And it came to pass that as the second day of the Convention of Raven dawned, the warrior maiden Kate the Impaler did fortify herself at the buffet of breakfast, wherein quantities of bacon were consumed and strong tea was imbibed (the warrior maiden’s dislike of coffee hampering her ability to caffeinate). Thus, as the hour of ten approached, the warrior maiden prepared to join the “Writing Dialogue” panel.
And lo! With the aid of fellow-panelists Lou Antonelli, Karen McCullough, Noah McBrayer Jones, and Lawrence M Schoen, wit did sparkle and discussion did flow as mighty principles of dialogue were examined (when writing dialect and accents, less is more, attributions like “he said” vanish, and word choice matters). Much was made of the difference between the way people really speak and how such speech be represented in dialogue, with the worthy panelists exhorting the audience to avoid such evils as phonetically representing accents unless they be writing plays. Indeed, to spell an accent is to force a reader to work, and such an act pulls that worthy from the tale.
Yea, though the panelists were greatly diverse in origin, all did agree upon the evils of forcing the reader from the spell woven by their words, lest he abandon their works altogether and buy them no more.
With cheer and goodwill did the panelists part ways, expressing hope of further meetings, and so the warrior maiden did venture unto the Den of Vile Commerce known as the Dealers Room, wherein she sighed over the pretties on display at Forgotten Treasures and enjoyed conversation with that mighty warrior Mad Mike, whose Sharp Pointy Things were in very deed an array of sharp, pointy things to make any warrior dream of a greater bank balance and the screams of dying enemies (but alas, the bank balance must be honored lest the wails of dying credit card attract the demons of insufficient funds).
Much joyous conversation was had upon the nature of weaponry, the importance of ending the Sadness of the Canines of Youth, and the prospect of selling buttons with the arcane cantrip “Barfly Central is my Safe Space”. And lo! The Convention of Raven has not descended to the madness of the Safe Space, for among the Secret Masters of Fandom in the shining city of Richmond there are those who know the never-to-be-spoken truth: that the Safe Space so celebrated by the Glittery Warriors of Social Justice is merely the demon of Apartheid masquerading under a pretty name and suit of demonic glitter.
As the hour of one drew near, Kate the Impaler did gird her loins (not literally – stop slavering) once more and ventured unto the panel “It’s Only a Flesh Wound! Realistic Injuries in SF and Fantasy” where with the doughty warriors Chris A Jackson, Stuart Jaffe, Darin Kennedy, and Mike McPhail she did opine on the nature of injuries and how the injury of penetration is – unless such injury chances upon a vital organ – by far less damaging than the injury of blunt force.
Yea, the nature of injury and the horrors therein were examined by those who inflicted such injuries in their profession and those who healed them, as well as the warrior maiden who in her mundane life merely researches them with thoroughness and joy. Kate the Impaler did extol the virtues of that most amusing and enlightening of locales to be found within the Internet of Tubes, “Things I Learn From My Patients“.
Much was said about the quality of Hollywood injury depiction, little of it flattering for lo! No mere human can fall a great distance and be able to rise, for not only are most of his bones broken unto fragments, said fragments have opened many of his major blood vessels, and he has bled out ere he can be aided even if his brain was not damaged by the contact of his head with a hard surface at terminal velocity.
Upon completion of the panel, the warrior maiden did retreat to her “safe space” (Barfly Central) wherein she did converse with many of the Flies of Bar and did meet in person the redoubtable warriors John C Wright and L Jagi Lamplighter (for as with many in these modern times the warrior maiden had conversed with both through the Internet of Tubes). ‘Twas here that Kate the Impaler did learn of the attempt of the GOH of Wrongness to have a person ejected from the Convention of Raven and that the GOH of Wrongness did have no copanelists. Speculation there was that the GOH of Wrongness was of such wrongness that no other wished to join for any panel.
And it came to pass that the space of Barfly Central did empty for the Baen Road Show, but the warrior maiden was wearied, and remained, where she spoke unto the Guest Liaison of the nature of managing conventions and the difficulties therein (and learned much from that worthy, though of such nature it may not be disclosed in public, for the Guest Liaison sees much and must keep peace among such a diversity of Guests of Honor that leakage may cause great damage unto a Convention).
Thus, while the Guest Liaison did prepare repast for the Flies of Bar, Kate the Impaler did aid her, for the narcoleptic warrior maiden must remain awake beyond the night hour of ten, that she might contribute mightily to her final panel of the day, “The Villain’s Journey”.
(to be continued)