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worldcon - day 1 [Aug. 6th, 2009|03:24 pm]
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[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |trillian being wonderful]

A few months ago I was in a liquor store looking for grappa (because I'm basically an old Italian man at heart) and there was some talk radio station playing. Normally I despise talk radio which is fine, it makes me shop faster. On this talk radio station they had the author of some sort of “get rich quick” book, which I'm pretty sure I hate more than talk radio – the combination of the two is kind of like a punch in the brain and I was trying not to pay attention. But in between his attempts to prey on the weak with tips of flipping properties, he said two things that made a lot of sense.

1)Don't be the smartest or most successful person in your peer group.
2)If your peer group consists of nine broke, unemployed guys, you'll be broke unemployed guy #10.

Even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while they say, but those two things really struck home for me. I realize that having friends who are always doing something amazing, new books, new plays, new movies, whatever motivates me to work harder, lest I have nothing to bring to Show and Tell.

So, I was pleased to discover this morning that reddit had picked up Where I Write, and I was pleased to see that it looks beautiful in the Worldcon Program (thank you Paul) and then I was pleased to discover that Metafilter had also picked it up.

So, here I am with my Thing To Be Proud of. It's a nice feeling.

I've only just got here and already I almost got a Hugo....


We got up at 4:15 this morning, got on a plane, made it to Canada without incident. Bagle o' Death hooked us up with the coolest house I've seen in a Very Long Time (where I am currently sitting by the pond writing this) and we hied off to the convention center where we quickly ran into Michael Freaking Swanwick who gave us the most beautiful, heartfelt, wonderful gift I felt like weeping. (Michael has two new books out as well. Two.)



We bumped into whafford and Colin and found Neil Freaking Gaiman in the green room. He introduced us to Dr. Who writer Paul Cornell.

We talked about Where I Write and Neil was able to top it, because he's just won two blue ribbons for his honey at the county fair.

So tonight I strive to do better because my friends are doing better and I'm glad I heard that guy on the radio in the liquor store. I'm very lucky not to be the smartest or most successful person in my group of friends. I'm glad they're out there kicking my rear every day.



(Neil's liason, Anne, says she knows where my lj is.)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: gravityslave
2009-08-06 11:01 pm (UTC)

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Damn. All my favourite and most inspiring artists are currently in MY COUNTRY and I'm too broke to go play!
One day, sir, one day. My heroes are heroes for the same reason that you describe above! Thanks for always inspiring the aspiring.
[User Picture]From: carolynturgeon
2009-08-06 11:06 pm (UTC)

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Congratulations mister, all the photos look amazin! And I wanna hear Trillian being wonderful, and I want soma that prize-winning honey, hand it over!!
[User Picture]From: humanoid27
2009-08-06 11:07 pm (UTC)

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i'm really hoping you meet someone i know (feorag and charles stross, flick and mike, steve green the taff delegate, sue mason...
i'm hoping for photographic evidence (joke)... ;)

have a good con!


oh, and i met that paul cornell at eastercon. nice chap.
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-08-06 11:35 pm (UTC)

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i was in the mens room with charles stoss! he looked enviously at me because my hand dryer was working while his was not.
[User Picture]From: mizkit
2009-08-07 08:38 am (UTC)

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If you need an excuse to introduce yourself to Charlie, go tell him hello from Catie Murphy. :)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-08-07 12:54 pm (UTC)

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well, last night i found myself in yet another bathroom with him at the TOR party. i mentioned this vaguely. he seemed confused. or maybe a bit freaked out by this uy who kept sayin "hello!" in the lavatory....
[User Picture]From: ms_violet
2009-08-06 11:10 pm (UTC)

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I was going to say, "when you come home, can I touch you? or can I touch something you touched?"
not dirty bad touch. just, like can I tap your elbow or something. but then I re-read the post, thought about it, and instead, when you come home, will you kick my ass?
[User Picture]From: handworn
2009-08-07 12:22 am (UTC)

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Like the various classes of relics in the Catholic church?
[User Picture]From: ms_violet
2009-08-07 04:02 pm (UTC)

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Exactly.
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2009-08-06 11:11 pm (UTC)

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I'd noticed some people seemed to seek out groups where they were the big frog, and others seemed to like knowing lots of people who "competed" with them (challenged them, etc.). And that the second sort were definitely more interesting people :-). Kind of another cut through the data leading to about the same conclusion.

My friends list is in Montreal this week. Hi, everybody!
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-08-06 11:36 pm (UTC)

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I ran into Ctien and John Singer as soon as I got here. We talked about you. I shall be photographing them saturday.
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2009-08-07 01:34 am (UTC)

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Excellent! I'm looking forward to seeing whatever is made available of the fan photos; I expect I'll know a few here and there.

We were counting at dinner; I'm well over a dozen people I know who are at Worldcon there. I'm sure there are bundles of others I haven't happened to have heard are going, but who won't surprise me when I notice them.
[User Picture]From: ladycelia
2009-08-07 02:16 am (UTC)

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Man, I've known Ctein for years! He's rather amazing with color.
Small world.
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2009-08-07 02:31 pm (UTC)

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Ctein didn't know about Kyle when I pointed out the "Where I Write" samples this summer. I'm glad they've met; too bad I wasn't there to listen though :-).

And of course Jon Singer was there. Naturally.
[User Picture]From: ladycelia
2009-08-07 03:03 pm (UTC)

Glad you showed him.

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Well then it's about time that they met ;^) Would have been great to be there for that. It seems like half the people I know are at Worldcon this year. Would have been nice to be there. Ah well, another year I'll get back.

[User Picture]From: dd_b
2009-08-07 03:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Glad you showed him.

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This is the first year I've felt like I'd really like to be there in a while. I seriously considered going to Denver last year, but didn't find myself regretting not being there while it was going on much.
[User Picture]From: ladycelia
2009-08-07 04:10 pm (UTC)

Re: Glad you showed him.

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This year had all the earmarks of a really great con. I've only been to three Worldcons: LA in '84 (which was truly memorable), San Francisco, and San Jose. Most years I've had other things going on or I simply couldn't justify the expense.
[User Picture]From: dd_b
2009-08-07 04:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Glad you showed him.

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I guess I've been to 7 worldcons, starting with my first SF convention ever in 1972. But the most recent one I've been to was in 1989. The costs got out of hand, both very high membership prices (I know why, and it's not bad management or theft or anything bad) AND very high room rates, plus often far away, and I found myself thinking I'd rather go to three other conventions instead. Not that I've been getting to other out of town conventions much either in the last decade.
[User Picture]From: ladycelia
2009-08-07 04:52 pm (UTC)

Re: Glad you showed him.

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These days I mostly just go to BayCon, because I'm typically invited as a costume panelist. And CostumeCon last year of course, because I was vice-chair of that. Haven't been to a Westercon in ages and ages. Spending more time at car shows--they're often the same weekends as cons. I'm an SCCA concours judge and I sell classic cars for a living, so it makes more sense right now. Feeling the itch right now, though.
[User Picture]From: tamidon
2009-08-06 11:11 pm (UTC)

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I am so amused to see that NFG also gets the stickon ribbons on his con badge
[User Picture]From: theniwokesoftly
2009-08-06 11:48 pm (UTC)

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I laughed hard enough to snort at Neil's expression in the last photo. Very nice.
[User Picture]From: silveringridd
2009-08-07 12:02 am (UTC)

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if you don't hang out with people who are smarter than you, you won't get to learn new things. i thrive on being with people who are smarter than me.

i'm so happy for you and all of your success! you make me burst at the seams!

tell your woman i heart her and hope to see her soon!
[User Picture]From: volksjager
2009-08-07 12:07 am (UTC)

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Another way to say that is one I heard as a teen. " Judge a person not by the depth of the vally below him,but by the height of the mountains around him" wish I could recall who said it.
[User Picture]From: karohemd
2009-08-07 12:08 am (UTC)

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If you have nothing and no-one to aspire to, what's the point? Those who are better than me in, say, photography, have helped me become better at it (just look at the stuff I came up with last weekend and the sort of thing I did two years ago) but at the same time improved themselves so there will always be a gap and I still find things I can improve.

I'm really looking forward to your next report.
[User Picture]From: handworn
2009-08-07 12:20 am (UTC)

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Yes, one invariably drifts toward whoever you hang out with and whatever you read. Which has scary consequences for the self-selection phenomenon. I suppose this explains the polarization of much of modern politics; we value a circle of validators far more than we value being taught something uncomfortable.
[User Picture]From: kuroshii
2009-08-07 12:59 am (UTC)

black t-shirt squee!

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i have the t-shirt NFG is wearing in that photo!
well no, silly, not the exact shirt. his is on his body up in montreal and mine is hanging in my closet in chicago. you know what i meant, dangit.

since it's partially obscured by his jacket, let me share: it says "join a proud minority. read books." i got it at gencon several years ago.

Edited at 2009-08-07 04:24 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: phenom_woman
2009-08-07 02:03 am (UTC)

You are IO9 and mentioned with this link on the Park Bench

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[User Picture]From: weezerchild703
2009-08-07 02:48 am (UTC)

Nice shirt ;)

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This is excellent, congratulations. I suppose another good trick other than not being the smartest/most successful person in your peer group would be a little notation that it's nice (necessary and important) to stop every once in awhile and acknowledge what you've created and accomplished. And then move forward and create and accomplish more!
[User Picture]From: iamgerg
2009-08-07 03:59 am (UTC)

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You know, I'm glad I live in a world where the same man can win a Newbery medal and two blue ribbons for his honey.
[User Picture]From: iamgerg
2009-08-07 05:04 am (UTC)

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Although perhaps more accurately, I'm glad I live in a world where the same man did win both a Newbery medal and two blue ribbons for his honey.
[User Picture]From: rmjwell
2009-08-07 04:17 am (UTC)

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I like point #1; certainly, I love reading your journal for the nifty. But even moreso than photographic inspiration, you are one of my heroes for "How not to be That Asshole Photographer" as I gamely try to make good pictures at the burlesque shows I attend.

Thanks!

PS. If you haven't run across them yet, keep an eye out for a group called General Technics. I think you and they would get on well.
[User Picture]From: morriganswitch
2009-08-07 04:55 am (UTC)

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You have an amazing talent. This picture of Neil makes him look like he is peering into your soul.
[User Picture]From: avivasedai
2009-08-07 05:32 am (UTC)

Happy first day of Con!

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I was very glad to meet you and trillian_stars and also run in to NFG on his way in to the Opening Ceremony today! I swear, I had to regroup my scattered thoughts after the initial "holy crap, it's really cool/talented people I sort of know in that I read their journalling all the time!" moment. (My real name is on my nametag but not online, and vice-versa, but you do now see a pic of my face to put with the LJ name.)

I might come by your photo area... you're shooting tomorrow, right?
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-08-07 12:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Happy first day of Con!

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saturday!
[User Picture]From: avivasedai
2009-08-07 01:22 pm (UTC)

Yes indeed!

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Thank you! I realized my mistake right after I posted - I knew it was Saturday but I thought that was today. It's really great being here for so many days.
[User Picture]From: lois2037
2009-08-07 05:46 am (UTC)

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"Don't be the smartest or most successful person in your peer group." So very true! But also true: Don't be the least smart or least successful person in your peer group. Sometimes it's not so much inspiring as overwhelming. I try to stay on the inspired side of the equation, though.
[User Picture]From: jayphoenix
2009-08-07 08:36 am (UTC)

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"Neil Freaking Gaiman in the green room. He introduced us to Dr. Who writer Paul Cornell. "

Two of my favourite creative people in one room! :)
[User Picture]From: sacred_poetry
2009-08-07 09:55 am (UTC)

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Before I was able to read the text on you t-shirt I though; "What, they're already making AFP/NFG-shirts?!"
[User Picture]From: instantdharma
2009-08-07 11:10 am (UTC)

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You met Paul Cornell!? Jealoussss.
[User Picture]From: spacedlaw
2009-08-07 01:17 pm (UTC)

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But where is that bathtub picture?
[User Picture]From: ceciskittle
2009-08-07 01:43 pm (UTC)

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You guys aren't in my friends circle, but I read your blogs and things, and they inspire me to do things too. I love this internet community thing. :-)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-08-08 02:21 am (UTC)

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i think that counts now get to work!
[User Picture]From: elsewhereangel
2009-08-07 03:30 pm (UTC)

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this is exactly why i love the lj. it gives me an excuse to interact with creative, talented people on a regular basis and in turn probably makes me a more creative (possibly talented) person in return1
[User Picture]From: viletchild
2009-08-07 11:25 pm (UTC)

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tee hee you guys are the cutest couple ever
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-08-08 02:21 am (UTC)

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fo shizzle.