Here’s a little fact that will surprise no one who’s ever spent more than five minutes with me:
I’m a geek.
A rather huge one.
I’ve been head over heels for all things science fiction/fantasy since I was a little kid. I regularly attend Doctor Who trivia at my local geeky bar, I have a quote from A Song of Ice and Fire tattooed across my left wrist, and I’ll happily talk you under the table about Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes and Firefly and Tolkien any day of the week given the slightest provocation. I wear my geekiness proudly on my sleeve, and I’m of an age where I’ve stopped being worried about people judging me because of it, simply because I no longer desire to expend the energy it takes to be bothered about it.
Yes, my friends, the geek life is and always has been the life for me. As Simon Pegg so eloquently put it in his book, Nerd Do Well:
“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to enjoy a lot of amicable commingling between my life as a geek and my life as an editor. I’ve found that being really passionate about things that I enjoy has turned me into a much sharper and enthusiastic editor, and that doing what I do for a living has made me a more active and critical consumer of the media that I love.
My geeky life and my professional life have been colliding in unexpected and especially wonderful ways lately. The weekend of March 28th through the 30th, for example, I attended Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Washington. I didn’t go in any professional capacity—I spent the weekend running around oo’ing and ahh’ing over all the amazing cosplays, attending tons of panels, and ogling the wares at the hundreds of vendor tables and exhibits with a group of fellow gleeful fanfolk—but I ended up having a ton of rewarding experiences over the course of the con that spoke to my identity as an editor, as well.
ECCC did a fantastic job of representing both the local and national stage in the comic/graphic novel and sci-fi/fantasy spheres, with big industry names such as Dark Horse in attendance as well as tons of small presses, independent artists, and more. There were also lots of panels on writing and publishing, and I attended as many of them as I could. My favorites were definitely the writing for young adult audiences panel (“when I was a young writer, we had to write uphill, both ways, in the snow!”), the Welcome to Night Vale panel (“Stories about the world as it is are compelling, and the world is full of different kinds of people. Anything less is boring.”), and getting to listen to the incomparable John Scalzi, blogger, novelist, and former president of the SFWA, read a chapter from his forthcoming book and drop some knowledge about writing and the business of books (“Much of the writing process is muscle memory. If I only wrote when I was inspired, I’d be dead broke.”)
If I had to sum up the weekend in one quote, though…well, I couldn’t do it, because I have two. The first, from Welcome to Night Vale’s ever-brilliant Cecil Baldwin:
“We make art out of necessity.”
And second—I think I might need to get this embroidered on a pillow or hung on my wall someday—from someone sitting next to me during a panel who seemed to be giving a why-I-love-sci-fi-and-fantasy-and-why-you-should-to elevator pitch to a friend:
“Come over to the dark side! We have cookies. And magic. And spaceships.”
Sounds good to me 🙂
Live long and prosper, etc.