Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

All one, plus two more.

In my head all cons are one con. So if I've ever seen you at a con, my brain expects to see you at World Fantasy Con this weekend. This is one of the many ways in which cons are like comic stores. Or like libraries if you subscribe to the Terry Pratchett view thereof. (I find it faintly heretical, like asserting that all grandmothers are really connected through another dimension as one grandmother, to which my brain protests, "Not mine!" And it's not like my grandmother is all that non-traditional as grandmothers go. Unless you think about it for more than two seconds. Um. So perhaps I have a skewed notion of tradition, is what I'm saying here. Matriarchies are traditional! By which I mean what people always mean by "traditional": we've always had them, and I'm not responsible for what the rest of you do.)

So the thing about yesterday's post about thinking the book I'm revising is going to be pretty good:

It feels much safer to think things are crap. If it's all crap and the book gets a hundred and one rejections, well, of course it did. It's crap. The world is a logical place, and the bits all fit together sensibly: crappy books get rejected, and the world keeps turning. But if it's not crap, and it gets a hundred and one rejections, that's a lot harder to fit together. (You can, by the way. There are all sorts of logical reasons for a good book to get rejected. Not viewing the world as a series of total orderings helps immensely with this. But it's emotionally harder to get there.)

Also, the minute you assert that something is good, you have brought up the topic and opened yourself to passing ruffians arguing the point. Even if they don't argue the point actively, but merely with their left eyebrow. It's like asserting that a book or a person is funny. If someone goes on and on about how hilarious you are when introducing you to their friends, odds are extremely fine that you will have nothing funny to say for the entire time you're talking to them. That you will say things like, "That reminds me of the time I was doing my taxes and found an error in the fortieth line," or, "That's a very interesting point. Not many people know about the history of my toaster oven...." It's like being pretty: you wait for someone else to say it, because if someone squeals, "You look awesome in that dress!" and someone else says, "Well, from the front, at least," the second person is the jackass. Whereas if you greet a group of people by saying, "Hello, I look awesome in this dress!", you may have sewn up the role of jackass for the evening.

This does not preclude me telling people -- for example yesterday -- that I look awesome in hats, or that I look really good in dark green, or whatever. But it took me awhile, and mostly I attempt to do it in tones that let them laugh kindly.

So on the one hand, you don't want to be known for sending editors books that are really no good, and even you know it. But on the other hand, asserting potential goodness of books is tricky. Puts your judgment in question.

(Still and all.)

My list of things to do before I leave for World Fantasy on Thursday morning is quite sensible and reasonable, and I expect all the items to be crossed off the list before I go, probably before dinner Wednesday night. And this is extremely alarming. I crossed all of last week's items off the list, too, and it turns out I'm a little spooked by this. I'm perfectly fine ignoring the list and doing things that aren't on it because I feel like doing them. But not having things on the list in the first place? Very weird. Very weird indeed. I think I will try to avoid this becoming too common in the future. I think a Mris's list must exceed her grasp, is what. It's good to know these things.
Tags: cons, full of theories, grandma, to done

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