Tuesday, September 26, 2006

15 hours and counting

It’s down to the wire to get ready for Bouchercon.

I have to tell you guys, I find this event stressful. The sheer size of it, for one thing, is a bit much.

But it’s more than that. It’s the number of people who seem perfectly content to ‘wing it’ at conventions and not make plans.

Fuck me. How does anyone just wing it at something like this?

Now, I’m not talking about people with no responsibilities. First time I went to Harrogate, I never thought about a thing outside of the posted program. But I have interviews to do, things to cover, scheduled meetings.

How do you wing that?

My husband thinks I’m going off to have fun, just to have a great time, and yet this convention puts a knot in my stomach. Oh, I am looking forward to it. I’m sure I will have fun.

But I do find it stressful.

Add in another email from someone this morning, from someone, about hooking up with a group.

Good lord. I mean, I’m getting on a plane tonight. Well, tomorrow. Well, 12:30 am. That’s tonight to me.

I had it happen at Harrogate this year. Got a message that someone wanted to talk to me. Was told the first name only. I assumed it was the guy with that name that I sort of knew, who’d told me he wanted to talk earlier. Tracked him down.

Didn’t find out until later it was someone else entirely.

Okay, I can be incredibly shy. I can be very quiet around people I don’t know. And I understand that a lot of authors are this way, but please – if you want to talk to someone don’t relay a message. Go talk to them!

It’s true that my philosophy is that I prefer to email people I don’t know. I know that sounds weird, but I always figure an email can be deleted. I won’t know if you read it or not. It’s quite different than standing in front of someone, forcing them to talk to you because they feel obligated to be polite.

But if you’ve worked the nerve to actually go to a convention, you have to tell yourself this: did you spend hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars to hide in a corner and watch people? When you go home, will you kick yourself that you didn’t try to meet people?

Authors are afraid of being too pushy with fans (what if I talk to people and they think I’m just trying to get them to read my books?), and fans can be nervous about meeting authors, especially ones they admire.

I mean, we all know how I felt about meeting Ian Rankin.

In many respects, B’con will be easier. I get to meet Cornelia Read, and Anne Frasier. If any people on earth can persuade me to get a tattoo, it’s Cornelia and Anne.

They’re probably the only authors (other than the one who already did this) who could get me drunk, too.

Well, anyway, I’m scurrying around, getting ready. Made up the press kits. I was going to post them, and Kitty Pictures, but blogger was being pissy.

Maybe later...

Right, now, I have to pack today and leave tonight, so remind me: what do I need?


Bill Cameron said...

I have no idea what I'm doing today.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Don't tell JT - she'll give you work!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

"Fuck me. How does anyone just wing it at something like this?"

Xanax, Lexapro and a big bottle of 18-year-old single malt. With any luck you'll wake up next week with absolutely no memory of how you got home... or to Amsterdam with an Irish rugby team and a warrant for your arrest from Interpol.

Have a great time out there.

S. W. Vaughn said...

You need... to breathe! :-) Have a great time. Meet lots of people. Make friends. Be yourself. You'll do great!

Bill Cameron said...

Actually, she already has! ;)

Anonymous said...

Have fun chica!!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Stephen, at least your vision sounds like fun, and could be fodder for a great short story.

SW - I'll breathe. When I'm sleeping. ;)

Yeah Bill, sorry about that! That JT!

Okay, do you guys know how hard it is to pack with a cat around? Try SEVEN! Fuck me...

Bill Cameron said...

Bah! It's fun!

mai wen said...

LOL Sandra, let me guess, do they keep climbing into your open suitcases and batting your toothbrush that you've laid out on your bed onto the floor to play with it??

Have fun!!!

anne frasier said...

sandra, i'm feeling a similar sense of panic. i haven't been to a conference in over 10 years, and so i choose bouchercon????? what was i thinking?????? i know i'll probably have fun once i get there, but stepping in the door? that's so difficult. and i figure i have at least 4 doors i have to deal with. but maybe the hotel has a revolving door. then if i change my mind i'll just keep going and shoot back to the street. ahhhh.

i'm wondering if i should print out the tattoo design.... it might be a good idea to keep it handy.

Susan Flemming said...

Have fun Sandra.

It's been so long since I've been to a conference, but I know the thing I liked the best was meeting with fellow writers. So be sure to take along one (or a few) of those one-time cameras (if you don't have a digital). I like looking back at the pictures from past conferences and remembering the fun I had and all the interesting people I met.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Bill, I see you're working hard! LOL!

Mai Wen, you've obviously had experience with this!

Anne, yeah, bring the tattoo pattern! You never know! But you hang out with me. I'll make sure you have a good time!

Susan, I will have my camera, and I'll post pictures when I'm back.

Oh, and video! :)

Bill Cameron said...

I have my camera, and will post pictures of Sandra running away from me as I try to take her picture. Then, some guys will jump me, and it'll turn out Sandra sicced them on me, but I'll pull a Keanu Reeves and they're go flying in all directions in slow motion and while Sandra is gasping with amazement, click, got the pic.

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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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Sandra Ruttan said...

Damn, did Rob let the plan slip?

Gabriele C. said...

On a totally unrelated note that is not spam ;) - I like you new blog layout.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks Gabriele!

Daniel Hatadi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daniel Hatadi said...

I suggest stomping your feet until the cats run from the room then quickly lock the door. Then you'll realise you left something in the other room and as soon as you go, fur everywhere.

Everyone at Bcom will understand because they too will have fur on all of their clothes.

Fur is part of life. Accept who you are.

Good luck! Have a bourbon for me!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Fantastic! I need to have a drink for Daniel and a drink for Barry Eisler and a drink for JT...

I have official permission to be drunk all weekend. Wahoo.

Bill Cameron said...

As I look at the picture to the right of your post, then read the post again, then look at the picture, then read the post . . . well, let's just say the cognitive dissonance is kicking my ass!

Evil Kev said...

Just remember, you have $37.46 for drinks.

I suggest you stick with draft beer.

Nothing like the morning after a draft beer bender.

Have fun, Honey.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Tee hee Bill. Sorry to mess with your head!

So, I have your permission to get drunk this time, Honey? Thanks! I'm getting a tattoo too! XO.

Lisa Hunter said...

Enjoy yourself. It's a chance to be around like-minded people.

Anonymous said...

Have fun Sandra. And remember you may not know a bunch of the people there but you already have something in common with everyone there....you all love mysteries. And have a drink for me too! :)

JT Ellison said...

You better get that tattoo!
Have a ball, sweets!