I'm a huge fan of the scientific historian James Burke and his television series that were on PBS; Connections, and The Day The Universe Changed. Those shows haven't been on for a while, but I still think about the ideas he presented. He is my ultimate dinner companion, someone I'd love to chat with, although I'd prefer he talk the entire time so I could just listen.
In Connections, he follows seemingly unrelated chains of technology and thought and shows how they influence other events and people, finally bringing it full circle. The Day the Universe Changed was more linear, going back in history to the show how present day reality came about. Fascinating stuff, if you're a geek girl like me.
The reason why James Burke is on my mind is that lately I feel I'm a node in a connections framework. Everywhere I turn in the writing world, I run into the same people, but I see them in a different role each time. We're fans, writers, editors, co-panelists, partners-in-crime... so many different aspects but all interwoven. (I have a working theory that a certain person is where all these connections merge. It seems that whenever I explain how any writer/editor/publisher knows another one, his name comes up.) These connections are turning out to be pretty damn useful as I'm talking to more people about putting an erotica writer's conference together. Every person I know in turn connects me to others with knowledge I need. Sometimes the trail even leads back to someone I thought I knew pretty well, and I get to discover a side of that person I never knew existed.
When I started writing, people warned me that publishing is all about who you know. Yes, well, maybe. Connections can't turn crap writing into literature, or guarantee publication, but they sure do help me meet some fascinating people, and hopefully, they'll help me make this convention a reality.