Writing, Focus, and Accountability

I don’t know about you, but these days, my focus comes and goes in spurts. Trying to get anything done is a slog, uphill both ways, with a short stopover in the kitchen for a snack.

Right now, we’ve got the whole ‘social isolation’ thing happening, with worries about how fast COVID-19 already spread, and what the job market is gonna look like when this whole thing ends. Cause it has to end, right?

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you should know that I’m the very definition of a Type-A lady. I need to feel some control over my life.

However, we all know the best type of productivity for this Type-A lady? Involves check-lists!

Remember a couple months ago when I started spouting the glories of using project management tools from the office for my writing? (For me, I picked Trello. They are not sponsoring me. I have no sponsors. But hey, Trello, feel free to sponsor me!)

Turns out? Offices use project management tools cause they kinda work.

I’ve almost kept up with all my self-imposed tasking. Seriously, for an unpaid vanity gig, I give myself a lot of work! Sometimes I think maybe I should focus more on my actual writing [my mom AND my dad both agree]. (But, hey, if you do find this blog helpful, leave a comment!*)

During the first 3 months of 2020, I only dropped the ball once. (Turns out, if you send Author Spotlight interviews less than 24 hours before they should go up, the replies might be done in voice-to-text. I deserved it).

To keep from making my mistake?

3 “Tricks” for Making Checklists Work

  1. Put the things you want to accomplish on them
  2. Add due dates
  3. Actually check the thing regularly

Now, I tried, really hard. It was just a bunch of small things that added up to the big miss. I added a spotlight but didn’t add it to the trello, I was sick and didn’t do my weekly task of ‘checking my trello board’, and I waited until bedtime, the day the author spotlight should have been prepped, before triple-checking my gmail draft that actually has the master list of author spotlights.

Before you go thinking I was born a Type-A, I must confess the reality of the situation. I’m a recovering messy-girl. That’s why organization is a thing I do in binges, and then coast until something goes wrong. I was the one who missed recess to clean up her desk. The one who was once hoarding seven library books in her desk and/or locker.

I am the girl who SOMEHOW managed to lose a spelling test DURING the test, before turning it in.

You think I’m joking? It started off with a messy scrawl and a spare sheet of paper where I was copying over the words in neater handwriting and ended up… I still don’t know.

Where was I going with this?

Humble-brag time. Since I’ve been home, I’ve managed to:

  • read 14 books (10 physical ones)
  • slush read for The Oddville Press
  • beta read one short
  • attend 2 virtual Balticon meetings
  • 1 virtual Anansi Storytime meeting
  • revise 30 pages and send them to my mentor
  • did my first pass at prepping the next 30 pages
  • my weekly, unattended Twitter chat: #ChatWriteNow (10pm Thursdays)
  • Plus, of course, my 3 author spotlights, and as soon as I finish this, 3 blogposts and vlogposts

Plus, a not-a-rejection from an editor on a short story. (She’s no longer the editor on that project, I need to resubmit).

When I look at my Trello board for the entire 1st quarter (I organized it like that to keep from getting too cluttered), the only things I missed were:

  1. Monthly #authortube video that wasn’t my blog — although, if joining a livestream counts, I’m okay.
  2. Updating the trello board one week (obv)
  3. Still waiting on feedback from a few readers of my middle-grade novel, so I haven’t started its revision

And that’s not counting the hours and hours I spent mindlessly browsing facebook or ‘playing’ the fb not-a-puzzle-game Hero Wars.

Isolation update:

I am doing my dayjob from home — but it’s a new project with a lot of moving parts where I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

I’ve done a fair amount of cooking lately — pasta, stew, boxes with directions on the back. I’m surprised I haven’t resorted to stress-cleaning yet. But, I did find a pressure washer because my sidewalk needs it. Maybe this weekend?

Minor confession. Remember last week’s post where I said a lovely walk between dayjob and writing helped break everything up? Well… I sprained my ankle on Saturday, so I’ve unfortunately been forced to slack on the couch this week. But, hey, it’s been cold and rainy, so I don’t think I’m missing too much, besides the step-count.

I’ve been sleeping better, although I’m pretty sure it’s getting used to the stress, not decreasing my stress. But, hey, I’m great at binge reading when I’m stressed.

As all the experts are saying, be patient with yourself if productivity or creativity is on hold from the stress. Figure out what you can do, and make sure to leave some time to bring yourself joy — or at least distract yourself from the stress for a bit.

How are you holding up?

* Or, if you want, I did actually add a donation button over on the side. If you actually find this blog helpful and worthwhile, plus have the spare cash, I’ll give a shout out to my first sponsor.

I’m torn between, “other people are more deserving” and “I should value my own time and work”. Hence why it’s been up for months and I’m just now mentioning it. In a tiny aside. At the end.

Author Spotlight: Thomas Kane

  • fantasy writer by way of England and Maine

Readers! Let’s give a good hearty welcome to Thomas Kane!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

After a few years publishing supplements for D&D and other role-playing games, Thomas M. Kane moved from the US to the UK where he lectured in international politics and strategic studies at the University of Hull. He has now returned to his original home in the Maine woods, where he writes fantasy.

Thomas, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

My WIP features a princess with a pet lizard. While writing it, I researched real-life pet lizards and fell in love with bearded dragons. Apparently, many of them play with toy balls, recognize their humans and like to snuggle. I had never known reptiles behaved that way, but now that I do, it fits with a lot of what I believe about the world. And I think they’re really cute!

My late step-mother used to have an Australian bearded dragon! She’d set it on her shoulder, wearing a leash and just walk around. On occasion, it would move, and she’d get surrounded by people asking, “oh, wait. Is that REAL?” They’re great pets.

What do you write and how did you get started?

My father was (among other things) an editor and my mother was (among other things) a poet. They encouraged me to write stories and poems from early on. I discovered fantasy at age 11 when a teacher read The Lord of the Rings aloud in class. He did the Black Riders’ screams.

After that came D&D. I learned about the business side of writing by producing supplements for role-playing games. Meanwhile, thanks to an excellent professor, I became interested in international relations and I pursued and academic career with the thought that it would allow me to write as part of my day job. I did, indeed, publish eight scholarly books in my field, and I also had a fair number of adventures which now show up in my fiction.

My current series is about an introspective woman named Mara growing to adulthood in a time when two powerful countries are slipping closer to war. It’s an adventure story with a lot of intrigue, but it’s also a story about Mara’s home life, her friendships and her observations about her world. Much of my fiction explores similar themes – I am interested in my characters’ inner lives, I am interested in relatively ordinary people and I set my writing in imaginary settings. My academic career taught me some things about real-life war, espionage and international intrigue and I bring this into my writing.

What an excellent environment to grow up in, as a future writer. I’m sure many of us know the appeal of the ‘day job that can support our writing habit,” how lovely to have one that could add compelling stories to the craft itself! And? I have to confess to sometimes caring more about the character’s inner life than their surroundings.

What do you like to read?

I read broadly! The books that most directly inspire my writing these days are Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Tombs of Atuan and Tehanu. I love Le Guin’s use of the language and I love her willingness to engage with ideas.

Tombs and Tehanu are about a priestess in a sinister cult who runs away and tries to find a life that’s right for her. As someone who has moved across the ocean twice for not-entirely-dissimilar reasons, I appreciate that plot!

Ah, I remember having a soft spot for Tehanu back when I read it. Le Guin is an amazing writer and an excellent muse.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

When people treat writing advice as unbreakable laws

I think all writing advice needs to be taken in context. Writing advice becomes pernicious when it encourages people to try to catch others out for breaking arbitrary rules. I also have to say I have limited patience for gatekeeping, domineering behavior, and the attitude of “no pain, no gain.” This is another reason I like Ursula K Le Guin – she has written clever essays querying such attitudes as the Hemmingway-fueled presumption that every adjective, adverb or punctuation mark is a sign of weakness.

When I was learning to write, I listened to virtually all the advice I received and worked hard to apply it. This attitude probably helped me develop a consistent and readable style. It certainly helped me work successfully with editors. However, I found it impossible to make progress with novels until I gave myself permission to stop worrying about taboos and simply say what I had to say. That’s one of the reasons I like to write in first person – it lets me express myself the way my characters express themselves, rather than the way I have been told I must.

Definitely. To quote Pirates of the Caribbean – “They’re more like… guidelines.” But, by studying them, you’re aware of the rules and why they exist, and you break them for a purpose, an intent. The rules give a decent framework to start from… and then you can work your magic.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.


When teaching. I often recommend Gregory G. Columb and Joseph M. Williams’ Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Columb and Williams make the point that each sentence is a miniature story in its own right. They also talk about how to organize ideas into coherent “strings.” I find their system valuable for making writing make sense.

Fascinating! I’ve heard that each chapter should be its own story, but never taken down to the sentence level. *Adds ANOTHER book to her massive to-read pile*

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Mara of the League Book One: The Witches of Crannock Dale

The Witches of Crannock Dale (Mara of the League Book 1) by [Kane, Thomas]

Eleven-year old Mara tries to save her family from invaders. When the knights protecting her town arrest her aunt for witchcraft, she wonders who her real enemies are.

This is a story of war and espionage, set in a low fantasy world.

It is also about a child getting to know her mother and father in a new way.

Mara of the League Book Two: The Rebels of Caer City

The Rebels of Caer City (Mara of the League Book 2) by [Kane, Thomas]

Throughout five years at a strict boarding school, Mara has turned to her friend Annie-Rose for comfort. Now Annie has disappeared. Mara teams up with two other students – bold Gretchen and soft-spoken Ginny — to find her missing friend.

Together, Mara, Gretchen and Ginny take on a conspiracy involving some of the most dangerous people in their world.

For more check out my website, facebook, and twitter for blog articles, books reviews, and supplemental material on my novels.

For more stories and articles for free, check out my newsletter. Just email me at thomasmkaneauthor@gmail.com to subscribe.

AND? Join the conversation! Discuss the Mara series and other thought-provoking stories in the Facebook group Kane’s Coffeehouse.

Website | Facebook Page | Twitter

Writing In The Time of Covid-19

Last week, I was home sick with a normal cold — no fever, wet cough, progressing like my normal colds. I spent the week half-napping and binge-reading paranormal romances, half doing my day-job from home and vegging. Paying a little attention to the news.

By Friday, when I started to feel well enough to socialize? The state of Virginia had been told we should be “socially distancing” ourselves. I didn’t even know what that meant until a week ago.

My last hurrah was a D&D game with 5 friends and 3 pies, for Pi day. With D&D, you only touch your own dice and mini figure, and the host’s table is LARGE so were pretty spread out. We still all washed our hands 10 times and did our best to keep our distances.

I know I’m one of the fortunate ones. I’d already stocked up on groceries when I started coming down with my cold, I have plenty of toilet paper, and a day-job that easily supports work-from-home.

Watching the guidelines roll out, with 2 weeks turning into 4 weeks hinting at 8 weeks or more, I saw those conventions I was so excited to panel at just last week have to close their doors. They’ve tried to reschedule, there are rumors of trying to run a few things online, but the cons themselves aren’t happening.

With a death-rate ten times that of the flu, and a lack of any vaccine or natural immunity making the choice to let it just run its course look like a natural disaster on a scale not seen outside of war and/or the history books, I can’t blame them. I understand.

But it hurts.

I was so excited and proud.

Now? I’m just bummed and fighting anxiety.

I’m worried for my friends with high-risk factors — age, wellness, public service sector jobs. Worried for my friends who are going to lose their jobs — their healthcare, their food access, their homes. And hoping the grocery stores keep managing to restock.

I’m a bit type-A, so once I realized I’d be working full time from home, I set up a folding table so I could see 3 laptops and a monitor at the same time. Couch-working, like I did when I was home sick last week? Isn’t really set up for full-time work.

Next? I took inventory of all my food and grocery items, just to reassure myself I’d be okay. Seriously. On a pad of paper — down to calculating servings per meal and doses of meds.

It reassured me at first. Until the 8+ weeks part started to spread and I realized, my calm, “totally handling this” self was having trouble falling asleep. I guess I’ll have to stop avoiding the grocery store at some point, but not for a few weeks yet.

I know I’m going to start getting cabin fever at some point. I’m an ambivert and going INTO social isolation after a week home sick really just belabors the point. So, I’ve taken a few steps to try and ward off the inevitable. (Remember: Type A)

5 Things I’m Doing On My Own

  1. I’m keeping to my same wake/sleep/work schedule that I do when I have to go into the office.
  2. I’m getting dressed, not just staying in my pajamas all day.
  3. I’m making sure to stop and eat regular meals, not just snacking all day, like work-from-home can so often turn into.
  4. I’m taking a walk a day (weather permitting), to try and get some steps in, get some fresh air, and keep from sitting at my desk 16 hours a day.
  5. I’m stepping away from my computer for at least an hour between the end of my day-job workday and the start of my writing time.

It’s scary, not knowing when this is going to end. Not knowing when or if things will ever get back to normal. I like to plan, and you can’t plan unless you know when an emergency will be over.

So, it’s more important than ever to keep in touch with Team You. The people who love and support you. The people who brighten your life and enrich it. The people who can distract you from the news for more than 5 minutes.

4 Ways I’m Socially Connecting

  1. I’ve participated in a live-stream author write-in. It’s a great way to socialize with other writers, online where it’s ‘safe’, and actually get some writing sprints in. I plan to join more.
  2. I’m calling friends or family at least once or twice a day, to hear a voice other than the one inside my head, or on my telecon.
  3. Some of my weekly hangouts with friends look like they may be going online. A voice-chat editing session with my Anansi Storytime people, Netflix Party with some friends to watch a movie or tv. Just hanging out and chatting, only from more than just a chair away.
  4. And obviously, there’s that whole “Morgan has a social media addiction” thing.

It’s tough. It’s scary. We’re all worried.

But, I do know one thing. I can’t make it through this alone.

If you’ve been told to ‘socially distance’ yourself, how are you handling it?
How is your workplace handling it?
If you are one of the amazing people on the frontlines of this thing (medical professionals, food service/grocery, cleaning), how are you holding up?

P.S. I cope by using a lot of gallows humor. Anyone got some good pandemic memes?

Author Spotlight: Carrow Brown

  • an urban fantasy author, psychology grad student, and lover of tacos

Readers! Let’s give a good hearty welcome to Carrow Brown!

Long-haired brunette, with green eyes, pale skin, and a large sword. Wearing a green t-shirt.

Carrow Brown grew up in a military family and traveled the world absorbing everything she could (including whatever bad words she could find!) Her passion has always been to write stories to share with others that both entertain and provoke thought.

Carrow resides in sunny Arizona with her husband and German shepherds. In the little free time she has between writing The Ghost Walker Chronicles and her clinical psychology graduate work, Carrow can often be found sketching her characters into life and hiking in the wilderness with her husband and dogs.

She is easily bribed with tacos and the answer is always “yes” if you offer to show her pictures of your dogs.

Carrow, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

Dogs. All the dogs. I love dogs. I have only four because we don’t have room for more.

Puppies are pretty much the best.

What do you write and how did you get started?

I’ve been writing probably since high school.

My first writing memory actually came when I was in elementary school and we were given a writing assignment and I totally did horrible at it. And I remember how afraid and shameful I was about the poor quality of my work and it kind of put me off of writing and reading in general at the time. As I got older and I read a lot of books, I wanted to kind of dive into it again but didn’t feel I had the skillset at the time. But by the time I hit High School, I started writing for myself a lot more. That usually looked like fanfiction about 90% of the time but I also did creative writing exercises for English class. When I graduated from high school and went straight into the military, I didn’t pick up writing again until I was probably 25. I joined a couple of games online with other individuals who like to role-play their characters and I got back into writing that way.

When I turn 30 I kind of realized that one of the things I always wanted to do as a kid was ‘write a story’. So, I decided that this was the time, that I was going to be serious and actually write my book and get it out and if I publish one book before I died I was going to call it a victory.

Now, I’m kind of here with my one book out and a bunch more on the way and I feel pretty lucky. But I will say that it wasn’t all roses and sunshine. I have worked very hard to get where I am right now and I’m still always working very hard. I’m always looking to improve my writing and find better ways to hone my craft.

Know that you aren’t alone with getting established and then going back to your writing. Still. It is so hard! Congrats!

What do you like to read?

I will read pretty much anything but westerns. The reason I want to read just about anything is that every genre has something that makes it unique from everything else and I really appreciate that. By default you find me reading a lot of fantasy urban fantasy and romance. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are my guilty pleasure to read for sure. Now and then I will also dive into a little bit of fanfiction but as I’ve gotten older truly hard for me to read fanfiction because a lot of people who write it don’t really proof what they’re writing, so it’s hard for me to see past that.

Ha! Your to-read pile sounds a lot like mine!

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Make likeable characters

Oh, this is a tough one. The one writing advice as commonly accepted by that I don’t fundamentally agree with is that you have to constantly make likable characters.

My entire book is actually based on the premise of making characters that a reader will like but are not likable. And my counter-statement to this advice is that you shouldn’t make likable characters you should make relatable characters. A character should be somebody that you can look like and identify with but not be likable. For example, one of the characters in my book that everybody really does love is Silence. Even though he’s a bloodthirsty sword that’s always pushing goes to do very questionable and horrible things, people end up enjoying him because he is funny and deep down he does have feelings and wants that people can identify with.

Such great advice. For unlikable, but lovable characters in the mainstream, I usually point to IronMan. I would HATE to date him or have to work with him. But, as a character? He’s pretty well-loved.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Set the scene

You need to set the scene.

I have a really hard time reading books with seeing when it’s not set. I have encountered individuals who will write the intro piece to whatever it is that they’re doing and I don’t know where I am who I am or what is going on. A lot of people think that this adds mystery and questions to the writing but I’m honestly very frustrated. I’m not saying somebody needs to come in and bash me over the head with these things but it would be nice to have a gradual introduction to this world that the story is taking place in. Starting off with some kind of rambling or a Falafel discussion by the author to the reader honestly is just antagonistic to me and I’m not here for it. So set the damn scene.

That makes perfect sense. The whole, in-media-res thing is often taken WAY too far.

Then again, I only care moderately about what a place looks like, so authors who stop for a page and a half to describe the room and every character, without interweaving any dialogue or action are kinda my pet-peeve. But, I know I’m plot and stakes focused and try to remember to cater a little to those of you out there with movies running in your head when you read.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Queen of Swords in silence is my baby book. It is the first book — my debut book, my heart, my blood, my everything book. I’ve gone through a lot of hardship to get this book out into the world so it’s always going to have a special place in my heart. It’s being relaunched on the 23rd for Kindle with the other formats coming up very soon.

Queen of Swords & Silence

Queen of Swords and Silence (Ghost Walker Chronicles Book 1) by [Brown, Carrow]

A banished Valkyrie stripped of her place among the gods,

Mythics vanishing left and right along with ancient relics,

A sword thirsty for blood and drenched in madness,

and now the roof has a leak—where’s the vodka?

A literal man-eater, Ghost was born . . . damaged.

Where do you go when your own creator discards you?

The world is bleak, but Ghost couldn’t care less about others woes. She has her own to contend with. A castaway, stripped of her valkyrie title, and enslaved for centuries due to her deformity…how’s that for a sob story?

Her love life and bank account are equally empty, her best friend is a bloodthirsty sword, and the roof has a leak . . . but Ghost’s duties ensure very few days are dull. Doing her master’s bidding has some benefits: global travel, meeting interesting people, stealing their priceless artifacts, and doing a little murder if needed. She could be tasked to oversee treasure or execute a magi who foolishly stepped out of line.

But the shadows in Ghost’s world are shifting. When Mythics disappears under strange circumstances, Ghost finds herself in a lethal game of supernatural politics. The Gods seek ancient relics that could prove the ticket to Ghost’s acceptance, but how far will she go to take her place within the pantheon? The stakes are high when one mistake could open a hole into Chaos . . .

 Outside of that, you can find some of my Faye Black work. That is, my guilty self-pleasure venture into romance and anything that involves romance. In 2020, I’m actually focusing on getting more of the stories for Faye Black out just because those are stories that actually make me feel good when I write them. I want to get them out into the world and into people’s hands.

I am an #authortuber, but the only other bit I would throw out there is that I do a podcast with Tamara Woods who is a cozy mystery author. We have a podcast called Authortube News where we basically go through the latest articles and newsworthy items that affect our lives as writers and authors and share them with the rest of the writing an author community. So feel free to go and check that out, thank you.

Website | Facebook Page | Twitter | Instagram | Authortube News!

Everything You Need To Know About Convention Panels

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I share a lot of notes from “panels”.

If you’ve never been to a convention, you may be unfamiliar with panels. If you’ve only been to corporate/work conventions, you might look at them as torturous boredom. Or, at the very least, strictly educational.

At their most basic: panels are simply several people, sitting at table, facing an audience, sharing their thoughts on a subject.

Typically, these individuals are what’s referred to in the DC metro area at least as “SMEs” – subject-matter experts.

And, quite often, these panels have one of the panelists acting as a moderator. A good moderator asks the panel questions, makes sure everyone on the panel is heard, tries to keep any debate lively without getting too personal, accepts the questions from the audience, and does their best to help with crowd control.

A typical con panel is 50 minutes, with the first 30-40 minutes being for the panelists to talk amongst themselves about the subject, and the last 10-20 minutes being for Q&A. With a brief introduction at the beginning, and a minute or so for closing thoughts and self-promotion at the end.

Now, panels aren’t the only things to attend at a convention, there are workshops, dances, book-readings, concerts, parties, and more. In fact, before I got so involved in my writing journey, I had attended a bunch of conventions and maybe 2 panels. These days? It’s a weird weekend if I attend fewer than 20.

Never fear, you can be a writer or a fan without ever attending a convention. Although, that’s partially why I like to share my notes, so that those who can’t, or don’t attend panels still have access to the nuggets of information I try to glean from the experts.

But, should you ever attend a convention, I want to set you up for success — so you’re seen as an excellent audience member and not someone to avoid.

4 Things Not To Do During The Q&A Period

  1. “This is more of a statement than a question…”

    If you attend panels, if you’re on panels, you will hear this phrase. A LOT.

    I know that there are plenty of bright, intelligent people in the audience, I know many of them would have made excellent panelists themselves, and many ARE actually on other panels. BUT. Unless you are on this panel, this is neither the time, nor the place to insert your own opinion on the subject.

    Save it for twitter. Or facebook. Or your friends — after the panel. You will not impress the panelists, you will not impress the audience. You will, however, trigger a massive eye roll, and a lot of tuning out.
  2. Providing tons of background for your question

    Especially in writing panels and gaming panels, audience members will want to provide background for precisely why they’re asking this question, in the hopes that they will get a tailormade answer. And because they’re just plain excited about their world and their story and… everything.

    It’s fine to give a little context, but no more than 20 seconds. I’ve listened to audience members who took up to 5 minutes to get to the question portion of their statement. Most moderators aren’t going to let you get that far.

    When you take that long, you’re taking time away from the panelists answers, and keeping other people from asking their questions. (And sometimes? It comes across like you’re stealing the time to market your own stuff, which is exceedingly rude.) If you know you have trouble getting to your question within 30 seconds, work with a friend in advance to rephrase until you can. Or, take it off-line, talk to them after the panel or at their table.

    Caveat: People at merchandise tables are NOT your audience, they are trying to sell their own merchandise and it is incredibly rude to scare away potential sales by dominating their attention.
  3. Off-topic Questions

    The panelists are prepared to speak on the subject described in the program. The other audience members are there to hear the panelists talk about the subject described in the program.

    If you have a specific question, that is unrelated to the panel, ask it after the panel.
  4. Asking tons of questions

    If no one else is asking, feel free, but don’t monopolize the Q&A period. Ask one, then give other people a chance to ask theirs — they’re paying as much to attend as you are and deserve the chance just as much. Only, if no one else has questions, should you go for a second question.

All that said, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask for recommendations, or a panelist to speak more on something they hinted at.

For some shameless name dropping here, I once attended a panel with the ever-famous George RR Martin on it, and, once the panel opened to questions, I asked a question addressing what I *thought* the panel had said it was going to be on in the first place. (Martin complimented my question, but the moderator actually answered my question the best…)

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, if the Corona-virus permits, I’m actually signed up to be a panelist at three cons this spring and summer. Hopefully, I’ll be as good behind the table and I try to be in the audience.

Have you attended con panels? Are there any tips or tricks I missed?