I just got back from JoCo Cruise Crazy, which is like a convention on the high seas. Music, comedy, musical comedy, tabletop games, artists, and writers—all in one place. It was an amazing experience.
This was the first year the cruise included an official writing track to its programming, and they did a great job with it. The events included a three-part lecture on getting started in the writing business, readings, office hours structured as Q&A sessions, panels on comedy and songwriting, and more.
And through the course of these events, I’ve developed a bit of a crush—two, really.
I’ve long been a fan of John Scalzi, science fiction author and strong proponent of not being a dick. Having the opportunity to watch him officiate at the wedding of two of our cruisemates was an incredibly moving experience that left me even more positively inclined toward him and his work.
To the new bride and groom, he gave the best piece of relationship advice I’ve ever heard: say “I love you” often. All the time—when you wake in the morning, before you leave for work, when you want a bowl of ice cream, when you need the garbage to be taken out, before you go to sleep, and all the times in between…because every time you say it, it becomes even more true.
And Patrick Rothfuss, also a speaker on the cruise, is one of the few men I’ve heard call himself out for something he’d written, without prompting by anyone else. He read a decades-old essay from a humorous advice column he’d written as a college student, in which he complained about women not dating “nice guys”—and in the process, asked the audience to bear with him through the essay, promising to unpack it afterward.
And, true to his word, he picked apart both his own mindset when he’d written the essay and the awful, harmful misogynist ideas he’d perpetuated in the process. He referenced the phrasing used by @hexjackal, that women “are not machines that you put Kindness Coins into until sex falls out.”
Watching a man, a celebrated author, stand in front of hundreds of people, men and women, and say clearly and firmly that men need to treat women like actual human beings…it was perhaps even more of an emotional experience for me than the wedding.
I’ll admit, I haven’t read The Slow Regard of Silent Things, The Wise Man’s Fear, or The Name of the Wind. But I will now. Patrick Rothfuss won me over with his eloquence and his honesty (and a live reading of his not-for-children children’s book The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle).
I have a new writer crush—and it is awesome.
Until next time,