“Con man“. Right, i just love the ambience of this phrase. You know, con means, according to the hyperdictionary, the following:
- [n] a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property
- [n] an argument opposed to a proposal
- [n] a person serving a prison sentence
- [adv] on the negative side; “much was written pro and con”
- [v] commit to memory; learn by heart; “Have you memorized your lines for the play yet?”
- [v] deprive of by deceit; “He swindled me out of my inheritance“; “She defrauded the customers who trusted her“; “the cashier gypped me when he gave me too little change”
…but now I’m using it in a quite different sense, to indicate a man who attends conventions (for which the shortcut is con). And I’m doing it just for the fun of it.
So what was this con like? Short, small (very small), and sci-fi oriented. Not having been invited officially by anyone (is that good or bad?) I decided on checking it out at the last minute – but it was worth it from a socializing point of view.
We had a great discussion with Brainoiz about the nature of inspiration and writing and our attitudes concerning these; we talked some shop with some colleagues, writers and editors working for various publishers, then we talked some more shop with certain people we partly had to pretend not to know, for their own sake (and wasn’t / isn’t that awkward at times, having to answer as if you didn’t know who you were talking to because you have no idea who knows what about who… :D ); then answered some questions regarding our plans (and it did feel good, being remembered), and then it was over, for me at least, because I had to depart to meet my off-industry friends.
As for the official events: there wasn’t really anything to catch my interest for more than 5 minutes. Publishing houses describing their yearly plans, when all the important dates can already be found on the net? Publishing people casting cold glances at one another from the distance because of conflicting interests and issues? No, thank you. (Okay, I most probably missed some interesting talks with writers about upcoming novels because of my being quite late for the show, but considering how much they might have revealed without hurting their stories I guess my loss isn’t too big.)
Btw, as a writer I must say I still prefer the freelancing position. I don’t like wars, and I don’t like that most people at the executive level expect a samurai mentality… which would be okay (well, not okay, but more understandable) in the case of some multinational company, but here, in this small pond of Hungarian publishing houses… please… couldn’t we grow up somewhat and try and act a bit more professional? :)
I’m sorry to have missed meeting some people (like Crowe, for example), but as the wise man said, “such is life”. Maybe next time.