2. I am heading off to Convivial this afternoon. I seem to have a manageable number of things to do in the meantime. I don't think this is going to be one of those conventions when I disappear from the face of the internet until Sunday, but on the other hand it'd be nice if I spent the time at it doing things other than reading lj and writing e-mail, so -- some sort of middle ground there, I guess.
3. As good as garden tomatoes are in season, sometimes they are just that bad out of it. Most of the grocery store tomatoes one gets that are really bad are more in the direction of, "Are you sure this is food instead of damp red styrofoam?" than in the direction of, "Ick ack what smells like that oh Lordy it's the tomato." (I had originally put the actual smell comparison in place of "that" in the last sentence. I went back and removed it. You may thank me. Vivid similes are a double-edged sword.)
4. I don't go around telling salespeople that I know exactly what their job is like because I sell stories, and that's selling things. I don't tell programmers that I know all about their work because I use a computer. I do not, in fact, accost the mailman to tell him I know all about his job because I put stamps on things. So please do not tell me that you "totally get" what writing fiction is all about because you have a cousin who writes grant proposals -- well -- she wrote one grant proposal, once. This does not make me feel warm and fuzzy and understood. It makes me feel like you are an idiot. Because you are, if you do this.
5. The more history I read, the more I believe that if you say, "Nobody in [large demographic group] was doing anything interesting then," you are wrong and speaking from ignorance. Primates get bored easily, and while some of them remain boring, a large enough cross-section of them will turn out people making up art forms and crafts, gadgets, discoveries, social/political/religious movements, etc. etc. etc. out of whatever little they have. So anyone claiming that the interesting stories in the fantasy world they're writing about are with one demographic group -- well, they have created something utterly unlike any human society. Take the most repressive society and the most repressed group in it, and I guarantee you they will have some kind of underground culture, secret signals, politics among themselves and between them and the larger group. They will be Up To Something. Because, y'know, monkeys: we're like that. You don't have to write about every group in every society -- you can't. Fiction is particular. But an awareness that there never was and likely never will be a human society with only one interesting demographic would be welcome in some fabulists. For heaven's sake, not only are the high nobility not the only interesting demographic in feudalism, actual feudalism relies upon the fact that they aren't!
I don't even really want to link to the discussion that got me thinking along these lines, because I think that the person whose work sparked the discussion is definitely and completely not making the "only one interesting demographic" mistake, and I very much do not want to associated it with that person's name even subconsciously.