Saturday, October 17, 2009

This privacy thing, it's complicated.

It's also an industry, which I hadn't really considered, previously. I've been making lots of notes and collecting handouts, so that I can make a proper report when I get back. But I won't go into detail here, because this is a (mostly) writing blog, and my work-life is peripheral to it.
One point of intersection--the keynote address was by Dr. Ian Kerr, who referred extensively to both Isaac Asimov and Cory Doctorow. He had a slide for Asimov, but I don't recall one for Cory. He did have a pic of 'robots and doughnuts', which his wife claims are all he thinks about. His talk was on Robot Law, and the system of permissions created by our use of electronic IDs and key-cards, etc.
Anyway, I had my little six-degrees moment, thinking 'Cory Doctorow critiqued my manuscript!'
Yesterday there was a reception on the 34th floor, for the creator of PrivacyScan, a journal for privacy professionals (see, I had no idea) who was semi-retiring (ie will still be writing articles & advising, but no longer editing). I spent part of the time 'networking' or at least chatting, and part staring out over the city views.
Another day of talks to come, as I write, but by the time I post it will be over.
At the end of the short passageway to the elevators, there's a wall-size mirror, with the words Sunny, Cloudy, Rain, on one edge. Today the word Rain is lit white. This makes me feel as if I'm in a 1960s European sf film, like Alphaville or The Tenth Victim.

October is turning into a hotelling month. First was VCon, staying at the Marriott because Mark was selling in the Dealers' Room. Then the PIPA conference at the Hyatt (but staying at the Sheraton). Next I'll be at Tir Righ A&S (note to self: email and offer to judge, right quick), hotelling again because it's past camping season. Finishing off with World Fantasy in San Jose.
That's like 2 year's worth of hotel-time for me, in a month (and yes, I should get over my thing about hotels & taxis, I am not a starving student anymore). And a spread of themes from fan to pro, from modern to past to future, from mundane to fantastic. It may be more striking to me because I'm still blinking my way out from under the rock of revision.

I didn't foresee how much revision would eat my brain. Even when I wasn't actively revising, or even (as far as I could tell) thinking about revision, I had difficulty remembering things like appointments, lists, order in which to accomplish tasks. I could do whatever was in front of me, but in a very focussed way, not noticing the time it took. When I was done, or hungry or thirsty enough to break concentration, I'd feel a bit lost.

One hopes the next go-round will be less intense. I'd like to do Nanowrimo this year, and make a better showing than last year, which was abysmal for me. Possibly because I had an extensive outline, so this year I'm going to wing it with just a concept. I love my concept, so I will be all weepy if I don't get to play with it--it's been kicking around for a couple of years, but I've started my background reading, so maybe....
See, several years ago I got interested in the Gothic Revival, which features in Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen, where the young heroine is a great reader of 'horrid novels' and imagines herself and her acquaintances to be entangled in a Gothick plot rather than a novel of manners. My interest was more likely sparked by Varney the Vampire and 'Monk' Lewis, but I can't remember for certain. So I set out to read as many (reprints mostly) of the Gothic classics and 'Northanger Novels' as UVic's library held, which turned out to be rather a lot. I'll stick the list in if I have time.
Fortunately, at the time I had a high tolerance for florid prose and stories-within-stories, since a proper Gothic heroine never meets another character without having to learn that character's tragic and plot-development-related life story. She rarely ventures into a haunted chamber or dank underground cell without finding a tattered scroll or sheaf of papers stained with tears or blood and relating someone else's T&PDRLS, which she must read by the light of a single flickering taper in her own haunted chamber. The layering doesn't quite reach Thousand and One Nights level, but it can be difficult to keep track of how far one is from the main storyline. In my 20s I had patience with this sort of structure. I'm grumpier now, so it will be interesting to see if things have changed.
I haven't read nearly a many equivalent novels of manners (if that's the right term) so I should try to even it out. Most of Jane Austen, one Fanny Burney, a Charlotte Smith that teetered between Gothic & manners (can't remember the name - her first novel though), oh and a little Richardson--Pamela of course and an excerpted Sir Charles Grandison (the original Gary Stu).
Anyway, I plan to indulge myself soundly in epistolary unlikeliness. But until then, I'm sorting out The Cost of Silver into Scrivener, and figuring out what keywords & notes are appropriate for each scene. It was awfully hard to leave the Mac at home, but I wouldn't have had the time and concentration to get any further with it.

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