That Time I Went to a Con and Talked My Way Onto a Panel, Then Moved Two Days Later

10/07/2014 04:18:00 PM Lexie Dunne 4 Comments

So I’m writing this while I wait for the cable guy to arrive and bless this new apartment with internet—GLORIOUS INTERNET—and it’s kind of the first time I’ve really turned on a computer in a few days. And I remember why I wanted to hire movers rather than my brother and brother-in-law in the first place. Thankfully, I’m not as sore as I dreaded today; I think getting up and unpacking my kitchen first thing (sort of; two boxes left to go, and about 75% of my dishes to wash) really helped.

But hoo boy, what a week. And it’s barely even started.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll probably have seen a little about my week. Whenever I could remember that I had a cell phone, I tried to hop on with updates, as it’s been exhilarating and exhausting and absolutely wonderful.

It began on Thursday (actually it began last week when I started really throwing things into boxes). Wiped out from wrapping all of my dishes and making sure my Captain Marvel limited edition Comic Con glass would make the trip safely (she did!), I got online to relax and there, listed on Tamora Pierce’s Tumblr, was the fact that she was a Guest of Honor…in St. Louis.

I love Tamora Pierce’s work. Tortall is an amazing place and I looooove Kel and I loooooooove Daine even more. But while I’m a fan that will read her books when I can get them, my mother is a mega-fan. She has the entire series collection, wrapped in that plastic that libraries use, and she regularly rereads them AND listens to the audiobooks. She adores Kel, but her favorite character is probably Tris. So I called her, made sure she was sitting down, and told her the news. We discovered that she sounds exactly like Chelsea when she gets SUPER excited.

They had a table full of business cards, so I sneaked my postcards in and then ran away before I could get caught. Aren't they gorgeous??? I will have them with me in NY. If you're at NYCC, COME FIND ME AND I WILL GIVE YOU ONE.
So. Friday was spent ultra-packing since I was going to lose Saturday, when we were headed to Archon 38 (which is hella expensive; tickets were $45 a piece!). I drove out to pick Mom up on Saturday morning and we headed to the same building where I’d gone to prom to go see my mom’s favorite author (she has three; two of them have unfortunately passed). I wasn’t sure how big the crowd would be, so I decided we should grab front-row seats for the panel before and just remain there.

WELL. One of the panelists was the delightful Angie Fox (who I think is a spitting image of Dana Delany), and I had met her briefly at WizardCon when I warily approached a panel of REAL! LIVE! AUTHORS! to get publishing advice. She remembered me and we chatted before the panel, where two of the other panelists hadn’t showed. Angie’s solution was to pull another published author and me onto the panel.

So that’s right. I sat on my very first panel on Saturday. The topic was use of magic systems in books, and my mom sat in the front row the entire time and bounced with excitement on my behalf. Highlights were actually knowing what the hell I was talking about (my mom was surprised), getting a question directed at me in particular, being able to talk up Anne McCaffrey’s Talents and Tower series, and getting told by a man dressed as a Ghostbuster that I was “really smoking hot.” My ego was sufficiently flattered. I made the entire room laugh a couple of times (“What’s your writing process?” “I drink a fifth of vodka and…” / “So how do you force yourself to write?” “I wait until the deadlines get REALLY scary.”), so that was an awesome and humbling experience. Angie Fox is wonderful, and you guys should read her series about a supernatural MASH unit.

After my panel, Tamora Pierce did a talk on Strong Women Characters with a writer named MR Sellars (who really did not get to talk much). I ran into my friend Heather at the con, too, which was great (she came up and sat with us and we quietly seethed at certain parts together). Ms. Pierce is very opinionated and well-spoken and she had a lot of great things to say, but I STRONGLY DISAGREE that Black Widow DID NOT JUST STAND AROUND IN THE AVENGERS AND LOOK SEXY. SHE DROVE THE FREAKING PLOT. SHE. DROVE. THE. ENTIRE. PLOT.

Other than that, Ms. Pierce was wonderful.

Because I apparently am a masochist, I headed to a third panel with my empty stomach making the room blur a little (note to self for Saturday: BRING SNACKS). It was about self-publishing and the process of publishing in the digital age. GP Ching was the panelist that spoke the most, and she had some good and interesting things to say. Apparently blog tours aren’t very effective in 2014, so I’ll have to consider my strategy next month. I even got brave enough to pose a question to the panelists about social media, so you guys should see some fun things from me. Their biggest suggestion was a giveaway, so let me pose a question to you:

What would you like to see me give away for SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS? I’ve got an overabundance of pride, some arrogance, and a tiny bit of humility I can spare.

here she is, reading from her new book. SO COOL.
I finally got a chance to eat during a Q&A session following a reading from Tamora Pierce’s newest book (which is about Numair!!!!), and then we stood in line for autographs afterward so Mom could get her books signed. Of course she told Ms. Pierce about New York and my book. Of course she did. Tamora Pierce raved about Kelly Sue DeConnick and Marjorie Liu and Gail Simone, all of whom are going to be there next week, I think, and all of whom I’m going to try and meet and get autographs from. I have been practicing my duck lips! Daily training and everything.

So that was Archon. I bought a Harley Quinn print that I adore (it’s going in the outer bathroom), one of GP Ching’s books, a T-shirt you’ll see me rock at my panel on Saturday, and my sister’s Christmas present.

On Sunday, my amazing, lovely parents came over to my apartment to help us paint the bedrooms and bathroom. Apart from an issue with the Killz Primer and a paint scraper (that bathroom wall has now tasted blood), it seemed to go pretty smoothly. Dad and I went to pick up a U-HAUL trailer, and we had a good dinner with them. It was a very full, very exhausting day.

Not as full or exhausting as yesterday. Five of us gathered all of the stuff in my apartment (luckily the couch breaks down), moved it down a set of stairs, down another half-flight of stairs, five miles up the highway, up a half-flight of stairs, and up another flight of stairs. I climbed so many stairs yesterday. SO. MANY. STAIRS. My legs are burning just remembering that. Luckily, apart from a load of stuff in my dad’s truck that I’ll take back on Wednesday, and a load of stuff in Chloe’s car, it’s all in the apartment. The couch has been reassembled, the recliner looks like a recliner again, and most importantly, my desk and computer are set up. I’m just waiting for the cable guy to get here and turn on the Internet.

Update from several hours later:

The cable guy came and sooooort of set up the Internet? I have no idea. It was broken down in the box and now the modem’s working, but only if it’s hard-wired into my desktop, which is mercifully where I wrote this earlier today. So yeah, limited internet. Go me! I’ve been using the time to work on SUPERHEROES 2: ELECTRIC POWERS BOOGALOO.

So far, it’s going well. My new kitchen is tiny, so I’m going to call it the galley instead. The dishwasher looks nice and harmless, right? RIGHT? Yeah, it’s destroyed more dishes than the move did, so I’m really not happy about that. I’ll be buying a dish-drying rack when I get back from NY.

But hey, the writing view ain’t nothing to scoff at.


  1. Nice going. Straight onto a panel with no prep and you pulled it off with panache. Great warm-up for 11/10/2014 in New York :)

  2. Baptism by fire. Just your style! ;-)

  3. I really wish I could go panelling with you ;) When is your housewarming party?

  4. The panel was fantastic and I only almost teared up when face to face with Tamora Pierce! You, Lexie were fantastic, witty, smart and savvy. (and thats not because I'm your Mom).


Please keep it PG. My mom reads this blog.