Dragon*Con Panelist!

This year at Dragon*Con I’ll be appearing on two panels.

Star Wars: Intro to the Expanded Universe, Friday, Sept 2, at 1:00pm in the Marriott, Room A706 (Atrium Level)

and

Mormonism and Sci-Fi, Monday, Sept 5, at 10:00am in the Marriott, Room A706 (Atrium Level)

How did I get invited to be on these panels? I was an insufferable heckler at the Dragon*Con 2010 Science of Star Wars panel. Among many other things, I had to point out the distinct differences between an E-11 blaster carbine carried by Stormtroopers and the DC-17 carried by Clone Commandos. Not to mention I had to teach one of the panelists how a lightsaber worked, explain it was nothing like a flashlight, and basically ask him to stop insulting our intelligence.

My brother-in-law’s boss from SpaceWorks Engineering was on the panel (I studiously avoided heckling him personally, for obvious reasons). Afterward, the Track Director asked for feedback from my brother-in-law and I slipped in more than a few comments of my own. The result was the Director asking if I’d like to be on some of the panels this year.

I chose these two and I hope to see you there. If I get heckled, it’s only what I deserve.

Joining Social Media: Google+

google.com

Google+ is my first foray into social media. I just never got on the MySpace, Facebook*, or Twitter wagons.

I decided to try out Google+ because I knew I needed to wade in at some point and stop fighting the future, and a new social media was as good a place to start as any. That, and I was intrigued by Howard Tayler’s early review of G+.

It’s probably not hard to imagine that at first I was obsessed with it, then I forgot about it for a week or so, and now I’ve got a more or less even keel.

The best part has been the development of Writing Hangouts, and starting a circle called “Writing Community.” I’ve had the opportunity to connect with a ton of fellow writers and professionals in the field.

It’s also fun and fulfilling to just share something now and again, like how it hurts so good to eat horseradish chips.

I’ve also seen it used as an unexpected source of tender comfort for those who are having a terrible day and are just looking for someone, anyone, another human being, to say “I’ve felt the same way, too.”

I haven’t yet fully braved Twitter or Facebook, but we’ll see how it goes.

I had a pretty bad opinion of social media for a while, but now that I’m out from under my rock or off my soap box or whatever, I’m enjoying the ride.

Feel free to say hi out there.

*To amend that, I had a brief stay on Facebook as “Mike Nul” so that I could participate in forum discussions with a local Star Wars Gaming Group, but that was the extent of my experience.