.  I've been to this HUGE convention several times and it never fails to amaze me.  I don't have an official schedule for this one, but hope to attend many panels and renew conecitons to the sf/fantasy/comic world.


That is all for now.  I will probably not be making any journeys that involve long, overseas flights.  That saddens me, but the mere thought of getting on an airplane and flying all those hours makes me exhausted.  Maybe next year.  


I will continue to drop in at University Book Store in Seattle, Washimgton, to autograph stock for them and to sign special orders.  I get up there only about once a month, so if you want a signed book for a special occasion, please order early.  And be patient!



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What's in Your Poetry Pantry?

Ice forming on dangling branches over a stream

"Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail."


Nasty cold here, and my feet have never forgiven me for the frostbite when I was a young teenager.  My toes are still the first part of my body to go numb on an icy day.


But as often happens to me, when I'm considering describing something, someone else's voice comes through.  In this case, it's Robert Service, and a line from "The Cremation of Sam McGee."  And if you don't know that poem, I pity you.


Actually, I pity anyone who manages to grow up without a head full of inadvertantly memorized poetry. No one forced me to memorize poetry.  It just sank into my brain and stayed there.  Effortlessly, dozens and dozens of lines rise into my mind:


"I"m Nobody.  Who are you?"

"And what is more, you'll be a man, my son."

"I have a little shadow who goes in and out with me."

"Here is a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your  head."

"Hickety, Pickety, my black hen, She lays eggs for Gentlemen."

"Now this is the law of the Jungle"

"I sit beside the fire and think of all that there might be, when winter comes without a spring that I will ever see."

"Once, upon a midnight dreary"

"What's in a Name?  That which we call a rose "

"Of arms and the man, I sing"

"Children, you are very little and your bones are very brittle "



I could go on for pages and pages.  Nursery rhymes, Shakespeare.  Kipling, Edna St Vncent Millay, Tolkien, Robert Frost, Robert Service, Mother Goose, poems my mother recited.  Walter de la Mere. Poe.  Longfellow. Keats.  My head was stuffed full of poems in my early childhood, and beyond.


And I continued that tradition.  My offspring were exposed to nursery rhymes, and we read poetry aloud at night as often as we did stories. To this day, I can start a line or two and one of them will pick it up and finish the poem.


My father died of Alzheimer's, which increases my chance of having it. (Don't think about that, don't think about that.)  Sometimes he seemed not to know me.  He'd ask after his cousin Sonny, long dead, and I learned not to mention to him that Sonny was gone.  He might not know the month, or the year.  But to his dying day, what his weary old brain retained were the songs and poetry of his younger days.  I'm not sure how much poetry is taught in our public schools these days.  But at some time, some teacher had his/her students memorize The Song of Hiawatha.  All I had to say to my father was "By the shores of Gitchee Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis. Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis."  Dad would pick it up and go on for stanze after stanza of Longfellow's poem. He would smile as he shared it with me, and for a time he was my dad again, reciting that old poem to me.


If I do succumb to Alzheimer's (Don't thnk about that!) when my own inner voice stops speaking to me and stops demanding that I write my own stories, I hope that I will still take comfort from all my friends whose words will be forever stored in my mind.  I hope that someone will come to my bed and softly say, "Seek for the Sword that was Broken . .  ."


I hope you have stored away some poems in your attic, to cheer you when your own words seem silly or weak.


If not, it's never too late to start.


"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may . . . "

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