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Convention/Panel/Self-Promotion How-To Guides

August 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Very busy, very tiring weekend.

Flew back to Minnesota for a high school reunion.  (The actual kind, not the Disney musical kind.  There was no singing.)  In order to make it back for the reunion, I made a 2 1/2 hour drive straight from work to the airport on Friday evening (thank you, unannounced road construction), did some flat-out sprinting through the terminal in Dallas (only to be the last person on the plane, and then to sit there for an extra 45 minutes because I-don't-know-why), arriving in Minneapolis around midnight.  The next day I picked up my rental car and made my way to the far far north, and generally had a fantastic time.  Got back to my hotel quite late, couldn't fall asleep (thank you insomnia) until sometime after 3:30, got up at 5:30, and traveled most of the day to get back safe and sound here on Sunday evening.

Totally worth the trip.  I really enjoyed the reunion.  I only wish I'd had more time, and that more people were there. 

That said, I'm tired of being tired.  I travel for both my day job and my writing life, and travel for some reason always entails a very taxing schedule on at least one end of the trip.  It's getting old.  As are we all, apparently.

All of which is on my mind as I look ahead to Worldcon.  (I've posted my schedule here, by the way.  I'm excited about it.  Even if I dread getting on yet another plane in a couple weeks.)

Which brings me to a few links worth sharing.  Two of these you might have seen before, because they've been bouncing around these past few weeks, but the others were new to me.  (But then I do live in a cave on the far side of the moon.)

Michelle Sagara wrote a brilliant post about the good and bad behavior on convention panels.  John Scalzi followed up with his own take on panels and panelists.  Maureen Johnson has written this marvelous manifesto on much the same topic.  And finally, whoever put this page together deserves special recognition for condensing the dos-and-don'ts of convention going into such a handy outline. 

I'm still relatively new to the convention circuit, and I still have a lot to learn.  I'm grateful that guides like these are available for newcomers like me.  I'm even more grateful that they're available for, um, other people.  I've certainly seen, and been trapped by, many of the poor behaviors listed in the above discussions.  As for me, I'm going to make an effort to make better use of the green room for pre-panel preparation and introductions!  That's certainly a place where I fail.

Comments

TEngland August 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm
So this then negates what I said last time about idleness. I'm relieved, though concerned you're stretching a bit thin. I wouldn't want you to break up into atoms or something. Glad you had a good time at your reunion, see if you can keep up the interest as the years ooze by. Seems to be a lot of sudden concern about boorish behavior at conventions, though. Probably an unintended consequence of e-book self-publishing.
Andrew August 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Thanks for the panel suggestions. I watch my wife work on panels with her counterparts and it usually ends up in a discussion about "bringing down the man" and dissolve into laughter... Which is a lot of fun actually. But as a novice to actually hear people say, "don't talk about your book... except if asked a specific question." is really needed. I saw the opposite of this in another panel with 2 BIG name Scifi/fantasy authors who's topic was "what's different in Speculative fiction" or something like that. They didn't talk about their own books... they talked about everyone else's books. "Well this book is unique" name drop, book name drop, next book. Worse panel I ever listened too. And actually made me not want to look at their books again. Sad really.
Paul August 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm
It was g00d seeing you again at the reunion. Just wanted to use the Internet of Record to emphasize my apology for getting you that job 20 years ago. I hated it too. If you come back again with more time, look me up. I'm find-able. Fair warning though. It takes me 20 years to experience enough life to be mildly interesting at a cocktail party.
DMS August 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm
I learned oh so recently that the best way to end a long day of travel is with a visit to a geothermal spa. Really too bad that knowledge will do me so little good most of the time.
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