Y’all have fun at FenCon!

FenCon starts tomorrow over at the Crowne Plaza here in Dallas. It’s a large SF/F con with a large contingent of writers and readers. You can still get a membership at the door.

I decided to stay home and take care of business, though. There were several interesting things listed on the schedule. And I know more than one participant in the writing workshop. But ultimately I didn’t feel up to tromping around the con alone. Yes, I know some of the people who will be there, but they are going to be busy doing their own thing. Whenever I smile and approach a group to try to introduce myself, they glance over as though they’d seen a gnat and then re-form with their backs to me. They do not have any interest in talking to me, as they don’t know who I am, they know I’m not “important” or famous, and they already HAVE a sufficient number of friends. Back when I was twenty and skinny, I could break into a group. Now that I’m not, I can’t. It doesn’t matter what kind of enthusiasm I project. And my ego is simply not up to the snubs.

(Yes, the snubs. And it’s not just cliques of strangers who close the ranks and ignore me when I walk up and say, “Hello–what’s a good panel to try?” or whatever. Whenever I go up after a panel and try to say hello to someone I’ve corresponded with for years via e-mail, it is as though a crazed stalker has walked up, and they not only recoil but escape quickly. This happened a couple of years ago with Will Shetterly. I was also glance-rejected by many others I’ve communicated well online with, including Candace Havens and Shanna Swendson [who live here in town and who have spoken at groups I’m in], so don’t tell me “that only happens with just a few people.” It is not their fault but mine, though–why, after all, should they give a hoot just because I step up and say, “I’m a writer and I liked your book and how are you enjoying the con?” There’s no requirement that they be nice to everyone, after all. Yet it does wear on me after a while.)

It’s not as if this is a major breakdown of the social contract–they aren’t required to talk to or be nice to every yahoo in the hotel, and if they don’t want someone breaking into their circle, that’s perfectly legal. I’m just saying that after years of this stuff I’m finished with trying to schmooze. Doesn’t work for me. And it’s terribly depressing that I even want to when it is so obvious I won’t get it to work.

My ineptness at being accepted is one reason I so enjoy having this journal, as that way some people can actually stand to interact with me. Better you should never see me in the flesh. Even when I’m dressed “normally” and can walk past infants without their breaking into terrified screams, I am not well received, for whatever reason. It is not my fate to be able to Win Friends And Influence People in person. Heck, I don’t blame them–I would rather be approached by the Beautiful People instead myself than by some random stranger. (Hypocritical of me, I know, but I’m only human.) My husband is “normal” and doesn’t have this experience–but he says he doesn’t want to go to a con this weekend, so I can’t use him as a beard. (That has worked a couple of times, actually.)

Yes, in fact, this journal IS all about me. Ahem.

So y’all have a good time out there. I know there is fun to be had for those who don’t attend alone! (Or for those who are able to break into these closed groups–many people can do it, so it’s likely that you will be able to.) Say hello to the Yard Dog crowd of belly dancers and writers for me. I went to college with Linda and have known Kathy, Juli, and Chris (Mr. Linda) for some time, as well. Happy to see them linked up with the press and doing so fabulously!

The Dallas weather appears ready to cooperate, as well. You’ll be close to the Dallas Benihana restaurant, Simply Fondue (on Belt Line in Addison), and several good Tex-Mex places, so don’t miss out on a great dining experience. And remember to visit the dealers’ room early and often!

If you happen up Plano way, you might see the Plano Balloon Festival going on. Look up in the sky to the north. Generally they take off from the Preston/Spring Creek area in Oak Point Park or a bit north of there, so you can see them floating from many points in town. The radio club I used to be in does the “chasing” and communications stuff for the festival. If you have a scanner or a 2m radio, you can tune in to their repeater (147.18) to hear some of the action. The festival goes on from Friday afternoon to Sunday night, so it might be worth your while to see if you can catch a glimpse of the balloons. You can even take a ride . . . if you dare.

Or you can just hang out. I wish you fun and friends!

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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