Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Get What You Pay For

Believe it or not I have been accused of being a writer. I try to ignore this terrible slander. However I have been known to sneak into an occasional writers seminar or the occasional presentation at a Con event (such as LibertyCon, DragonCon or ChattaCon not some anonymous meeting of ex-criminals.) Now if it is a free event you pretty much get whatever they want to give you. However, if I have paid for the privilege of being lectured by Joe (or Joan) Author and they are supposed to provide specific services I like to get what I paid for.

To whit, critiques of works in progress. Usually seminars provide critiques of work in progress, work you did at the seminar or perhaps a pitch or proposal you created. I guess I have to agree with my wife (please don't revoke my man card, but after nearly 43 years of marriage I have found she is right, even when she isn't.) that I tend to do two things:

    1. Not stand up for myself
    2. Let other people walk all over me

Now I guess those two are closely related. I tend to believe I pick my battles, if it isn't going to make a difference in five years is it that important? Anyway I have found I tend to allow the other seminar attendants to go first. I like to think I am being tactical, figuring out who gives the best comments, to whom I should pay attention and who has spent too much time alone with their cats. Have you noticed most female writers seem to be inordinately fond of cats? What this results in is that I end up being critiqued near the end of the seminar.

Now, if all things where even and fair each attendee would get exactly the same amount of time. For the most part the seminar leaders do try to be fair. However many times they are up against hard stops or if there are guest speakers, the guest speaker's schedules. It seems no matter what I try, I end up at the end of the day or coming up against a secondary speaker. I even completely switched my seating around in one seminar, only to have the leader reverse the order.

So, from now on, in future seminars I will the first with my hand raised (or however they say to indicate preference) to volunteer to be foisted on my own petard (whatever the heck a petard is, and no it is not the latest Captain of the Enterprise, that was Picard.) So I hope by being more direct and forceful I can get my fair share of criticism. Hmmm....that sounds not quite right. Anyway it will also mean I get to respond to the criticism.

You see at the seminar I most recently attended they made several comments and questions about my work, but then when I was supposed to get to respond, the guest speaker showed up and I wasn't able to explain how I was correct and they were not (well, they were wrong on some of the facts they were sure of...) anyway I fell that they should make way for the paying clients not the free guests. Besides, the guest spent most of the time talking about her cats, if I want that I will peruse Facebook.

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