Sunday, August 12, 2018

Reality Bites

When I was a wee tadpole, barely shed of my beginner's tale on the way to writer maturity I envisioned eventually conversing with more accomplished and well-known writers. In my fanciful thoughts were images of wise heads exploring the bounds of universes, of expostulating on the possibilities raised by the latest technological innovation, of dimensions unplumbed and beyond number.  How I yearned to be a part of those conversations and perhaps being blessed by gaining a smidgen of a story idea from the intellectual crumbs being dropped as they feasted on fantastic dreams and imaginary realms.

Being able to mingle with the greats in the convention Green Rooms was an objective I dearly cherished and, when the opportunity came by virtue of being a panelist I felt privileged beyond measure. Would I be able to contribute to the rolling debate or show myself to be a raw amateur whose words were undeserving of merit?

In the days before social media seized everyone by the throat the interplay between the professionals were along the lines of "How are you doing?" or "Did you hear about..." followed by the rumors de jour of someone in the field misbehaving.  In the main the conversations were not much different than those one would hear at any professional gathering and hardly memorable.  Movies, television, music, and food loomed large, but the most frequent discussion topic was "Where are we going for dinner?" followed by arguing over the time, scheduling conflicts, and participation (which is almost always dependent on whoever is in the lobby at departure time.)

Now, with social media providing endless minutiae of everyone's daily life, the conversations have shifted not a bit although with greater nuance than before.  The most serious discussions now range from "Who's buying what?" to "Have you read...?" and only occasionally verve over to talk of agents,  Amazon, and politics.  The conversations are no different than one would hear at any sales convention.

Just people trying to get by as best they can.


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