I’m coming down off of my weekend at Balticon 42 and now that I have a moment to catch my breath, I want to thank the organizers and the Baltimore Science Fiction Society for hosting a marvelous event.
I had the opportunity to sit on several panels. On Friday, I moderated a discussion on E-publishing. I was nervous as all get-out since I’d never been a panelist before and I didn’t have a chance to warm up before moderating one. My fellow panelists and I had an animated discussion on the subject. Later, I participated on the “Promoting Yourself” panel with six podcasters. With that many gregarious personalities on one panel, it was definitely one of the most lively dsicussions at the con. Were it not for the timely deliverance of the key to the room, we would have conducted the discussion in the bar. In fact, were had gone as far as leaving a note on the door and traipsing down the hall when the key showed up. Drat.
Saturday started out with me moderating “Building a Website for Fun and Profit.” I had a great time again and my fellow panelists and I enjoyed answering the many questions people came in with. “Real Women Warriors” was my next appearance and that panel covered both how to write a believable woman leader as well as historical instances of women as fighters. Haley Elizabeth Garwood had a lot to say about historical women warriors, as that’s her passion when it comes to writing. As a historian by degree, I often felt a bit at a loss for words with her on the panel. I think my contributions from the perspective of a trained combat martial artist were both constructive and appreciated, though.
By my last panel of the day, I was really drained. “How Long Will It Still Be Called the Internet?” was not my best effort ever, but I think everyone enjoyed the discussion. No one left the room in favor of dinner at any rate. Both these last two were set to the martial music of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which was showing in the next room.
I want to thank David Louis Edelman for fielding the majority of the discussion on the Internet’s longevity, even though he was sick. I was very tired and neither of us had prepared questions when the assigned moderator announced that he was double-booked and would be on his other panel instead. Luckily, the gathering had a lot to say on the topic, some of which I understood well enough to follow, but not well enough to comment on. I’m a web developer, I design and program websites. I only understand IP, DNS, routing and other infrastructure things as they relate to what I do. Luckily, as a historian, I am familiar with the history of the internet and that helped a great deal. I came within a hair’s breadth of hauling my uncomplaining internet hardware expert husband, David Lyle, from the back of the room and making him sit there with the music blaring in his ear (that was unbelievably distracting). What I know about internet infrastructure he taught me anyway.
David Louis Edelman sat with me on three of the other panels and he’s a great guy. Check out what he had to say about the weekend (and me) as well as his books: Infoquake and Multireal.
Sunday was lighter. My only panel was with my good friend Ally Peltier and we discussed “Getting Published.” It was a nicely diverse panel that covered the topic very well.
My book signing later was another fun event with a great discussion, live weaponry and chocolate. If you missed it, I’m terribly sorry. Don’t miss the next one.
After that, we all relaxed at home in our hot tub and Ally and I got plastered on Long Beach Iced Teas.
I think the person who had the most fun, though, was my five-year-old daughter who learned Irish Dancing, made a land rover out of marshmallows and candy, got to color in outlines of 200 year-old pottery, make a clay bowl, listen to Urban Tapestry, and hang out with her aunt all weekend while wearing a frilly dress and fairy wings.
The con was a great opportunity for me to build my own platform for my next books as well as get feedback on the cover and title of my new workbook. There was definite interest in the workbook. If you’d like to vote on the cover, please comment with your preference for cover 1, 2 or 3 (imagine these for an 8 ½ x 11 perfect bound book.) Thanks to everyone who voted!
Originally posted on my hosted WordPress blog, May 28, 2008.