Holy cow, y'all. What a weekend. And it was all awesome.Day One:
The first thing I got to do was shake Adam Baldwin's hand and thank him for being an outspoken conservative in Hollywood. He signed my Angel S5 sleeve and was very gracious. I then wandered about for awhile before hitting the "Religion in SF/F" panel, which was interesting, as always, although I was a little bemused by the fact that no one mentioned Jim Butcher and the fact that he basically singlehandedly made it okay to write good-guy people of faith in the genre again, after it had gone out of style for a couple of decades.
However, James Marsters talked about Dresden during his panel--after someone asked him what it was like to kiss John Barrowman in "Torchwood." His reaction was: "Men, if you want to kiss a woman, for the love of God, either shave
or grow it out until it's soft. Because no one wants sandpaper scraping their face, okay." It was after that that someone asked him about Dresden, and he says the next book is great
, and he talked about doing audiobooks. Now I have to pick one up. At least one. He sang, too.
And then I stood in line (there is a lot
of standing--or sitting--in line at these things) for about an hour and a half so I could get his signature on my Angel S5 sleeve. I got to tell him that it was his fault I'm a writer, because Spike sparked my imagination that much and I just wanted him to be happy dammit
. And he just seemed blown away by the fact that he affected my life that much, that now I'm writing my own original works and getting published here and there. He was super, super nice, and I adore him even more now.
I went to dinner with James Wymore and... oh, God, I'm sorry I can't remember the guy's name--at the Desert Edge Brewery--and found out that the story that won the Salty Dog Award at Salt City Steam is going to be in an anthology with Piers Anthony. Cue a happy geek moment--I read a crapload
of Piers Anthony in high school and college, and his name will lend a certain cachet to the antho, so... yes, please.Day Two:
Three panels on writing. What do your characters want, and why can't they get it. Story is about meaning
. The Campbellian Monomyth, and the Grand Argument Story. Humor as a Venn Diagram where the benign meets the violation.
Waited in line for Karl Urban. As previously stated, I had no idea he was from New Zealand. Or was in Xena. Clearly, I have catching up to do. He told one story about auditioning for the part of an American (his first), and he put a lot of swearing in because he thought that's what Americans do. His agent said, "Yeah, don't do that again."
Then waited in line again for Brent Spiner, who is also hilarious. He said that one director threatened not to come back to the TNG set because the cast, apparently, was cutting up too much, and they got called in to a meeting, and then he did this awesome impression of Sir Patrick Stewart being Very Stern.
Somewhere in there I got my Iron Man novelization and my copy of "Howling Mad" signed by Peter David. Wandered the dealer's room and bought some Things. I think that's the day I talked to Sandra Tayler and Brian Lewis as well. At this point, it's a bit blurry.
Didn't get home until 10pm, and didn't get to eat until 11. So that was fun.Day Three:
Got up at 7am to catch the 8am train so I could be there to get in line by 9 for Nathan Fillion. Said line was already out the door by the time I got there; I heard that people had been lining up since 6:30, and some had tried to camp out overnight. Amazingly, I got in. He talked about "Saving Private Ryan" and "Firefly" and "Castle." Apparently the guy who ghost-writes the "Castle" novels once told him "This is the only time I've ever been on the New York Times bestseller list... and your face is on the cover." Also, Joss Whedon plans everything
After that was the panel on "Dragon Warriors," starring James Marsters, a spiffy little movie shot here in Utah entirely on a greenscreen. We got to see a trailer, a behind-the-scenes bit, and a clip. They're doing a Kickstarter
, which I am certainly
going to back and so should you. Seriously, look at that
I wandered about for a bit, and then got in line for the Adam Baldwin panel. Grabbed a Coke and a salad, because like hell did I want to not get to eat anything until 11pm again. I even got some work done while I waited. He talked about "Firefly" and "Chuck" and "Full Metal Jacket." A kid asked him "Do you ever have a role where you're not
carrying a gun?" And he thought about it for a minute and said, "...you should check out 'My Bodyguard.' No gun, but I did have a motorcycle." He's also got a thing coming out on TNT called The Last Ship
, which we should all watch.
As much as I love Sir Patrick Stewart, I'd had my fill of line-waiting by then, so I wandered a little then hit more writing panels. Honestly, I should have been on
the genre-blending one. The one on "Joss Whedon and the Art of Storytelling" was notable because Joss's brother Matt was on it, so that was pretty cool, although they never did talk about "Cabin in the Woods." They did talk about "The Body" ep of Buffy, which everyone agreed is one of the most brilliant pieces of television ever done. The consensus of "favorite character" was... "Spike."
And then there was the panel on "Our Love/Hate Relationship with Rage," which began with a mock fight between two of the panelists. But it was really interesting, because they talked about the difference between "anger" and "rage," and how the difference is that "anger" is something that motivates us to justice, whereas "rage" represents a loss of control and becoming the monster in order to defeat the monster. They also pointed out that there's a difference between celebrating evil and examining
After that, I caught up with Dan Willis, and then we waited for Bob Defendi's panel to finish up. We'd made dinner plans, but I was vehicle-less, and Bob didn't have room in his car for everyone, so we're postponing that until Westercon. Instead, I had dinner at Red Robin with another friend.
And then I came home and collapsed in a puddle of goo.