Monday, September 04, 2006

CopperCon in Tempe, Arizona

This was the smallest conference I've been to but I did enjoy it. I got a nice picture of Diane Duane and Peter Morwood. I'd have to say that my favorite panel was about young adult novels. In other panels I've been to about YA, the authors tended to say that authors didn't have any obligation to their young readers. In WorldCon, I was revolted by the panelists: it seemed like they were praising themselves for being the first people to introduce children to sex and homosexuality.

The CopperCon panelists were much more conservative. One person made a comment that they’ve heard from some authors that they have no obligation to their readers and that those are the same authors that don’t sell books because libraries and parents won’t buy them for their children (because of the adult material in them).

WorldCon 2007 in LA California

I just got back from WorldCon 2006 in in Los Angeles, California
I decided to stay on Sunday and see Ray Bradbury and Robert Picardo (Holographic Doctor on Voyager). Robert Picardo's panel was left out of the main program, booklet and website -- and then the time was changed at the last minute, so there were only about 10 people there for the first half an hour. He was very enjoyable. I sat right in front of him as he spoke.
Anyway, people took at least 500 of my flyers. My book isn't coming out for a year, so I tried to get the picture of my cover in front of everyone. I was surprised at how many people said they'd buy my book, just from looking at the cover on the flyer.

A lot of what I heard at the conference was gloom and doom for new authors. Lots of work. Connie Willis said if you're having fun writing, then you're not doing it right, because it's supposed to be a lot of work. I agree with the hard work, but if you don't enjoy writing, then why do it? Certainly not for the non-existent money.

I saw Anne McCaffrey, Harlan Ellison, Connie Willis, Tim Powers, and many other writers.
An interesting thing happened as I was walking to the Hugo award ceremony. I stepped out of the elevator, started walking, then bumped into Gay and Joe Haldeman (2006 Nebula winner). Gay asked me to sit with them at the ceremonies. She is a wonderful person. I enjoyed my night even more because of their company (I got to sit a little closer, too).

At the ceremony, Harlan Ellison said it would be his last convention. He was a character, of course (i.e. refusing to come up onto the stage, trying to offend everyone, saying the F word, putting the microphone in his mouth, grabbing Connie Willis's breast . . . yes, he did do that).
I learned a great deal of information at this conference. On the way home, I thought of some more marketing methods I'll end up implementing. I'm glad I went, but I wish my book was already published, so I could have sold a few copies.

I Lost My Job

Every time I go on vacation I have this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'm going to come back into work and not have a job. Well, it finally happened to me last week.

Strange thing is that when I came back to work, they didn't lay me off that first day because our computer system was having problems and they needed me to get them out of the jam. The next day they laid me off.

I've been working for them for 6 years. They said I no longer had the skills they needed, which is hogwash, since out of the three programmers they had, I was the only one who had accomplished the set of tasks given every week for the past month. There's nothing they've ever asked me to do that I couldn't do, and I was quite comfortable with the programming language. Anyway, it was nice while it lasted. I wish them success, especially since my wife is still working for them and we did leave on good terms.

I just created an LLC, so that should be interesting.