Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Little About WisCon

Actually, the thing I wanted to mention most about WisCon is that I reconnected with some people and met some others - authors in particular - that I'm thrilled about. I'll mention that in another post.

I was a little thrown off that course, though, because I clicked over to see if the Angry Black Woman had posted about it. I knew she would. I knew she was there, and I had the pleasure of hanging out with her on a couple of occasions. She's been a great advocate for Acacia - even as she's always pushing me to become more properly a feminist writer. Thing is, what I found at her blog was a post called "What Rachel Moss Did". It's about another blogger that attending the con and chose to post - very negatively - about the event, the panels, and about many of the people that went to it. Yikes. You can check out ABW's post here, which references the original in depth. Claire Light has also written about it at her blog, SeeLight.

I don't even know where to start with addressing that and the response it's going to get in the days to come. My inclination regarding the scene at WisCon is to not say too much, not judge too harshly, and certainly not to belittle. It is a crowd unlike that at any other con. Many of the people that choose to go to WisCon do so because they're connecting with a network of people that share a complex variety of perspectives - and we're not talking mainstream perspectives. There were, in fact, many panels and many discourses going on that I really couldn't add to. I heard lots of things said that I didn't particularly agree with. And I heard lots of things that I just couldn't get purchase on. And I heard lots of things that added new insights to other people's perspectives. Although some of the discussions were hostile to a lot of things that I am - a heterosexual male that does have a lot of privileges - I never felt that I wasn't welcome. Just the contrary, many of the groups so passionate about the difficulties facing them do want allies. They just want many of those allies to be willing to shut up and listen a bit, because privilege does not equal wisdom.

I dig that, and instead of responding with public approval or disapproval, humor or malice or even complete praise I'm going to let some of it sink in. No doubt I'm better off for having gone to WisCon. I may not have sold a ton of books, but I'm a little less ignorant about a lot of things. That's what I'm taking away from it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They just want many of those allies to be willing to shut up and listen a bit, because privilege does not equal wisdom."

May I respectfully suggest you schedule your lecture tour immediately?

And request the rates that Mark Cuban gets? ;-)

P.S. Congratulations on your bookly awards. How did I manage to miss your display at the most recent NBWC?

9:20 PM  
Blogger Corby Kennard said...

Hi, David! Corby here! It was really good to finally meet you. It gave me an excuse to buy your voluminous tome. ;)

I read the post by ABW and I agree with every word. The woman the note was written to is a close personal friend of ours - she was one of our maids of honor in our wedding - so we were personally aggrieved by the turn of events.

While I don't think the woman who made the initial posting over at SA should be harassed, as she is apparently over on some sites, I definitely think she should not forget what it is like to be bullied and act accordingly from now on.

I hope you enjoyed yourself, as did we, and that the WisCon Flu did not hit too hard. (It crippled all three of us on Monday/Tuesday. We are still recovering.) Thanks for hanging out on Sunday night, even though I may have been a bit overzealous. (Sorry about that.) And thanks for introducing me to Pat Rothfuss like I was someone important. :) Made me feel pretty good!

See you next time!

1:47 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Hey David. Hope you didn't catch the crud that was going around at the con. Both the viral kind and the internet kind....

I got hit with the first when I got home on Monday. But I have to say, of the two, I think I prefer it. I'd rather puke for two days than feel nautious for weeks.....

Hugs and kisses,


5:14 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Thanks for that respectful request. I've never done much lecturing. Most of the time I'm more interested in striking a balance and connecting people and acknowledging complexity - as opposed to having a solid platform from which to lecture from. But maybe I could turn my approach into a lecture of sorts. I'm thinking about it...

You know, I was supposed to be at the NBWC, but I had to cancel at the last minute. Don't know if I made any displays...


Good to have met you and your wife and the lovely little one! I did have a good time, you bet.


Howdy. I'll be mentioning you in another post soon. Very good to have spent more time together. So far I'm crud free, which surprises me because I know I was face to face with the sinister stuff all weekend. Could be that it's waiting to unleash tomorrow morning, just about the time I board the plane for BEA. Let's hope not...

2:08 PM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

I like the pic. Nice gun! The lacquer finish really goes well with the eyes!

3 points for naming that quote.

I'll read ABW's blog about WisCon, but it sounds like you took the right things away from it.

It reminds me of a quote by Lewis Black: "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in College."

Oh and I was meeting a friend for a birthday lunch a few days ago, so I swung into a Barnes and Noble and they... they... didn't have a copy of your book. I berated the guy behind the Customer Service desk about it. In fact I ordered one and will never pick it up, just so they'll have one in stock.

I'm doing them a favor, really I am.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

The end to that story is that I got him Pat Rothfuss's book instead, because I knew you wouldn't mind the trade off.

Both book are pure awesomeness. ;)



4:16 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Incubus Jax,

Oh, that's cruel... You mean you actually walked into the store ready to buy me and walked out with Pat instead? How does he work that voodoo...

I'm not surprised that Acacia isn't in stores right now. I'm heading into the dead days when the hardback is decidedly not new anymore but the paperback isn't out yet. All my books will stay available on line, of course, but the irony of bookstores is that they don't really carry that many... um... books. They look like they do, but don't be fooled!

The good news is that the mass market paperback will roll out in August. That'll get Acacia back in the stores!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Corby Kennard said...

Yeah, the hardback was RPLed a month or so ago. I tried to position it so it would sell, but it was removed too quickly.

Oh, well.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

You should do a photo contest like Pat did over on his blog! ;)

I've shared your sentiments for a long time about bookstores - game stores are the same way in case you were wondering.

They (book stores) actually give you an incentive to buy books from them online via "special pricing" and free shipping. I picked up a Liparulo book online for $11.XX but it was damaged, so I returned it to a Barnes and Noble store and they "had to charge me the in-store price" for my exchange of $14.xx.

Don't even get me started on the sheer math and customer service logistics there. ;)

Anyway, it will be nice to see Acacia in the stores again.

As far as Pat's VooDoo... well every copy of his book comes with a new $100 dollar bill... (I wish.)


9:02 PM  

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