Last week, in “My Amazing Life,” I wrote, “From out of the blue, I’ve even been offered a guest membership to a Science Fiction convention, and invited to speak on some of their panel discussions. Needless to say, I regard this as an unexpected honor.” This is an edited version of the email I received.
Dear Mr. Dunham,
“We’d like to have you attend and take part in our program of events. If you attend, you will receive two full three-day memberships, for yourself and a guest. We will ask you to take part in our programming events, and we will include your name in our publicity material.
If you express an interest in the convention, we will send you a questionnaire and list of programming topics when they are developed.
If you have any ideas for panel discussions, or are interested in giving a presentation or demonstration, please let us know.
Even if you choose not to attend the convention this year, please feel free to join these [online discussion] groups. We’d love your input.
We hope to see you at our next convention.
Very truly yours,
P.S. If you are truly unsure of your ability to attend at this point in time, I’m more than willing to accept a firm “maybe” for now.
After attending this particular convention for the last decade or so, my wife and I had decided to give it a rest, as we’ve never really connected with the folks there. But after such a gracious invitation, how could we say no? I’ve written about the convention, and the special guests who have attended, numerous times in this blog. Even if I don’t get much feedback for my daily entries, it was nice to think that someone from the convention had noticed my posts and thought, “Say, he and his wife haven’t signed up this year. He’s writing about us, he’s promoting us on the Internet, and he’s got interesting things to say.”
My only concern was that they might have misinterpreted my recent series, “Men In Black: The Condor Incident” as fact rather than fiction, and I would arrive to find that, under my biographical information, they had stated that I was a former Condor researcher. In order to make certain that hadn’t happened, I called the man who sent me the invitation, and asked him why he had invited me.
“Hold on a second, let me look at my files.” After a minute or so, he said, “I’m not sure. Maybe we got your name off a list. Did you attend the World Fantasy Convention?”
“Have you written something?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m a writer, but I haven’t published anything yet. I do have a blog—“
“No, it wouldn’t be that,” he cut in immediately. “Sorry for the misunderstanding.”
Maybe not such an honor as I originally thought, then.
I know my life is still wonderful, and I have much to be thankful for. In life, such mix-ups are bound to occur. Still, sometimes it may not seem so amazing.