September 13th, 2009


on con programming

I'm consistently finding that programmers are programming panels for the indie and writing scene that seem out of touch with what is going on in it. If it were a matter of asking for volunteers and not being able to fill the panels, that would be one thing but I often see a programme after it's done and wonder why I wasn't asked to be on a panel about like ... say, editing or publishing ... when other people sitting on it have not actually done a book in several years. It makes sense to include people with experience on it, sure, but wouldn't you also want people on panels who know what is going on right now, what the scene is right now? Or are currently reading for markets that are still open and looking for submissions? Or are currently reading markets that are still open for submissions?

So, this is what I look at and think about con programmes - I've been to all the science fiction ones this year pretty much. What about you? What do you look for on a con programme and what do you think about con programming in the last couple of years? What would you want to see more and less of? What would make you get out of bed with a hangover, rush through breakfast and get down to the programming room for?

ETA: Bunch of other panel topics that I am brainstorming instead of the standard "small press panel":

What are other small presses around the world doing?
What new directions will small press be taking?
Small press before and after a worldcon shows up to town - snapshot and predictions.
How has the internet and POD affected small press?
Anthologies have recently had a resurgence. Why?
What should you know before starting up a small press or doing one small press book run?



Had an attack at 1am. Was either the cherries in the rocky road (noooooo) or the "flavour" on the cracker biscuits in the spread at the Swancon meeting. Just had rice for dinner. This trigger and retrigger of the hives reminds me how stringent and diligent I had to be for years to avoid this stuff. And I am being reminded of all the little things that I got to loosen the strictness of afterwards. I've almost forgotten how to be eagle-eyed, or like, eat not, when in doubt.


On Getting Sorted

Where do the Google Calendar Reminders go?

I've been trying to use Google Calendar to micromanage some tasks. I find that if I schedule an indefinitely recurring reminder, like something I want to do every day, I get a Google reminder for maybe a fortnight and then they just stop coming. I've checked the Calendar to see if it's still scheduled and I've checked the Spam folder in case constantly deleting the unread item sends it to spam.


Wonder where they go.


Getting Sorted Weekly update

I've had some insights into the way I do things this week. The first is there are two reasons I abandon projects - 1. I have a fear of the outcome ie it being flawed and 2. I have forgotten where I was up to and think it's too much effort to reorient myself (and the longer the project is abandoned, the worse this becomes). To combat both of these, I worked on the monochrome tumbling block quilting project this week which both forced me to cut up lots of material and work through where I was up to on the piecing pattern combinations.

I almost finished cutting out all the diamonds from all the material from the project. This evening I tidied this all up and removed that which I won't have time to get to this week into the spare room. This reminded me about another issue to do with getting sorted - I have a fear of not remembering to finish tasks if I am not constantly reminded they are in progress. Mostly this results in lots of in progress projects across the whole house which other, uninitiated people might consider "untidiness".

Tidying up my sewing work space to only have the current task in the one project visible made me think about how in knitting people are divided into process or product driven - they either like knitting or they like having the knitted items. And depending on which type you are, that might indicate your style of attacking and finishing projects. And I suspect most of the time, in life, I am process driven. This might explain why for example in an anthology I am editing, there will always be one story I seem paralysed working on. Or why I can take a project all the way to sign off and then sit on the final proof for a week.

I realised I just got sad thinking that soon I really will finish some of my long term quilting projets. One of the reasons I want to is to hang some things i have made on the white walls here and add depth and tone and texture. So I have been driven to finishing them this year for that. But suddenly I felt sad that I wouldn't be working on them anymore. I get very comfortable in the groove of a project and I get reluctant to be done with it. On the other hand, I have no shortage of projects in the queue that I want to start, once these are done. And this becomes a question of whether I am process or product driven because if its the former, what really is the point for the latter. (Just finish the darn thing!) And why would anyone want to be stuck on the one project, learning the one technique or skill forever? (Finish. It.)

My final insight for the week is that I really hate feeling behind on a project. If I feel behind, I often have no drive to try and catch up or get ahead. On the other hand, if I feel ahead on something, I tend to want to keep that going. This worked well for Last Short Story reading this week so I am going to look at how to use this in other projects.

So ... how did I go this week on the to do list? I wanted to get 80 items done, since that would be two weeks in a row doubling but ... didn't happen. I completed 32 tasks. I tried to focus on one craft project a night this last week since the trying to do a little bit of each project a night didn't work. In the end I ended up focussing on one project (monochrome tumbling blocks) more than the others. Though I did knit two and a half pairs of newborn socks.

The breakdown:

20 Twelfth Planet Press (3 Shiny, 3 Horn, 1 New Ceres, 2 BoE, 7 Sprawl, 2 General, 1 Novellas, 1 R/SB)
2 Personal (1 TV)
2 Work
3 Swancon
4 Other
1 Craft