How to Speak on a Panel without Passing Out

I did not throw up.

I did not pass out.

AnachroCon was AWESOME.

I won’t lie; I was nervous as hell, but the experience was more than I imagined it would be. This was my first convention as a panelist and life is very different on the other side of the table. It’s strange to find yourself in a position of knowledge and stranger when people see you in that position. Part of me waited for the Fraud Police to come and arrest me, but luckily, that never happened.

As it turns out, the two panels I spent the most time sweating over where my favorites. The Exploring Gender in Alt. History panel was a wonderful discussion on representation (and lack there of) of people outside the binary. Then the scary thing happened: I was asked how I’d write a genderfluid character.

And I didn’t panic. I said it wouldn’t be something I’d undertake lightly. The voice might be in my head, but I don’t know enough about that experience to go it alone. I’d research. I’d read. I’d reach out to people in the community and ask if anyone would be willing to share their story with me. Sure, you might get a door slammed in your face, but readers want to see themselves in genres they love.

Similarly, the Exploring Race/Ethnicity in Alt. History provided a great discussion about representation, which there is not enough of. It was such an honor to be speaking with Milton Davis.

I had the chance to panel with Leanna Renee Hieber, one of my favorite and most fashionable people. Seeing her once a year is hardly enough, but it’s always delightful when we get the chance to see each other. I also met James A. Moore, who is absolutely delightful. The weekend was such a blur. I wish I’d gotten more video, but I was so busy running back and forth between the Lit Track and the Horror Track, it completely slipped my mind.

I only had one kinda floppy panel, but it was 10 in the morning on the last day of the convention and we were all exhausted. It was still a good discussion, but hey, I cradled my cup of tea like it was life support.

I’d like to once again extend my thanks to Kathryn Hinds, the director of the Literature Track, for giving me the opportunity to be a panelist. Not only was it fun, but I got the chance to see myself in a different light. I sometimes forget in the rush of The Day Job and balancing life that I’ve accomplished something amazing things.

I have a short story in an Amazon Best Selling Anthology. I’ve written a book, I’m revising another. I know things about monsters and medicine because I obsess over them. I do have something to contribute. I am “part of the club.” And now I can say I’ve been a panelist. And it was awesome.

And with any luck, I’ll be back next year.

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1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One response to “How to Speak on a Panel without Passing Out

  1. Yay!! I bet you were incredible!

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