...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Egoscanning is a sacred and hallowed tradition that I think I know from s.f. It seems to me that I know the word from that activity of "looking for my name" that began in fanzines: "did they take my article?" "Did they print my LOC (another s.f.-ism meaning "letter of comment" and it's such a wonderful part of zines)?" "Did that convention report mention ME? I was there!" It devolved, evolved, changed/grew as technology changed and grew. It also got flat out funny for me when I started bidding on and occasionally winning auciton prizes at mystery conventions. "Tuckerizing" named in s.f. after Bob Wilson Tucker, who I think was the first known author at least within s.f. or modern day to name lots of characters after friends, is done a lot in s.f.; in mystery, it became a valued prize.
I'm Tuckerized by full name in two mystery novels; SJ Rozan's MANDARIN PLAID where I appear as a blonde coke-addicted NY runway model and in VAMPIRE BYTES by Linda Grant, where I'm a Berkeley teenager participating in Live Action Role Playing Vampire gaming. I've used my MP bio in convention program books more than once (and had one confused person on DorothyL ask why I would choose that name to go by).
When i first got my ARC of Mandarin Plaid, i'm SO glad no one was around to see me as I, er, well "casually" let the book fall open trying to spot my name. Casually. About 20 times. I finally rolled my eyes, hmphed and sat down and read it. The surprise THERE was that I was there a LOT, for a walk-on character. Shira had given me an option at the convention - "good guy or bad guy?" because it was a Lydia Chin book and it was to the point of being written ENOUGH that there were only a few characters I could be. I first chose "good guy" but after asking a few friends (friends?) at the convention, raced to change my mind. "Bad guys are more memorable" all my friends said. So, okay.
Linda sent me the book with a pair of vampire teeth. It took patience to find myself, but by then I was very mature about it. (mmm-hmm, I can see you rolling your eyes over there.)
A while back, I saw someone with my FIRST name again in a Rozan book and well, I HAD to ask. See um, well Andi Shechter didn't fare well in Mandarin Plaid and, there was no way THIS Andi could...fumble fumble, fum-faw, erk. Yes, said Shira, I named her after you. So I LIVE!
In 2003, I became a psychiatric unit. The lovely and talented (well she IS, not just because she's my friend a great writer and put me in her book) Laura Lippman came up to me at Bouchercon in Austin and explained she'd needed a name that sounded somewhat like a real Baltimore area pysch hospital unit but didn't want to use the real thing and well "Shechter" came to mind and she hoped it was okay. Snort. Are you kidding? I thought it was a hoot and a half. And I thought the book, EVERY SECRET THING, was one of the best books I read in 2003 - and no, NOT because of my cameo.
Now, it's the internet, gods help us. I recently googled my name, and was blown AWAY by the list. Ok, ok, I write reviews for several websites, so that was most of it. We have a web page (I know, I've got the list of updates...patch, patch, patch) but still.
Turned out to be _very_ useful exercise. It led me to learn that one site I write for allowed Amazon to use our reviews; I did not know this and did NOT like it. It also led me to find what appeared to be massive copyright violation in the "borrowing" of my review of BOOK LUST by Nancy Pearl that was on Amazon (imagine my surprise) by at least 8 other websites that apparently sell books. And the I found a bunch of photos I hadn't know about. Anyone who knows me know I'm not big on getting my picture taken - hope that explains the smirk. It's not really a smirk, I just haven't liked having my picture taken for years. My dad was the only one who could do it without making me feel awkward, very pale and like a not very happy fish. With long hair. So I smirk.
But I found posts to lists from 1997! and found that some of my reviews had been excerpted and posted on some author websites (kewl!). And people have linked to me and um, mentioned me, and honestly, I had NO idea.
So ALL this by way of saying that I've got new reviews up on January Magazine and think it's not only way cool but LOVE that Locus on-line links to January so wowie, cool, I'm listed on the Locus page. I like being "back" in science fiction; I never really left but the reviewing is getting me more connected again with that part of my life.

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