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Balinares ([personal profile] balinares) wrote2011-05-27 10:07 pm

Wicked Small World.

The other night, I had a strange dream. It was about my first experience managing a small community -- a local IRC channel with a few tens of users, if I must be precise -- which was a learning experience, in a not-going-over-too-well sort of way. It was well over a decade ago; I was young and had no clue. I thought the job was about managing the technical aspects of IRC, when it was about managing people. I still feel bad about the mistakes I made then, and the dream, interestingly, was about people coming to me from the mists of that past and expressing forgiveness. Sweet closure.

Around the same time that particular adventure went awry and I quit IRC, I started a little community of my own, and maybe thanks to the hard-earned experience, that one, I've got to say, was rather a resounding success. Outwardly, it was a place for French-speaking people to discuss the works of Anne McCaffrey, though what made it great was never the subject matter as much as the people who came to discuss it. Some of us started meeting up IRL, and I found great friends on the way, the least of which not being [ profile] kefen, and a girl to share my life in the person of [ profile] jallora. Even now, as the community itself has mostly gone dormant, our group of friends is still in steady touch and see each other regularly.

Managing this community brought me other benefits, like a basic experience of organizing people and dealing with interpersonal politics. At some point we founded a fanzine; my first serious writing dates back from then. I... don't entirely hate what I wrote then, when the mood seizes me and I dive back into the archives. For me, that's saying a lot. Good times, and good work.

Fast-forward to this morning. A coworker from presales turns up in our room for the daily hellos, and we perform the ritual geek-oriented smalltalk. I like this guy; he sometimes tends to fall into the typical communication failure modes of purebred geeks, but as the whole he's the cool sort of geeky guy I get along great with. We often discuss sci-fi and fantasy and tabletop RPG, and we might have played a game of Magic or two in the rest area. At this point, as we discuss the latest series like Game of Thrones and fantasy books in general, he brings up Anne McCaffrey and Pern. He's a huge fan of Pern, he says; got all the books, do I know about them?

I most certainly know about them, yes, and have absolutely read them.

"Good," he says, and begins to expand upon how much he loves the series.

"So how come we've never seen you on, then?" I say, with a bit of teasing reproach.

He grins right back. "Because you don't know my nickname. I was a semi-regular there."

Floored. F-L-O-O-R-E-D.

And with that, his clients turn up and the bastard saunters off happily without telling me who the heck he is there.

Crazy small world. It's the second time in my career I end up realizing I know a coworker from way back.

[identity profile] 2011-05-27 08:23 pm (UTC)(link)
When I think back about it, PernFR is probably one of the best things that ever happened to me as well. The vast majority of the greatest friends I'm still in touch with, more than ten years later, comes from these times, the least of whom not being you either, hon. I'll never thank you enough for that! :)

As for your coworker... did you say who you were on PernFR? He may be just a bit surprised as well... Well, then again, I wonder how easy it'd be for a PernFR regular, who meets you for the first time and out of context, to figure out you are our beloved Weyrleader!

(Also still leafing through the Chronicles PDFs now and then, but MAN how I wish I didn't entirely hate what I wrote back then either. Probably the reason why I still haven't gotten around to converting the oldest issues yet...)

[identity profile] 2011-05-28 01:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Dude, y'know, in the end, what made the community work fits in two words: "you guys". So thank you. :)

And yes, I had time to tell him before he had to leave. Presumably we'll talk more about the whole thing when we have time. But now I'm worried I'll find him angry at me over something I did or didn't do at some point while managing the ML. @_@ *flails*

(And also, I have kept good memories of your stories, so I'm not sure what you're unhappy about. But I can't berate you because I'm like that too.)

[identity profile] 2011-05-28 02:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Dude, you worry too much! I thought we had broken you of the habit of inventing more trouble than you need. ;)

Also, you were part of us guys, so, still thanks to you!

(And I dunno, when reading my stuff again, I always get the feeling I just have no imagination for stories. I kinda like scenes, characters or situations I come up with, but I swear I'm hopeless at coming up with, well, you know, a story.)

[identity profile] 2011-05-28 08:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I never said the concern was rational. c_c I'm not a very rational beast at the best of times.

And, dude. People made whole careers on scenes and characters and situations. To stay with Pern, can you tell me what the story of Dragonquest is? I thought not. :)

Besides, story, you know... you just come up with those disconnected scenes, you put on your evil hat and work to make them more striking (usually it involves being very mean to the characters), and then you try to figure out how to link the scenes into a vaguely cohesive narrative. Mishun accumplisht. (There are recipes to good stories, too; Kodayu gave a great presentation on that topic at the last EF.)

Anyway... Speaking of being evil to characters... Maybe I should be posting something. Perhaps after a few more revisions.

[identity profile] 2011-05-28 11:53 pm (UTC)(link)
And it's funny that I find this journal as I am starting the series more than 40 years after the first book was published o.o (yeah, I know, booh, why wait so long?)

[identity profile] 2011-05-29 09:06 am (UTC)(link)
Eh, s'okay. There are too many awesome books to fit a lifetime already, can't blame you for not having read these specific ones. :)

[identity profile] 2011-05-29 03:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Actually, I found Pern a couple of years ago when I looked Amazon for dragon books. So you can rightly think that that's when I found Pern, Temeraire and the likes.
Still have to buy Temeraire. Good thing they all come as ebook format.
I recently finished the DelaSangre series, I really loved it. It took me like less than a week to read all four.

[identity profile] 2011-05-30 06:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, Temeraire! Lovely books. Great dragon characterizations. :)

I don't know about DelaSangre. Will look it up. :)

[identity profile] 2011-05-30 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)
The DelaSangre series is almost all on ebook (just the last one still waiting but shouldn't be long), as the paper books are only in used format, the publisher refused to renew the contract for more books on the series and the continued publication of the old ones.

The novel is a first-person story of Peter DelaSangre, a shapeshifting dragon living on an island in Miami, among humans nowadays. He tells about his life and the search for a wife of his kind.
The series is of four books: Dragon DelaSangre, Dragon Moon, The Seadragon Daughter and A Host Of Dragon.
I personally really loved it. The adult moments just were a plus ;)