Day One of the Convention for us started about noon when we arrived at the Galt House. People were already in line for registration. Being a panelist had its perks. We were able to bypass the lines. Once again we were graced with the presence of the Magnificent Stephen Zimmer.
While on the subject of Stephen Zimmer, let me tell you a few things that I discovered. Aside from the fact that he seems to run on Monster energy drinks, he is by far one of the hardest working men I have met. Stephen gets my Hardest working Man of the Con award. I honestly do not know how he managed to keep all the panelists, Guests of honor, panels and their locations straight for the entire weekend without crashing. He deserves a medal for dealing with us all.
As we wandered after getting our red bracelets to identify us until the badges (which were late due to the printer who made them, not Stephen) we were walking through the hallway and ran into the group of ladies from dinner the night before. Along with them was Alexandra’s Hubby Tally Johnson, Susan Roddey, her mom Diane, her Hubby Bill, Stepdaughter Raven, and the star of the show--Alice. Everyone was hungry so we made our way up to the third floor breezeway for a sit down and lunch.
HOW TO BE A PANELIST: Panelists: James Ray Tuck Jr., Tally Johnson, Lee Martindale, and Gail Z. Martin.
The first panel (and all panels thereafter) were on the third floor, but spread out and required lots of walking. This panel deserves the award for “Best Attended Panel”, and the “Should be required at all Cons” Award. This panel was extremely informative. This was my first time being a panelist, so hearing the wisdom from the pros was great. Tally had that southern charm, but that “I’m gonna kick your ass if you do somethin’ stupid in this panel” attitude. James Tuck Jr., he is a guy I want in my corner. He is HUGE! I knew if I had a weirdo start following me around just seeing James by my side might scare him off just by size alone--6’4” and lots of tats. Lee Martindale-- what a firecracker! I definitely want her on my side in a fight. Wow, what a feisty one she is. I got some great ideas on being a moderator. This lady may be In a wheelchair but she can certainly kick ass. Gail was an awesome inspiration as an author. She gave a lot of great ideas on how to keep things on track.
The award for the Best Moderator goes to Carol Malcolm. She managed to keep things on track in every panel I had the experience to either be on or attend. I learned a lot by watching and listening.
Though the panels were sparsely attended, they were lively. I was excited to be there! So much to see, and so much to do.
The award for the most walking I have ever done in one weekend without leaving a building: THE GALT HOUSE! The panels were spread far apart and some required detective work to locate, but it all worked out and I got a workout. I think the weekend total inside the Galt House is 8.9 miles.
We headed back to our hotel for the night exhausted, but ready for a full day on Saturday.