Friday, June 5, 2009

Columbus Beckons


Right now all around the country folks in the knitting biz are looking at their calendars and saying, "Holy crap, TNNA is next week?!" Closets are being overturned, new outfits purchased, suitcases pulled from the attic, emails sent out, press releases finalized, patterns finished, samples darned, materials packed and crated for the journey.

I love the summer TNNA because it takes place in Columbus, Ohio. Those of you who've never been to Columbus or who've only spent times in the drearier parts may smirk or roll your eyes, but I love this city. I love its midwestern vibe, I love its architecturally extravagant convention center, and I love to the point of near distraction its North Market and, specifically, Jeni's Ice Creams.

TNNA also gives me a chance to spend a week among some of my favorite people in the world -- my peers and the sources of so much motivation, inspiration, and support. Most of us work in near solitude the rest of the year, so this is a rare opportunity for us to come together and be goofy.

The only dark side to TNNA, for me anyway, is being the reviewer among many of my reviewees. Not because of anything that I've written, because I never write anything in a review that I wouldn't feel fully comfortable saying to that person face to face. But because it can, on occasion, present an awkward dynamic. And being around folks whose products I have intentionally (or for mere logistical reasons) not reviewed, but who may have expected something, can cause knots in the ole stomach.

Of course none of this would matter if I were more of a prickish, arrogant figure, like Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner. I'd wheel through the hall, ordering people about, issuing witty and cutting retorts, and swishing out of the room to the laughter and applause of the audience.

Thankfully I'm not that character, but I do feel genuinely bad when I'm not able to bring another person's high hopes to fruition. That doesn't stop me from doing it all the time, since editorial trumps codependency any day of the week. But TNNA does put a human face on each of those decisions.

Now, a bigger question: What should I pack?

P.S.--Hey Columbus knitters! Won'tcha play hookey with me on Wednesday, June 17th? I'm teaching a course about yarn at Knitters Connection and I understand we still have room for a few more people. I haaaaaave swwaaaaaatches.....

7 comments:

Mary said...

Please have some salty caramel Jeni's for me.

JC Briar said...

Clara, try to imagine the apprehension a tech editor feels when walking around TNNA, among people who've been on the pointy end of her red pen. Or the even weirder vibe of having people THANK her for spilling all that red ink...

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog post and I hope you have a great trip to TNNA

Minh said...

Have a great time at TNNA and enjoy the ice-cream!

Saw the book cover on the KR page: so summery! it makes one feel all light and happy.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Aw, stick 'em with a cable needle if they can't take it. Your reviews are helpful, and besides, everyone know that critics are supposed to be critical. These days nobody gets immunity from being offended.
AND, if you'd like a poem about lilacs (which you blogged about so evocatively) email me. I've not been able to find an email address that looks appropriate! (the poem was recently on G. Keillor's Writer's Journal.

Bess said...

OOOOO I am in need of a knit fix and I'm willing to have mine vicariously - so I can't wait to hear your review of TNNA!

Peggy said...

I'm imagining you at TNNA, like Anna Wintour at the Paris shows. You should get yourself a pair of chic sunglasses and an entourage!