Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pounding Away

If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. I guess that describes me. I recognize that I seriously need to network and make contacts at the World Fantasy Convention this weekend. It's part of the job. Unfortunately, I am deficient in social skills. I can't remember names very well. I'm a little better with faces, but not much. And the idea that I could remember the last time I talked with a person just makes me shake my head. I have trouble remembering what year it is right now, and when people ask my age, I need a calculator.

But I do know databases. When I worked at Motorola, a lot of my efforts went into using databases and making programs that helped others use them. I've had several SQL databases over the decades on my home computers, and all the record-keeping for my stories. I have a database entry for every time I've sent a story to a market, and every time I've sent a query to an agent. I even have a database of memorable events that happened to me at other conventions.

On the World Fantasy Convention web page is a nice long list of everyone who's signed up to attend. Perfect.

I cut and pasted that list into a word-processor, exported it to a text file, cleaned it up in vi, and then ran programs that pulled lists of editors and agents from my database -- and compared the list.

Now I have two manageable lists, one of agents that I have a chance to meet, and that might have seen my work. And another list of editors I've communicated with over the years. Over the next couple of days, I'll try to get those lists in my working memory. Hey, I know it's less than perfect, but I need all the help I can get.


shelley said...

Glad I am not the only person who uses perl and vi to acomplish things at home......Now the question is do you have a CVS repository and do you lecture your spouse when they do not use said CVS repository for files that you share???? :-)

Henry Melton said...

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do store my programming in CVS, but Mary Ann's work is entirely different from mine. About the only computer data we share is address books, photos, and video, and all of those are network sharable.