February 20th, 2012

dalek tea

Unexpected Panels

I survived my busy weekend and now am getting ready to get back to work. I had some good panels that I now vaguely remember doing (the weekend is something of a blur) and got to spend some time with friends. I didn't end up using my reading piece because the only people in the room were the three readers, one of my friends and then the friend of another reader who mostly just wanted to go get a drink. So I called it a walk. Now I can use that piece at FenCon, and maybe it will be to promote a book that by then I'll actually know will be published.

I didn't end up having to sing in the small group on Sunday. The person I was on stand-by for wasn't there at first, so I did one run-through with the group, but when we started the second run-through, she showed up, and I was never so glad to see someone because I was choking. I swear, my house must be magical because anything I sing here sounds wonderful, but I lose my ability to sing the same things when I'm somewhere else. I should rent out my house as a concert venue. Or maybe it's only magic for me. Anyway, I gladly surrendered my part and went off to deal with the kids, who were their usual adorable selves.

I may have done a convention first in my Sunday panel. I had a jar of jam I couldn't open. I'd tried all the usual jar-opening tricks, and none worked. It's times like that when I can see the usefulness of having a man around the house. And then I remembered that I was going to be at a convention, and surely someone there would be able to open my jar for me. Plus, I was going to be on a panel on writing humor, and you can pretty much guarantee that someone will mention that a lot of humor comes from the unexpected, so I figured that pulling a jar of jam out of my bag and asking for a volunteer to open it would count as "unexpected." And that's just what I did. How many panels involve a panelist asking for help opening a jar?

Incidentally, Paul Cornell, comics, Doctor Who and assorted other stuff writer (and a friend of mine) has generated a lot of Internet buzz about wanting gender parity on panels, so that if he's on a panel that's mostly men, he's going to step down and invite a woman to be on the panel. I don't know what conventions he's going to, but at most conventions I go to there's usually just a token man on the panel, and I'm not always just on the "girly" topics. For instance, this weekend there was one man on the panel about steampunk aviation. It was a bunch of women talking about the specifics of airships, both in terms of history and physics. I guess at bigger conventions like WorldCon that's more of an issue (I have been the token "girl" on a WorldCon panel), but at the smaller cons, the panelists seem to be mostly female. Maybe I should stalk Paul at WorldCon so he has to put me in his place on panels.