Posts Tagged ‘folks I admire’
Today is Jennifer Brozek‘s birthday, so I thought I would do another Folks I Admire.
I’ve known Jenn for years. She & I met through a mutual friend (who has enjoyed talking about how she knew both of us before we were nerd-famous), and we hit it off. A fantastic writer and a fair editor, Jenn’s helped me become the writer and editor I am today.
She has a monthly web magazine, The Edge of Propinquity, that I was a part of for the first year. She was the first editor to treat me like a professional writer (well before I deserved it, frankly), and we’ve worked together off and on for the past few years. When I think of people who are making it as freelancers, I think of her. When I think of people to model after as a professional, I think of her. When I think of people who can turn random things into inspired stories, again, I think of Jenn.
Jenn wrote for me back in 2007, for my anthology, Finis: A Book of Endings. (Which is–or will be very shortly–on sale until the end of the year, for $10 or $5 for PDF. And then won’t be available again after that.) Those of you who have praised my editing have Jenn to thank. Working with her as a writer and on Finis taught me how to do this job, and I am in her debt.
She and I have kept in touch, and lately she took a story of mine for an anthology due out next year, Human Tales (to be published by Dark Quest books). She leaked the table of contents a bit ago. Hell of a line-up there.
So, if you’re a fan of mine, check out some of the stuff she’s worked on, either in fiction or gaming. If you happen to have one of her books, she’s asked for one thing for her birthday: to have pictures sent to her of folks with her books. (I’m about to go do that, since trying to take one of myself holding a book looked ridiculous. I’ll edit this post with said picture once I got it.)
[PRETEND YOU SEE A PICTURE HERE, INTERNET!]
I still sometimes wince at the…fairness. And use that as my model for editing.
(Occasionally, I’m going to do this thing where I talk about someone y’all should be aware of. These’ll be short, so the verbal felicitating will be kept to a minimum. Here’s the kick-off of that.)
I admire the hell out of E. Foley, on Twitter as @geeksdreamgirl. And I think she should be on your radar.
I found out about her back at Gen Con 2009, when I saw this flyer for her dating profile service, Geeks’ Dream Girl. It caught my attention mainly because I was (and still am) a single geek dude, so I checked out her site. There I found a lot of advice. She has a small team of writers blogging and answering questions that folks have.
More importantly, I found a sense of hope. I found a sense of encouragement. And while I wasn’t looking to take her up on her services at the moment, I respected the hell out of her and what she’s doing. I mean, here I am making nerd stuff that people enjoy, but it’s an ephemeral joy. She’s helping people who typically have low confidence in the turbulent arena of dating get some, get out there, and try. If you succeed, that’s a lasting joy. This thing she’s doing kicks ass.
This past Gen Con, she did a dating doctor clinic, seminar on dating success, and a speed dating event. I’ll admit that I was a little incredulous to the latter idea (not that I voiced it — I’m no expert on such things), being a place where geeks are flying across the country and possibly being too lopsided on guys attending, but she made it work and it sounded like a wicked success. She tried this chancy experiment and it paid off. And I respect anyone that takes bold chances when others, even me, would nay-say.
I say all that to say: folks, she’s going to be at NeonCon this weekend. While I don’t believe she has anything on the books at the moment, if you think you could use her services or even just a few minutes talking with her, man, that’s why she’s there. Let her help you be awesome. Follow her on Twitter; I’m sure that’s where she’ll announce stuff.
For some of you–like, say, me years ago–you need a little more emphasis: Guys, gals, she often takes on people who think they’re hard-luck cases. She can help you, if you want her to. But she can only help you if you ask.
To cap this off, I admire her because she’s genuinely trying to help people find that happiness that so often eludes us. I’ve gotten to hear her be super-excited about her marriage success stories. If more people on the Internet were about helping people and building them up rather than tearing them down or proclaiming doom, the world would be an infinitely better place.
 …ladies. (Man alive, the compels I have to deal with.)
 NeonCon will be my 20th appearance this year. That sort of schedule kills a potential dating life. Which is one of many reasons next year I’m going to reduce my travel considerably.
 Seriously, it totally kicks ass. This is a footnote of emphasis.