Yesterday I made a visit to the academic world. I was invited to make an appearance - as an author! - at a class taught by my former Ph.D. advisor, Claire Kramsch.
She made me feel wonderful by inviting me, and I had a great time.
I got to read the opening scene of my forthcoming story, Cold Words, and then ask her students to analyze it - just in the same way that I do my own editing analysis, and the way I do Ridiculously Close Looks here on the blog. I asked the students to look through the words I'd written and find places where I'd given cues to the Aurrel's invented language and how it worked, and cues for alien point of view.
It was nothing like going to a convention, or even talking with friends who enjoy science fiction. It was all serious. But it was marvelous, geeky fun for me. It really made me feel like I've been doing the right thing all this time by applying my knowledge to science fiction and fantasy. And it made me feel like an author.
Both of those feelings were a thrill.