IFBC 2014: Why do we con?

Before the IFBC madness starts, I wanted to bring up one question: why do bloggers go to so many cons?

Because let me be blunt: if you wanted to save money and still talk to people, IFBC 2014 is going to be livestreamed furiously by everyone present from sunup to sundown. Twitter will be so full of facts you could attend the con from the comfort of your couch, and you can still join in online.

(Actually, that sounds rather lovely, especially since I missed Seattle Attic’s ScreenConf. Now I’m tempted to host my own Comfy Con. We could take over a conference space, cover it with bean bags, and have a screening of Creative Live pieces and encourage MST3K-level commentary. It could even be BYOC – Bring Your Own Cocoa – and we’d supply marshmallows. Any interest?)

And if you want to get writing input, there are writer groups in Seattle. I love the Tea-Tweeps, as little as I get to see them, and there are so many amazing writers in Seattle to talk with even if you’re an introvert.

Yes, there are the advertising opportunities, and the swag, and the twitter insanity. But I know that con attendance, for me at least, is physically exhausting, even if I love everyone in the room. It’s why I love that Geek Girl Con has a quiet room, and I cherry pick the cons to attend that will make me happy and won’t leave me stressed afterwards. And yet, I still go to a ton of them.

I think we go to cons to get two things: connection with others and ideas. Being a blogger is a fairly solitary experience, and most of us don’t live with people who really understand what it’s like. Sure, they’ll help set things up or go with us to places, but they’re not living the day to day insanity of running a blog and doing your own advertising. It’s a particular kind of freelance world that both requires isolation and makes you want to find others to commiserate with. Cons are more like a giant reunion in that way.

Just as important are the ideas. I’m a group thinker, someone who loves bouncing ideas off of others in conversation, and IFBC basically gives me a room full of people who will understand generally what I’m talking about in food and be able to ask useful questions – and they can do the same with me. And that is a magical and wonderful thing, because we should be out there supporting each other. I’m all for collaborations and group events and fun, and that’s what I hope to bring to IFBC.

Whatever your reasons are for attending, I hope you’ll say hi to me while I’m there. I’ll be the one with the pancake hat.

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I don’t like drawing things out, so I’ll make this quick.

Announcement 1: I’m working on the new blog.

It’s not ready yet, and I won’t start it until I graduate. (That hasn’t stopped me from writing 70+ post drafts, which keeps me from crying while doing research.) I’ll post a link here when it starts, but I’m definitely thinking August 2015 at this rate. The sooner I graduate, the sooner the madness begins.

So far: it has a name, it has a plan, and it will involve pancake hats and interviews and all sorts of wonderful things. I have an actual plan and a media kit, so don’t fret if that sounds like I have no clue what I’m up to. I would start now, honestly, but I still have three more quarters of full time classes + thesis and I want to pass them without getting sick every few weeks. AGAIN. For the sake of my health, this will have to wait.

Announcement 2: I’ll be livestreaming IFBC 2014 if my internet allows.

I won’t be posting at all moments, but I’ll be doing my best. You have been warned.


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The bouncing goes elsewhere

As I’ve run Ricochet, I’ve found two issues:

1. “Ricochet” as a word is hard for a lot of people to spell.

2. This blog doesn’t cover what I want to do in the food world.

I wish I didn’t care so much about the first issue, but the second is what hit home.

I’ve been thinking about this since I went on hiatus, but what I love about food is exploring. I’m not going to ever make the prettiest tarts, or artfully arrange cookies on plates, or garnish cocktails with sugar-encrusted microflowers. And, somehow, RB never quite fit the bill. It confused people when I tried to explain my writings, which have spanned the range from social justice, to travel, and most recently primarily about food.

While I don’t want to cater to elevator pitches, I also want something that can be read. And, hopefully, spelled.

And I write about two things, really: social issues and food. I’m building out a project (details will come once I survive a few more things) for my social issues, but I still want to blather on about my love of chocolate. That and I’m writing my thesis the next two quarters, so that makes it much harder to do things instead of it.

With that in mind, my next blog will be titled Adventure For Dessert. It’s not ready yet – thank you impending thesis – but it will be about the things I do for sugar-covered goodness. There will be baking, dessert tasting, and road trips. And it will be epic. And in the fall.

I’ll keep Ricochet Biscuit alive as an archive – it’s a reminder of where I’ve been and where I’m going to. If you can pin something or read a post later, great; the hand pies aren’t going anywhere. (I am also back to being alive on twitter, though not as much as I used to be. We’ll see how that goes.)

My thesis is in production, I have other projects in the works, and Ricochet isn’t bouncing the right biscuit way. Not for the plans I have in mind, at least. I hope you’ll join me on this next adventure, wherever it ends up.

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A sabbatical from Ricochet Biscuit – and twitter

I’m going on a blogging/tweeting sabbatical. Starting now.

Why? Because I’m still sick, and it’s not getting better. I’m not dying – trust me, that would be a different kind of post – but for now the best thing I can do is limit my non-school engagements. I’d planned to get away with dropping my post frequency, but cold turkey really is the best option. And that also means going silent on twitter. Cold turkey, not cold pheasant-that-kind-of-has-turkey-features.

My goal is to do this until January 1, 2014. Ricochet will probably be inactive slightly longer, while I work with full force on my next big project, but I’ll return to twitter by then. And by then, you won’t be able to get rid of me.

I’m not particularly thrilled about this decision, but my health has been poor for too long. I just need time to recuperate.

Also, right now I want to devote my free time to doing the things I talk about doing, rather than just writing about what I want to do. So if you need a co-conspirator for potentially bad ideas, I’ll still be checking my jessica @ ricochetbiscuit.com email. (If you’re a friend catching this and I haven’t contacted you yet, send me a smoke signal.)

In the words of Granny Weatherwax, I aten’t dead. I’m just off doing other things instead of my thesis.

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Eating contests: the good and the bad

So the other day I took part in my first ever eating contest. And I lost. Horribly. But I don’t think that was a bad thing.

Eating contests

I mean, I kind of saw this coming – while my stomach is a vast and unstoppable pit of hunger, I prefer to eat 5-10+ times a day in small batches rather than consuming large amounts at any one point. That being said, I love BeanFish’s taiyaki and saw the contest as a win-win: if I won, free taiyaki for a year. If I lost, free taiyaki for a day. Either way, free taiyaki.

There were five of us, with five minutes to eat ten taiyaki and finish a bottle of ramune. Nerves were high, stakes were moderate, and bellies were on empty. Well, except for mine – mine’s never sated.

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Posted in Everyday adventures, Food, Things I'm thinking about Tagged , |