Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If the literary set held conventions...

This report is coming to you today from Flint, Michigan, home this year to the International Literary Books Convention for the Advancement and Appreciation of Truly Worthy Novels, or ILBCFTAAAOTWNCon as it’s become known to the literary cognoscenti. Please join us and our august company of guest authors, many of whom you’ve never heard.

Attendees can choose from a fantastic list of panel discussions that will certainly shine the beacon of knowledge under the bushel basket of our “genre” (chuckle, chuckle). Here are a just few of the panels that are sure to be talked about for years:
* Must every novel have a depressing setting?
* Sales are NOT a true indicator of readers’ enjoyment.
* The only good author is a dead author.
* Must you be misanthropic to become popular?
* What’s a website?
* Should every E.M. Forster novel be sold with a dictionary?
* Turning literary novels into video games, right or wrong?
* Is reading crime fiction on your days off as reprehensible as it sounds?
* It’s enough that I write. How can you expect anything else from me?
* Being funny and depressing at the same time.
* Confusing prose as a plot device.

And there will be workshops:
* Long obscure words = Big Thoughts!
* Keeping descriptive passages under twenty pages
* Speed Writing: you can complete your novel in under ten years with these easy tips
* If you suffer from depression and have a bloated vocabulary, you could have what it takes to be a successful literary author!

After all the complaints last year, it has been decided to limit panels to a five-hour length. Workshops will be 18 hours in length and held in a broom closet on the fifth floor of the convention hotel. If enough people sign up, they will be moved to the boiler room in the sub basement. Both places are redolent of despair and poverty.

And we will have a book signing this year! One of our authors has actually deigned to give one. It will be held at four a.m. on Friday at the bus terminal, scene of many riveting passages in numerous tales of depression and longing for lost chances over many years of toil and strife.

We still have room in our roster of 56 people of taste and conviction. Let’s see if we can get our registrations above the record-breaking attendance of 83 last year!


Charles benoit said...

Best. Post. Ever,

Well done sir. And sign me up!

Rick Blechta said...

I'm probably going to fry in literary hell for this (right alongside Chaucer in the 6th ring), but I just couldn't resist.

Can you just picture what it would be like? Everyone dressed in black (with maybe a touch of bright color in a scarf or something), the wringing of hands, the quiet hushed tones of literary discussion in the halls and restaurants, the droning voices of the authors on the panels, the 15-minute answers to audience questions. I hope they understand that my tongue was mostly in my cheek.

Thank you for the groundswell of your support!

Vicki Delany said...

Absolutely hilarious

Rick Blechta said...

Pass it around at Bouchercon. I'm sure everyone there will get it...

Susanna Kearsley said...

Hey, Rick, maybe you could invite James Kelman to be your international guest of honour...


I'm thinking he might liven things up :-)

Rick Blechta said...

I'm just worried I may now have to apologize to Lorna Crozier, and that would really chap my ass!

Rick Blechta said...

Wow! I just read the piece suggested by Susanna (our guest blogger this weekend, by the way), and all I can say is that it's the Michael Enright/Lorna Crozier debacle on steriods! If you've been following several of our blog entries lately, you should check it out.

I'll bet our Mr. Kelman has never read an Ian Rankin novel.

Donis Casey said...

I apparently have all the qualifications for becoming a literary novelist - doom, gloom, and a predilection for obfuscation. National Book Award, here I come!

Jane Finnis said...

Don't forget to tell us the winner of the GLOOM prize (for books that are Genuinely Obscure Over-priced & Morbid.) Was the award ceremony held as planned at the Gala Coffee-break?

Rick Blechta said...

Good one, Jane! Thanks for the input!!

Jane Finnis said...

Rick, someone just pointed me to this in the New Yorker - if you haven't read it, it'll make you smile. If you have, I trust you're already spraying your URL in niblets open-face to the skein...