November 6th, 2006


Friendly plane travel

There will probably be a series of random-ish entries as things occur to me and I have five minutes to sit down and write them. My cousin and her husband and kiddo have been in town all weekend, and they're leaving today. I will get to see them -- briefly at least -- on their way out.

I am mightily amused at the phone conversation we had, though, because Kari asked me if I'd had a good conference, and when I said I had, she said, "Great! Well, we'll have to hear -- uh -- a little more about it when we see you." I'm pretty sure this was an on-the-spot editing of "we'll have to hear all about it." I could hear the proofreaders' marks in her voice. Because they don't want to hear all about it, and frankly neither do you, because, "And so-and-so's room party was serving brownies and champagne and X and Y liked my boots and and and," is rather tedious. And I do know it. That's not the kind of con report I mean to write.

A quick story most of you at the con already heard, though, because I was putting the provoking volume away and I am still amused at myself:

I was getting on the plane from DFW to Austin on Thursday morning, and I was carrying the book I was reading so that the cover faced out. And so many people were smiling at me! I was getting such happy looks! And inside my head I was doing a little groovy happy dance: goin' to the con, goin' to the con, everybody's goin' to the con! So many fantasy lovers! Goin' to the con! Then I sat down to read the book I was carrying: Geoff Ryman's Lust. Which has a zucchini and two cherry tomatoes strategically placed next to the word LUST on the cover.

So possibly not so many fantasy lovers as I thought. Or at least a different kind.


I really, really, really don't like it when people have to find some way in which they are above you in the hierarchy they've set up in their heads, but they have picked a method of developing hierarchy that makes that difficult for them.

Like -- oh, to take a totally random example -- when you have a middle-aged person who is really not comfortable with a younger person being published before she is and then has to go on and on about how short stories don't count. For most of an hour, in close quarters from which no escape was likely.

It's partly that she stayed on the nice side of being smacked down, but partly -- honestly, I just refuse to get into that kind of one-upsmanship. Because lines like, "Well, I was talking to New York Times best-selling author Steven Brust the other day, and he said it totally counts as real writing to write short stories people want to publish, so there," while true, are just not helpful. Everybody feels a little sticky after that. Anyone who needs to feel bigger than someone, by all means, feel bigger than me. I can take it. I just don't enjoy it. So I sat there and made neutral noises and apparently convinced her that not all respect for one's elders is dead among the youth of today -- once again I was "such a nice girl" and "so artistic! I'm sure you'll go far." But I felt pretty bad for her, to be at that point in her life and not have any more independent sense of self and purpose than that.
writing everywhere

Week of October 29-November 4 (belated) and con stuff

One acceptance, four rejections. And it all feels like very long ago right now.

Last night on the plane I dozed off for a bit and woke up with most of a story in my head. Right now I'm calling it "Pirates by Adeline Thromb Age 9," and I have no idea whether it works, but it's coming out now, and it'll be done soon, and then it'll be someone else's problem. Hurrah, someone else's problem! This is probably due to meeting johnjosephadams when he had a pirate temporary tattoo on the back of his head, so I will dump it on him first when I am done with it. That seems fair to me. Serve him right etc. If he didn't want people dumping pirate stories on him, there are all sorts of steps he could have taken.

I have said, "This isn't my usual sort of story," often enough and in plaintive enough tones that I think I should shut up and let other people say what my kind of story is. And then bite my lip and try not to argue. All right, that's my plan then. Unless people go saying things aren't fantasy that are, in which case I will jump right in, because, really.

I went to two panels, a poetry reading (so stillnotbored and leahbobet know I love them), and a GoH interview Friday (Delia Sherman does good interviews, and Robin Hobb/Megan Lindholm had good talky answers). leahbobet talked me out of going to a Saturday panel on the grounds that it would likely piss me off, and she was concise and coherent, and mizkit was buying drinks, so...there you have that. Friday morning I went to the panels mostly because if I was sitting in a panel audience, no one would expect me to be sociable, and I would have a bit of time to get more sociable again. And it worked, and anyway the panels sounded like the more interesting ones for the weekend.

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And other than that, I talked to people, and I listened to people, and I wandered around, and I ate things and drank things and generally had a good time. The hot tub was out of commission, and the indoor pool was rather shallow, so the bikini stayed dry, and I seem to be incapable of remembering to use the camera these days, but given how long it took me to deal with the pictures of my niecelet from her baptism, it's probably just as well to let other people handle that.

Byerly's mini-scones are really, really good. Some kind soul brought elisem the caramel toffee ones, or I wouldn't have thought to try the blueberry. But for someone who needs breakfast reliably first thing in the morning, they are lovely and travel well.

I was really glad I didn't stay in the overflow hotel. I would have worked something out, but it was really nice to be able to stay up until I was ready to fall over, given that I'm not a night person. Having my room immediately above the bar was perhaps suboptimal, but it doesn't seem to have kept me from sleep significantly. It was actually rather nice to fall asleep hearing that stillsostrange was amused again, that someone had done something awful to was rather like hearing gaaldine come home down the hall in college, homey rather than disturbing.

Speaking of gaaldine, it was weird to see ksumnersmith have a few of the same tone/expression combinations. If I'd gotten to be friends with ksumnersmith in person, I could blame some initial comfort level on being reminded of gaaldine. Instead it was more of a converging thing, and that was weird.

Also, I feel like saying that ksumnersmith and I always gang up on tmseay and tease him mercilessly -- but I think that's an illusory always, because it's only happened in small long-distance bits before.

But we should always, because it's fun.

Also, I'm not sure if it's an illusory always that leahbobet and I manage to have an intensely personal conversation at cons like we don't do online, but I'm pretty sure we did that in Madison, too, so maybe this is one of those "two points determine a line" bits of social geometry.

I got much closer with stillnotbored, raecarson, and jmeadows, and stillsostrange than I ever imagined I would. Backseats that size are not intended for people that numerous. But I could feel my leg again within a few mintues, and Jodi's head seemed mostly intact, so I think we emerged from it largely unscathed. stillsostrange's shocks may never be the same, though....

I think that's it for now. I have walked the dog and worked and cleaned and done other useful tasks in the middle of writing this post, so I'm just going to fling it at the internet and see what I feel like saying later. I am not going to even try to make a comprehensive list of which lj people I met or saw -- I don't even know the names of some of the people I'm pretty sure have ljs -- but there was much goodness.