July 30th, 2009

Creative Joyous Cat

Reflections on Twittering (or should that be tweeting?)

I've been reading about branding, and marketing, and growing your audience, and right now twitter seems to be "where it's at", so I thought I should try it. I haven't been there long, so I don't have any idea if this will work to promote my longer writings yet, but I'm having fun. One of the things I read is that you need to establish a presence, a voice there, that people don't follow someone if all their tweets are self-promotion. You need to establish your credentials, provide links to useful things, or tweet about your life in some interesting way. I think it boils down to that people want to follow people that they like, in one way or another. Twitter is designed to be personal, intimate-feeling.

The other challenge, as anyone who has been reading me on LJ knows, I like words. I like discussing something thoroughly, looking at it from different angles. 140 characters? Not even 140 words--just 140 characters, including the spaces? So, trying to communicate with people in only tiny, short bursts is a challenge for me. There's only one form I've written in that is that short (unless you count titles as a "form").

So I guess it was inevitable that http://twitter.com/Wyld_Dandelyon seems to be developing into My Life In Haiku

I should collect my favorites somehwere more permanent. Here's a couple:

Writer's Quandry // If our arms were wings / How would we carry our things? / Oh—opposing toes!

Just Now // A skunk in my yard / pouffy pretty tail held high / can't move the hose now!

rude highway drivers / delay Foodie Friend's dinner / but OH it's tasty

(So I'm sitting there at dinner, and the idea hits, and my brain switches to Creative Process Mode, and automatically I grab my phone. Social Mode is on hold--I'm only peripherally aware that Foodie Friend is looking perplexed, then unhappy, because I am fiddling with my phone and neglecting the food he labored over while it starts to get cold. Once I come out of the creative trance and explain what I was doing, however, it is all good. I wasn't slighting the food, I was writing poetry to it!)

Finally, since there are so many writers here:

words are incomplete / if like zen trees in the woods / their fall is unheard
Creative Joyous Cat

M.O.O.N. Con -- con report

It’s a long time since I was at a very small convention. With finances being tight even before I got laid off, I was mostly going to the Chicago cons, and well, Chicago is Chicago. Big metro area, lots of local fans, and easy-access for travelers. M.O.O.N.Con stands for “Middle of Outer Nowhere”—though it’s really not.

The writer GOH, Kaza Kingsley, talked about what led to her decision to self-publish her first book; after a comedy of errors trying to get an agent and a contract with a publisher, she discussed her frustration with a friend who was working as a distributor and who offered, if she self-published, to get her book out into places like B&N. And that happened, and the book sold. After that, she was able to get a contract from a major publisher for the 8-book series. I thought this was an interesting twist on the usual pattern of events, and a testament to the “don’t give up” theory of following your dreams.

Of course there was music. Kathy Mar did a concert, as filk GOH. And the con chair told me that he was open to people filking “anywhere and any time”, so long as another event wasn’t scheduled in that same space. (I already talked about the filking, though it's a pity I didn't think to take pictures then.)

And there was gaming, a video room, and two auctions, one where someone with an extensive collection of science-fiction collectibles rented some function space to sell it off , and a charity auction on Sunday.

One nice thing about small conventions is that you can meet. That means you get to meet new friends, and often can talk with all of the guests of honor. I got to attend nearly all the programming, and play quite a lot of music.

Waiting for the first auction to start, I realized that the hotel has a permanent August Derleth display! Oh, and the hotel staff were uniformly friendly, cheerful, and helpful.

Oh, and did I mention the friendly turtle?

Bob (the con-chair) was friendly and very much the gracious host, wanting to be sure everyone had a good time and had whatever they needed, despite the fact that it was obvious that there weren’t enough people at the con this year for him to break even.

I wasn’t able to take him up on his “Apollo 11 Moonwalk Special” offer to sell preregistrations for next year at just $20, but the offer is still open until October 31. I hope to do so by then.

This would be a great place to pull together a writer’s
workshop, or a fannish gathering of artists or crafters,
or just about any fannish group that would like a
friendly place to gather for a lazy (or productive) July
weekend.  You can go here to buy a membership
for next year.

Oh, and here is a picture of the turtle in costume,
though I took the photo at Duckon. 

It's too cool a costume not to share!