Con Air

An odd, and rather frustrating week. Getting properly back to work has been tricky with George still ill, and hasn’t been helped by a cascade of “two steps forward, three steps back” experiences. I managed to gain and lose two days of subbing within almost as many hours this afternoon, and while I’ve bagged a few reviews (including Cloverfield, which I’ll be seeing next week), I’m aware of the fact that money needs to start flowing a little quicker. No word from the people at Death Ray about my outstanding payments, and no word from anyone who’s currently got a copy of my novel.

And, to add to everything, I found out today that, yes, I had left sorting out the booking for this year’s Eastercon way too late, and there aren’t any rooms left in the convention hotel, and there’s no way I can afford a near-£270 outlay for the ‘overflow’ hotel. The big advantage is that it’s in Heathrow, which is only about an hour’s drive away, but it would have been nice to be able to stay over for a couple of nights, and as well as being a mark of me being terribly disorganised, it’s also generally highlighted my general lack of experience, nervousness and sense of oddness when it comes to conventions. I’ve only been to four events that could be roughly described as cons in my life- two sci-fi TV/lit cons, a Dr Who con, and a comics con in 2000- and I’ve never felt completely at ease with the whole idea. I think it’s because growing up in north Cornwall and being miles away from anywhere meant that, by default, fandom was a very solitary thing for me. There were very few people around who were into SF at all, and certainly nobody into it at the sort of level I was at, and conventions were always so ridiculously far away that going to them seemed impractical. As a result, instead of feeling like I had to forget being into this sort of stuff and like more popular stuff, I dug my heels in and determined that I was going to like what I liked, even if it meant appreciating it on my own. I think it might be this that’s behind some of my unease– that my brain is wired for appreciating this stuff on my own, or with a couple of people who are into it as well– I’ve not always found the social side of fandom an easy thing to get on with, so while I’m still absolutely doing Eastercon, I’m a little nervous. I want to enjoy myself, I want to feel like I’m hanging with people of a like mind– and the fact that there’ll be so many of the fine folk from the BSFA (about the first SF social group that I’ve felt like I’ve actually managed to click with) will definitely help, but I’m still a little worried that it’s going to be that worryingly familiar feeling of seeing a party through a very thick glass wall, and not being able to interact with it.

It’s one of the difficult things about me – I’m both a stubborn individualist, and desperate to fit in. People always accuse me of looking lost, and it’s mainly because of a constant feeling that I’ve wandered onstage during a performance, and the cues and script I’ve been given don’t seem to match up to everyone else’s.

Sorry for the blather. It’s been an odd week, and I need to get some work done. This kind of thing only happens when I have way too much time to think…

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