June 23rd, 2008


My life is filled with shiny bits.

This is not my con report. This is about a thing that happened, though.

I was sitting in the programming room waiting for the rest of the panelists to arrive (having finished lunch and PT*), and marykaykare came in looking mysterious and pleased and said to me, "If you go speak to elisem, you will hear something to your advantage."

Well! I told Mary Kay that I like things to my advantage -- that I am firmly in favor of them, in fact -- and so I grabbed markgritter's arm, and off we went to the dealer's room to see elisem.

She was working on a shiny, as is so often the case, and there was some initial chatter, very casual, and then she consulted me: shinies are like books, and sometimes it helps if someone else can provide a second opinion, so did I think this one was almost done? I looked. It most certainly was. Did I think the labradorite was the right face out? I did.

She handed it to me and said, "Someone wrote to me and said, 'Mris is having That Kind Of Week, and you're going to see her soon; will you make her a shiny from me?' And here it is."

So I now have a silver wandering wire and labradorite pendant, and it is so shiny, and I am so pleased. And I'm pretty sure that my mysterious benefactor is someone who reads this journal. And you know what's great about my life? I have no idea who it is, because there are too many possibilities; I can't say, "Oh, obviously it must be x," or "y is simply the only person who could and would do that."

So you have given me the present of the shiny individually; and with the present of making it a secret surprise, you have reminded me of the gift of all the other people in my life who might have been responsible for it with you. Thank you, mysterious benefactor. It is Just Right.

*I did not miss a single session of PT this weekend. I am the Virtuous Mris Of Great Virtue. Just ask me.

Writers' lies and having the tired

I've been thinking more about the Writers' Lies panel I was on with skzbrust, pameladean, 1crowdedhour, willshetterly, and klages. matociquala asked the panelists how she could find -- how one could find, really -- positive lies to overtake the negative ones. How to tell herself, "I can fix it on the next draft," or, "This will touch someone in a positive way," rather than, "Any skill or talent I may have acquired in the writing of previous works has since drained out my ears, leaving my skull an empty and rattling thing." Or like that. Um. Examples mine.

And I wonder if the answer is that once you're doing it deliberately, once it's not your brain singing on autopilot, lies won't work, and you have to settle for the truth. I'm not sure, but it seems like that might be a grain of commonality in the responses some people had. Perhaps this is the tired speaking, and there are really all sorts of ways to deliberately cultivate belief in positive writers' lies instead of either stumbling upon them or settling for the truth.

I can has the tired, you see. Even after forty-five minutes of lie-down this afternoon after the sushi expedition, I am a Mrissish nubbin. I have been running on determination and joy since Thursday. It's good fuel, but one has to use the more traditional food and sleep at some point. This is apparently that point. And as much as I enjoyed the conversations at Fourth Street, and I definitely don't want to downplay that, for me personally one of the lovely parts of the whole weekend was watching people I like be warm and kind to people I love, and vice versa. It was not universal, of course; it never is. But the extent of it made me pretty happy. I bask.

Tomorrow I have a PT retest in the late afternoon, to see what kind of progress we're making with all this in an objective way. I have no idea what else will pop out regarding panels and other conversations before then. Possibly nothing. I think the proximity of the two is sort of a weird space, so...I'll do the best I can, which is all we can ever do.