My Combat (Con) experience
This is one of those things I’m still trying to get used to. There’s my Hawaiian-shirted self up there as part of a panel of established professionals, discussing the merits and techniques of using violence as a storytelling tool. I’m sitting in between Bob Goodwin, the fight choreographer for Batman Begins, and Neal Stephenson, the author of several globally published novels including Snow Crash. Snow Crash, a book my friends and I all gleefully nerded out over back in our college days.
It’s one of those moments I found myself reluctant to advertise or even really talk about until it happened, because it just seemed so surreal. Combat Con wanted me on a panel with these guys? Me? Really? I kept waiting for the next email in the exchange to say “Oh, sorry, we thought you were someone else.”
I mean, we’re not talking a huge established convention here, but an invite is an invite, and it’s not like the guests were all small fish.
As for me, I didn’t care how small a fish I was, you put me on a panel and ask me to talk about storytelling and you better believe I’m going to give some input. I mean, once I had arrived in Las Vegas, and the convention, and was sitting there at the table, and Neal Stephenson had walked in and sat down next to me and talked to me, and an audience had gathered, and my brain finally, FINALLY stopped protesting that it was all just some strange, egotistical fever dream.
You regular readers of this blog know how much I like to hold forth on various topics, but I never presume that anyone’s actually listening much. At a panel, it’s an unavoidable fact… if you’re talking, you’re being listened to, not just by the attendees but by your fellow panelists. You not only are making your points on the fly, you may have to defend them on the fly.
I’m hoping I did all right with that. Dawn says I did, and of course she may be biased, but I do believe I made a worthwhile contribution to the debate, and considering some of the heavy hitters present, that makes me happy. So thank you Combat Con, and once again, thank you to any and every one of you that takes the time to read these weekly blatherings and maybe finds some interesting gems in the mix, and comments upon them. It helps even a small fish feel like he can make a splash in the big pond.