Lo! The day was yet young when the warrior maiden, Mad Genius, and Charter Member of the Evil Legion of Evil, Kate the Impaler, did take up her raiment and Armor of Righteousness, and take her self and her trusty steed Ye Olde Camry (actually ye very young Camry, but who’s checking?) that she might make pilgrimage to that haven of Baen Barflies and their sworn enemies the Glittery Warriors of the Social Justice Hoo Haas, the Convention of Raven (RavenCon, okay?)
Though the journey was long and wearying, the fair maiden did not shrink from the task, slaying the dragons of Heavy Traffic as her trusty steed bore her along the dread I-95, ever closer to that wretched hive of scum and villainy known to those of lesser worth as Washington, DC.
But lo! Kate the Impaler’s mission this day did not require her to perform the Herculean task of cleaning the swamp of vile emissions of heated politics, and she did give thanks as she and her trusty steed skirted the dread city. Yea, and the tendrils of evil reached from the city in the form of useless HOV lanes and endless road works, but still Kate the Impaler held to her mission, for she must reach the shining gates of Richmond in time for an afternoon panel.
The dire Heavy Traffic did indeed cause the fair maiden some distress, for unbeknownst to her, the organizers of the righteous Convention did schedule their event to coincide with that mass entertainment known as Race Weekend, and so the hordes of NASCAR did make pilgrimage to the shining gates and clog the roads.
Long did Kate the Impaler bless her foresight in leaving these many hours ere her first panel, for the dragon of the traffic did consume a full extra hour of travel time (we won’t mention that unscheduled rest stop for biological needs: the fair warrior mislikes signs of aging) yet still she did arrive at the site of the Convention in good time.
And thus did her true campaign begin, for Kate the Impaler did not make such a journey lightly. Nay, she sought to learn more of the nefarious plans of the Hoo Haas of Glitter, and to perform reconnaissance for the Fourth Canine of Youth Engladdening, that she might avoid the snares the Hoo Haas of Glitter sought to lay in her path, for yea, the Hoo Haas did cry unto their lord Social Justice that the Canines of Youth were unworthy and must remain sorrowful until the day when they accepted the power of the Glittery Side.
So it was, as the hour of four approached, the warrior maiden did disguise herself in glittery mail that she might do battle in her first panel, “Playing God: Building Your Own World”, where she encountered fellow writers Lawrence Ellsworth, Kevin Kelleher, and Mike McPhail. Yet, the battle she feared did not eventuate, for lo! All were receptive to the notion that history contains much of value for the building of a fictional world, and that such a world may be far richer than one built without the references of such sources (She didn’t even have to be the first to mention this). Much laughter did ring from the audience as the
warri… writers did jest about their craft, and the warrior maiden did count herself fortunate to have aided in causing such happiness – for as all Evil Legion of Evil members know, happy humans make puppies happier.
As the hour grew later (8 pm might not be late to you lot, but the narcoleptic warrior maiden had a long day) Kate the Impaler did gird herself for battle once more and join the mighty Harry Heckel and KT Pinto for the panel “Just like the Last Time, Only Different”, in which the ability of sequels to maintain their freshness and not become like elderly seafood (and one of the Guests of
Horro… Honor, who, to the warrior maiden’s distress, seemed distinctly… not right).
Once again good humor and laughter did flow as the participants discussed techniques to write sequels and continuations without reusing their plots. All panelists did lament the difficulty of avoiding the traps of sequelae, most especially the seductive demon of Stakes Escalation, for lo! When thy character grows more powerful with every book, in time he becomes as dull as the Goo of Grayness for he can defeat all enemies with the least shrug of his over-powered shoulders.
As the panel drew to an end, the warrior maiden did bid her friends and fellow panelists farewell for the night, for she must be awake on the morn in order to once more battle the demons of boredom in the panel, “Writing Dialogue”…
(to be continued)