Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Pros of Cons, Civility and Updates

I had planned to do a super-sized blog last week. However, my body had other plans. It isn't rush to the doctor serious. It's part of what may be the new normal for me post cancer. I had a lot of my insides altered during the two major surgeries. Sometimes, things don't agree with me. I spent a lot of time in the heat and sun. Long story short, I had to go into a convalescing mode. Not a lot got done last week, and it was frustrating. I'm not exactly sure what caused the problem, so I'm not sure how to avoid it happening again. At any rate, Friday brought some improvement. Over the last couple of days, I've picked up more of the usual routine. It seems that I'm back on track. I certainly hope so. I have plans! Among them, is getting more exercise. On a good week, I'm walking at least three miles every other day. I may actually try to swim later today. That's pretty good. In fact, it's more exercise than I used to get before I fell ill. However, I must not counteract the potentially disastrous effects of being home all the time and baking. I found a really doable recipe for Brioche last week. The same diabolical woman, Ina Garten, was making honey white bread this week. And that danged Martha Stewart is making sticky buns on Monday. It's all an evil plan to make me – and Jon, Breadman Cunningham – enormous!

On Civility – A Social Network Dilemma

I see a lot of amusing things on the news feeds that I follow on the social networks. And I have enjoyed passing along the insightful and the silly to the people that follow me. Increasingly, however, I've had huge qualms about sharing links on my pages. The problem is some of the language that peppers these posts. Goodness know, I'm not a prude. For those of you out there who want to expound endlessly on how I'm so not a prude – shut your yaps! And goodness know, I am capable of swearing like a sailor and a longshoreman combined. And for those tempted to testify about that – don't make me murderlize you! At any rate, I find the really coarse language in these otherwise witty and amusing post off putting. For example, there was one called 40 Books You Shouldn't Bother Reading. The article was very funny, and I found I agreed with a number of the authors contentions especially about any thing written by Jack Kerouac or Joyce's Ulysses. It had some dandy thoughts on books like The Rules and the Twilight series as well. It was the kind of article that would have sparked a donneybrook on my page. Fun for everyone! After a lot of thought, I decided against sharing the post. It was unnecessarily profane. Mind, the first thing that pops into my head when I think about Ulysses is a two sentence long string of obscenities. In the past – even the recent past – I have posted links with a warning about salty language. Now, I think it's not right for me to post, because I don't want to be seen as supporting or contributing to the coarsening of public discourse. I'm really puzzled as to why this is considered acceptable in something that is not a personal blog but a feature article. I'll grant that I went to journalism school in the dark ages, but I really don't see the point in dropping F-bombs or using G-D as an adjective in an article. Swearing belongs at football games, especially for Eagles fans and on movie sets, especial for a producer.

The Fangirl-Producer versus Scifi Conventions

I have a long history with Scifi conventions. I attended the second or third Star Trek Convention ever held in the early 70s when I was barely a teenager. The Hubs has been going to Philcon forever, it seems. However, it wasn't until moving to Los Angeles that we really started attending major conventions with any frequency. That wasn't by any design on our part. I had begun the insane writing experiment, The Secret Logs of Mistress Janeway. Because of those stories and later, the webpage, we started getting invitations to speak on panels at conventions. We became even more popular on convention panels after I appeared in the documentary, Trekkies. I was in fangirl heaven for a while. If a convention paid for me to attend, I had money to buy lots of stuff from the vendors. I bought t-shirts and buttons from my favorite shows, and I wore them, gleefully identifying myself as a fangirl. The only things I didn't do was Cosplay though I really wanted to and Filking which I never want to do.

Convention appearances were more complicated for us since we moved to LA. At conventions where actors appeared, it was problematic. Since Jon and I were writing scifi scripts to produce, we were hoping for a professional relationship with some of these actors. Now, I'm not saying that actors are snobs. They meet a great many people during their careers. It makes sense that they would put people they meet into categories as quickly as they can. If I was introduced as a fangirl, I may have had a lovely moment that made me feel like I was the only one they were thinking about. Then, they would have forgotten the meeting or worse, they would remember meeting me in my one of a kind caricature t-shirt of their TV or film character. They would then justifiably refuse to take me seriously about a part I may offering. Thus, I demurred at the notion of meeting them while they were signing things or before their panels. The one exception to that was the bar Toronto Trek. It was at the nexus of corridors and a patron could see everyone passing by. That was where I would hang out and wait for Jon or our friends. I usually was dressed normally while in that bar. Since Canadian fans tended to be far less intense than US fans, actors felt comfortable hanging out there. And it was easier to actually talk for a time in that setting. I actually cast one of them that I met there, Jason Carter, in Demon Under Glass years later.

Things got really weird with actors at Conventions after we made our first pilot presentation, The Privateers. By then, Jon and I were dressing like we were going to a pitch meeting when we attended panels. We didn't know who we might run into – especially conventions with a heavy media presence. We had to dress and conduct ourselves like a business meeting might happen. A few times, they actually did. Not that we were in suits and ties. It was LA business casual – no fun buttons or stickers on our bags. At any rate, one of our Privateers/Demon Under Glass alumni outed us in an autograph room full of actors as film producers. Twenty heads snapped around to where we were standing. That made things really awkward as we weren't hiring at that point in time. Finding a balance is a challenge. At our last visit to Dragon*Con, one of my favorite conventions, Jon and I did a talk about how to attend the Cannes Film Market and Festival on the cheap and get a lot done. We even dressed the way we did most days in Cannes. That same day we had a panel on the viability of fan made productions as an economic model. I was also the lone fangirl on a panel about Trek versus the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. That was a great fun.

We found a balance of sorts with regards to conventions. Though we no longer just go for fun. I regret that sometimes. When we go, we're usually networking at the very least. The next couple of conventions on our horizon are about marketing the upcoming books and web series. It's lots of fun roaming amidst the really cool stuff on the vendor tables or endlessly debating about our favorite shows for the debate's own sake. We just can't justify the time unless it's also work related. One consolation though. I still wear things that identify me as a fangirl. It's just a lot harder to spot. Those vendors do have some amazing stuff.


Between the holiday and my little set back last week, there is no news on the film front. The books are coming along well. I'm sending one to my readers in the next week or so. I have a new author of romantica (romance meets erotica) that I'm very excited about. Sybpress is going to be putting out a lot of titles, including the next Demon Under Glass anthology this fall. Film production meetings are up for next week.

Stay tuned.

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