Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Caveat: This is certainly not my most pressing writing issue. I would go so far to say that I doubt that it will ever be my most pressing writing issue.


There was a moment this year when I was making my plans to go to Wiscon, and there was the possibility of staying on the Governor’s Club level. I have always wanted to try this! I have always thought it would be fantastic to try to concierge, the bar, all the goodies. And I know that I would meet some fabulous writers who stay on the top floor. I’m at the point where I’d like to spend some time talking to folks about what it’s like to be a published author very involved in the industry, and I’m thinking that this happens a lot upstairs.

Not that it doesn’t happen downstairs. I think (in my rich fantasy life) that it happens a different way upstairs.

But life is complicated. You see, I attend Wiscon with two friends who are not aspiring writers. They are two of my oldest and dearest friends. This trip with them is a sacred pilgrimage. For me, it has become more about writing, but it also is the one big bonding trip we three take each year. As it is, I see them less than I used to, because they would, naturally, attend different programming choices, not being aspiring writers and all!

So, when the opportunity for the Governor’s Club room came up, I sprang on it. I discovered that the available room was a double. No problem. Trundle bed, I thought. And then we three were in, baybee! And I would have my cake for dual purposes.

If you can stay in the Governor’s Club, it’s not expected that you would exceed the specified number per room. Got it.

For a brief moment, my mind flitted over the idea of keeping the room downstairs and staying in the Governor’s Club by myself. Price (upcoming trip to Norway!) made me think twice about that. And a strange, vaguely collegiate piece of myself thought about sleeping on the floor, but that was discarded. That Bohemian lifestyle doesn’t even sound good any longer.

But here’s the real reason I didn’t take the Governor’s Club on by myself–how can I bond with my most excellent friends if I don’t room with them? I do want to know more about the life of authors, and I will. But I don’t think I can let my overarching career interest displace our traditional good time.

Next year, all three of us will be on the Governor’s level, and we’ll see if we like it. It looks like, for me, wise move or otherwise, that I’m okay with that. I’m not a schmoozer by nature. I am not good at strategically putting myself in a place where I might accidentally meet interesting people or make connections while sacrificing my integrity, which in this case called for me to stay with my friends and do what I do every year. Yeah, I know. Not very modern. Some might even say not strategic.

I guess if that means I will always be small potatoes writer, okay. I don’t think that’s the case, though. I think what I really need to do is write a good book, send it out, and hope for the organic process to kick in as I improve.

You know, I just don’t want to be fake, or plastic. I just want to be myself, with some good books published. There is no secret way to meet the right person and have opportunity by-pass a lot of the mileage on the road of hard work. That’s not what I expect on the top floor, so I am not heart-broken.

Next year, when you see me Governing, provided I can get my finger on the registration button at the right time this year, I’ll be drinking at the bar for myself, maybe with Dan and Lisa. I am, however, a happy and friendly person, and open to conversation. Whether you can do anything for me or not.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

3 thoughts on “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?”

  1. While I’ve gone to cons to meet specific people, I’ve often founding meeting people who I 1) didn’t know, 2) didn’t know would be there, 3) don’t recognize the name, etc have lead to richer experiences and longer lasting friendships. Talking with spouses even more so.

  2. At first, I stayed at home and commuted. Then I stayed in the hotel and was astonished at how much more energy I had to play with other folks.

    So this year I took a Governor’s Club room. They are nice. They do offer buffet and bar. However, the beds are “luxuriously” soft — so soft that I couldn’t sleep on them. The food is incompatible with gluten-free life.

    The hotel staff were amazingly kind: the apologized, found me a new room, repacked my suitcases, and relocated me to floor 10.

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