Conventionless Life

In which RVA talks about life without cons…

So, Sand Diego Comic-Con just wrapped up.  Along with some of the usual staples of the convention world – Otakon, Dragon*Con, etc – I’ve been getting inundated with stories about con life and narrated events of the con-going experience.  In some ways, they make me lament the loss of conventions in my professional world.  In other ways, they make me glad that I have no conventions currently slated.

To clarify, I haven’t retired from conventions.  I’m honestly not sure what my current convention dynamic is.  I just know I have no conventions currently scheduled, I have no plans to make any major convention pushes, and I’m strangely okay with that.  Conventions are a LOT of work.  Even discarding the panels – which can take a surprising amount of time to put together – a convention weekend generally involves about a week’s worth of work in either direction after the convention.  Whether it’s arranging travel, organizing supplies, orchestrating the whole process, it may happen in bite-sized chunks but it adds up.

Conventions have never been that big of a deal for me, commercially.  I sold a fair number of books at conventions, but what conventions really did was push my name into the spotlight (such as it was).  I might move a few dozen books at a convention, but that number would be dwarfed by the online sales that would follow in the days and weeks after.  But the thing is, that movement was likewise dwarfed if I could actually get somebody to write a review on Amazon.

I stopped prioritizing conventions chiefly because of burnout, and because a convention very near & dear to my heart really did me wrong.  But what made it so easy to stop pushing to do conventions was the decreasing gains from them.  Not unlike fanzines in the 70s and 80s, conventions were once the staple for artists and authors wanting to promote themselves.  Now?  Now, I’m not entirely sure what conventions meaningfully offer to creators.

The scary thing is, though, I’m not sure what’s taken their place.

Undecided

In which RVA lambastes undecided voters…

“It is better to be uninformed than misinformed”
– Orville Hubbard, former mayor of Dearborn Michigan

As we gear up for the 2020 election (and it’s only 2019…yeegads), I’ve heard a lot of reports going to undecided voters and unaffiliated voters.  Now, these two groups are not the same.  An unaffiliated voter is one who has decided to without any adamant allegiance and will support candidates, not parties.  Cool, great.

But undecided voters?  Forgive me for being blunt, but what kind of an absolute moron, what kind of heartless, spineless, soulless monster could look at the modern world and say ‘you know what?  I just don’t know’.  Politics in America has polarized to the point where you have two options.  You may think they are both bad, but they are not in any way comparable.  And you damn-well know the differences matter big-time.  You might be an anarchist who just wants to see the world burn (in which case, you selfish ass, you’re a little late), but you cannot honestly have a single brain cell AND be unsure who should get your vote.

Anybody who polls undecided voters isn’t getting a litmus test for the nation.  They are determining how deep the flood waters that will end up drowning us all.

Just a thought…

In which RVA thinks about people in cages…

14 Characteristics of Fascism.

  1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
  2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
  3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
  4. Supremacy of the Military
  5. Rampant Sexism
  6. Controlled Mass Media
  7. Obsession with National Security
  8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
  9. Corporate Power is Protected
  10. Labor Power is Suppressed
  11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
  12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
  13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
  14. Fraudulent Elections

This list was compiled by Dr Lawrence Britt in 2003.

There are times I struggle to remember what life was like a few years ago.

RIP Judith Krantz

In which RVA remembers one of the greats…

Western society has a long-standing disregard and even disdain for anything that brings women pleasure.  Misogyny and patriarchal subjugation comes in many forms, but in the arts, it often comes in the brow-beating and belittling of women-created and women-centric works.  Often, this can be spotted whenever you see a film or book described as ‘loved by fans, reviled by critics’.  And there is perhaps no greater example of this than the work of Judith Krantz.

Odds are, you are familiar with one of Judith Krantz’ novels.  You’ve seen her work, often at the grocery store or any place where you find ‘romance novels’.  Best-known for her first work, Scruples, Krantz pioneered the female-driven fantasy novels.  High fashion, decadent style, and of course tantalizing sex scenes.  Her books were women empowerment before that was a term and focused on bold women with powerful personalities having it all.  So naturally, they were denounced as trashy.

And trashy is another name for terrific.

Continue reading “RIP Judith Krantz”

OMAD or U Mad?

In which RVA discusses eating for mental health…

Over the weekend, I stopped fasting.

I switched my diet from the OMAD protocol (One Meal A Day) to the athletically more common frequent meal programs.  Three snacks and three meals, eating once every two or three hours.  I’m sure there’s a catchy little acronym for it but hell if I’ve found it. Continue reading “OMAD or U Mad?”