Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ten Things I Learned From DFWcon 2013

1.  There are more terrific people in the world than you can handle knowing.  

2.  David Corbett can bring new meaning to your life, and Michael Capuzzo has friends who can end it.

3. Quality floats.  Quality makes heads turn.  Your audience can smell laziness, ignorance, and slapdashery like sun-ripened mayonnaise.

4.  Entropy has a net positive effect on tres leches cake.

5.  Until we can be in literally seven places at once, there will never be enough time to do everything we want to do. 

6. Heaven is other people.  Hell is figuring out how to talk to them.

7. On Loop 820, as in life, the road to success is choked with traffic and permanently under construction, and it takes f***ing forever to get somewhere.  Perseverance is essential.

8. High school never ends.

9. Being complimented is good, but being helpful is GREAT.

10.  Anonymous friends are everywhere. Even in the toilet.

And actually, if I can loop the Blogging A to Z Challenge in here for a second, just one more:

11.  It's not all about you.  And that is indisputably a good thing.

That's the big one for me personally.  My own headspace is full of insecurities and inadequacies and the nasty nibbling brain-hamsters of doubt.  I freaking know this (I've lived in it for three decades now!)  And yet I'm always surprised at how fun and interesting and and alive and powerful I feel when I link up with other people - especially ones who are all pulling in the same general direction I am - and take the time to say, "gosh, you sure are neat - what's big in your world right now?"

To recap: I spent the entire month of April beating myself into the ground to produce daily blog content, and the first week of May punching myself in the face to get ready for a writing conference.  There are plenty of things I did poorly or not at all.  There is a veritable pantload of things I want to do differently next time.  But I've never had less sleep or more fun, and I am so, so excited to set my sights on the next round of self-inflicted accomplishments.

In the meantime: bed, chores, friends.  I got old ones to catch up with and new ones to study up on, and that is a GREAT problem to have.

I got 99 problems, but a pitch ain't one.


  1. I got 99 problems, but a pitch ain't one. << I like that. =)

    1. Haha, thanks, ma'am - I probably won't have anything that good for another ten years. You'll be able to tell your grandchildren that you were there!

  2. Great post! And thank you so much for the use of your computer during the conference. I hate to say this, but your laptop was kind of a floozy:)

    See you tonight!

    1. Aw, what? Does the madonna/whore complex extend even to our electronics, now?


      If that's how we're going to play it, I saw what you were doing with your phone over by the pitch session corral. Mm-mm. I guess that's just how you were raised...!

  3. Replies
    1. No, YOU AH.

      B-Foss, the only thing that kept me from being inconsolable at the lack of you-sightings this weekend was knowing that you were working tirelessly to keep us in good with the Powers That Be. Selflessly thinking of the greater good - how do you always do it?!

  4. Tex, you saved my bacon a number of times this weekend. Thank you, I truly appreciated it even though I didn't tell you enough during the weekend.

    1. Dude! Getting to sidekick for the Super Friends has been the high point of my whole year. Anytime you need me to don the kitchen gloves and bath-towel cape, holler!

  5. #6 is so true and unfortunately #7 is also and it will continue to be so until like 2020! Also #12 Lou Anders is a genius!

    1. aMEN! I'm so irked I didn't make it to any of his stuff - there you were, bathing in the light of his incomparable intellect, and there I was, standing around somewhere with my finger up my nose! Inconceivable!

  6. Replies
    1. You know what? She really did. I don't know how you can tell, but I'll be sure to let her know that strangers on the Internet have complimented her craftsmanship!

      (I feel doubly special, because 97.8% of blog comments starting with "Your mama" don't end well. This deserves special recognition.)

  7. You have such a way with words I'm humbled every time I read anything of yours. If there's anything to osmosis among writers I need to hang out with you more.

    1. Michelle, the feeling is absolutely mutual. Your savory super-educated brain juices are practically leaking out your ears, and you are so kind to share them! Next time I see you, we'll do a spit-shake and see what happens.

  8. Huzzah! Sounds like it went great. Considering you didn't have to pitch anything, it sounds like you had a lot more time for mingling.

    I'm hoping you continue with the A to Z next year! I plan to, but would like to be a wheeeee bit more prepped. Posts made out in advance and all. Yours would have been a bit harder as it was semi-interactive with people; pictures being sent in and all. Though, I suppose that could all be done in advance just the same.

    High school never ending is for the birds! >.< Though, I have to admit, I wasn't sure if you meant "learning" or "cliques" or something that went over my head.

    I've read it takes ages for a novel to finally get published. I think that is why so many opt for self-publishing via createspace/amazon/or whatever the options are. You may not have advertising/promoting like you do going the traditional route, but I think many find the trade off worthwhile.

    I'm kind of torn on what exactly I'd like to do if completing something. Completion is key >.<

    Glad to hear you had a blast and met a lot of friends (and sounds like time was spent with some regs)!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink