I left Mount Pleasant about 2:40 p.m. Friday and made excellent time to Dallas. I was there by 4:30. The weather was clear and dry, and - thankfully - although I was rolling into Dallas at rush hour, everyone was heading in the opposite direction. I found the hotel very easily and checked in. I ran into Bill Ledbetter, Adrian Simmons, and Brad and Sue Sinor right outside the con suite (that was fast) and after some conversation, went off to my 5 p.m. panel, "Selling Yourself for Fun and Profit"
Tom Knowles was the moderator. I was joined by Darlene D. Bolesny and Lee Martindale. Glenn Yeffeth was listed as a panelist but wasn't there and I never saw him at the con.
Since I've been going to cons for five years now, I'm actually getting to know people. I've been on panels with Tom and Lee before. We gave all sorts of advice and told anecdotes. The attendance was good, and everyone seemed to enjoy the discussion and find it useful.
My only other assignment for Friday was the "Talking During the Movies". The first flick, "Frankenstein Conquers the World", was a treasure trove of stupidity and great fun. I think we all - commentators and audience (and there was considerable overlap) had a grand old time.
The second movie, "1990 Bronx Warriors", was so weak, I really had a hard time even finding things to mock. It was so stupid and so insipid that after a while I just sat there with my jaw dropped. The other people had to do most of the talking. The only reason I stayed to the end was to reassure myself that the cheap-ass Italian exploitation film didn't have anyone named Antonelli in the credits. I would have changed my name if it did.
I moderated Saturday's first panel, "Publishing 101: Publishing Short Stories" with Michelle Muenzler, K. Hutson Price, and Bill Crider. Bill's another author I've been on panels with. We had a good range of experiences and advice. Of all the panels I was on at the panel - while all were well-attended and received - I think this was the one most appreciated by the audience.
I was also the moderator for "Cliches of Doom" with Rachel Caine and Rhonda Eudaly - again, folks I have been on panels with before. The small size (I've never seen a panel that started with only three panelists) kept down the number of stories, but on the other hand, the three of us - man for man (if you pardon the expression) were probably the most entertaining. Three real wise-guys.
That afternoon the newly-organized steampunk group in Dallas, The Babbage Patch Kids, held a panel at 2 p.m. It was very-well attended. They also held a tea in the con suite, and finally a party - again in the con suite - that night at 9 p.m. Everything was well received. I wish them a lot of luck, they seem to be adding a fun something to the local s-f and fantasy mix.
My last thing for the evening was the Buzz Blaster Radio Play. After I shot off my breathless Don Corleone imitation, I was shanghaied into playing the villain. Unfortunately, the play ran over and I lost track of time, and I missed the Miss Starburst Pageant, which I had volunteered to MC. I felt really bad about that.
During the weekend I stayed at my mother-in-law's, and since I didn't have any panels - just a reading, which I'm sure would have been poorly attended - I decided to stay sleep in until 10:30 a.m. and then after visiting with my mother-in-law some more, I went to Cedar Hill, where I lived for many tears, and grabbed a chicken fried steak with an old friend. I later visited some old friends at their home, and then hot the road back to East Texas. I was back home in Mount Pleasant by 9 p.m.