Intervention 5

Normally I would keep a convention review and publish it in Watch The Skies, but this convention happened to fall the weekend directly after this month’s publication. Rather than wait out the weeks between I’m going to put my notes up here first.

This year was the 5th for Intervention and the 5th for me as well. While I wasn’t on staff every year, I have always been at least a volunteer. I really do think the folks in charge of this convention are doing it right. It has been as smooth and uncomplicated as I’ve seen for any event I’ve been involved with. Behind the scenes prep work shows clearly.

The Friday of the convention as I arrived at the hotel genuinely felt more like a finish line than a starting line for me. My personal schedule had me on the run and busy for what felt like weeks before the convention. It took conscious effort to get into the right mind set. The convention itself, the atmosphere actually helped with that.

I would give a review of other parts of the convention or talk about the panels, but I didn’t really see a lot of those. I spent some time in the stand-up arcade playing some old school games and did get the chance to squeeze in a board game right before we headed home, but the vast majority of the time I was in the children’s programing room. That was where the fun was happening. Coloring, creating, building steampunk dinosaurs, creating homemade glow in the dark slime along with a bunch of other stuff. Making, making a mess and enjoying the work (or the destruction of the work) at the end were all parts of the fun. I give credit to Corinne as the head of the program – she really pulled together some great stuff for this year.

Whatever other details there were about the convention, this was posted on Facebook by the convention creator and I think it sums up the weekend better than anything else I can say,

READ THIS: If you don’t know what we do, why we are different, and why you should support us with donations and registrations, Monica Marier just summed it up: “Something amazing happened today. I brought my daughter to Intervention today and she made an LIFE-CHANGING discovery.
Since she started school, this kid had been told that she was weird, and wrong, and an outcast because she was a girl who liked things like skeletons, and steampunk, and Dr. Who, instead of American Girl Dolls and Horses.
Today she saw and met a ton of women and girls who liked all those “geek” things that she liked and that they were proud of it. And she realized:
She was a part of something. And she was among people who thought that she was wonderful. IT’S SO GREAT that her first great con adventure was in such a safe, warm, friendly convention like Intervention and it was everything I hoped it would be and MORE. She’s already bouncing up and down in anticipation of ReGeneration Who.
THANKS SO MUCH, to Oni Hartstein, James Harknell , Pete Abrams and all the staff and artists that made this a truly fantastic weekend.
You guys put this smile here.”

Being right

Sometimes I don’t like that the research I did for stories leads me toward “correct” conclusions. IF you haven’t, head out and pick up the Defending The Future series, in particular Best Laid Plans and Dogs Of War where my stories appear. The stories I wrote have soldiers from “resource command”. I’ve taken a rather dim view of how people will react to scarcity, but that view has been borne out in the past.

Recently an article cropped up that that dim future might be closer than we thought. Sometimes it’s not great to be right.

Historic Drought in California

My Father Wore Rainbow Suspenders

“Oh captain, my captain”

I clicked “like” on the post. Those were the only words there. I hadn’t seen or heard anything else related – I just knew the quote and had always enjoyed it. Always, as if there was never a time when I didn’t know a show or movie that involved Robin Williams. To a certain degree this is true. Mork and Mindy came on the air when I was 8. It hit just the right nerve or wavelength or something. It worked. Crazy, funny, alien.

Since then, you know the list: Dead Poets, Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, Good Morning Vietnam. Even the others that weren’t as popular: Club Paradise, Flubber, Hook. I’ll admit I probably reached a point where I took his stage presence for granted. Perhaps even thought, “can’t he do something that isn’t his manic ranting…” from time to time. Funny thing about that – he did. He was in just tons of things. He crossed generations as an entertainer. My daughter knows him as the voice of the genie. Most profoundly, my dad knows him as Mork. I don’t recall any conversations my dad and I may have had about TV over the years – out taste in entertainment / media are about as far apart as they can be – but Robin Williams as a performer crossed that huge gap. The title is true. My dad wore rainbow suspenders.

I am more saddened than I expected. The passing of somebody I’ve never met who lived a life so far from my own and so foreign to my way of thinking, yet he was always there. He’s been a force on television and in the movies for as long as I can recall. Robin Williams touched so many lives. He will be missed.


Goals and Membership

I’ve posted before about having goals, so I’m not going to go into that again. Something I read recently was an article talking about how writer’s associations are taking up the question of allowing members who are self published. Essentially, change the rules of who can belong to the club (I’m picturing an old childhood tree fort with the “no girls allowed” sign posted out front). Is this is a good idea?

Yes, it’s a good idea. That statement is regarding the idea of changing, not necessarily the particular change in question. Any organization that doesn’t recognize the world around it and adapt to those changes will fade and die. It’s really that simple. So, repeating, yes it’s a good idea to change.

Is it a good idea to try to get in? That’s the real question.

I know a number of folks that are right at the edge of the membership (as the rules stand now). I know a couple of folks that are in and a couple of folks that really couldn’t care less if they tried. Some writer’s I’ve talked to really want in – and it’s not been stated directly, it’s been implied by particular choices made in what contests to enter and what publications to submit to more than anything. Others I’ve seen posts from have taken the attitude of reacting from a place of hurt feelings, “you didn’t want me before… why should I want you now that you’re willing to recognize me”. I’m not sure either view is quite right.

I don’t know if I want to be a member of any of these groups or not. What I do know is that I want to make good stories and get them out there for people to enjoy. I don’t know if that will ever be a full time thing for me or not. I don’t know if I’ll ever meet the requirements, adjusted or not, to get into a professional association. You know what? I’m not worried about it. Over time I’ve come to discover that these things generally work themselves out *after* there’s been a lot of work put in – and not work toward gaining entrance. It’s the creativity that matters – make something awesome. The rest of it follows.