Back from Balticon 47 – Part 2

by Doc Coleman on May 31, 2013 · 0 comments

in Balticon

In the previous installment, I talked about the wonderful people who filled my Balticon Weekend. I wasn’t able to mention everyone who made the weekend a memorable event, but I tried to address as many as I could. I probably should address some of the folks I left out, but instead, I want to move on to some of the more memorable events of the weekend that made it the incredibly special experience that it was. I won’t mention every panel we attended, but I would like to point out that there will be a Balticon 47 Wrap-up, and this year’s Wrap-up should feature about 20 episodes of content. I still have to get permission to make sure I can release some of the audio, and work out some deals on the release of some content.


I started the con off early with a 4 PM panel on Meeting Other Podcasters. It felt so good to be on a panel again. We were supposed to be talking about the pros and cons on meeting other podcasters, but the conversation really turned in the direction of how we ended up getting into podcasting, what lessons we’ve learned along the way, and how we go about building community and making connections. For me, this was a great reminder of all the connections I’ve been able to make through getting into writing and podcasting. I’ve met some amazing people, and I’ve been part of some wonderful projects.

Doc's Angels

At 7 PM, we had the live recording of The Shrinking Man Project. The crowd was pretty thin, and I just wasn’t as prepared as I should have been for this panel. But I was saved by my three angels: Starla Huchton, Lauren “Scribe” Harris, and Veronica Giguere. They kept the conversation going and helped clarify a lot for me. The topic was dealing with a slump, and how to pull out of it. They reminded me that it is all about choice: what you choose to make important in your life, and how you marshal your resources to meet those goals. So I made a choice. I’ve been vacillating back and forth between projects for a while and I really need to set my priorities. My primary priority is to finish my first novel, The Perils of Prague, and get it published. To that goal, I am going to push this summer to finish my second draft, get Beta Readers, and if possible, and editor, and get Prague ready for publication and podcasting by the end of the summer.

Me and my Angels

That is my primary goal, my secondary goal is to try to build the community for The Shrinking Man Project so that it is more of a resource for listeners and others looking to make changes in their lives. I’ll have more details on that over at The Shrinking Man Project, and at the Fans of the Shrinking Man Project group on Facebook.


While there were plenty of events that marked Saturday, including the purchase of a new piece of steampunk gear in the dealer room, the highlights of the day both occurred in the late hours. The first of these, was this year’s edition of Dirty Mad Libs. This was the third year I have done the Dirty Mad Libs Panel, and it was far and away the best attended of the three. Although, I must say that the first year I did Dirty Mad Libs is still my favorite. Of course, that was probably because Laura Nicole climbed into my lap as I was reading my mad lib so she could read directly from my screen. But this one was a close second.

The same crew was back from last year’s DML, Patrick Scaffido was immoderating, with Starla Huchton and myself as panelists. Patrick led off, and we knew the panel was going to be a roaring success before he had collected even half of the words for his mad lib. Our audience was roaring with laughter and they were very much into the game. So much so that they actually slowed down the progress of the game. Patrick’s Mad lib took almost half our time, and I had to cut mine short so we could finish up in time to let another panel have the room after us.

But dont’ feel too bad for Starla. She got to take the majority of the audience to another room and run her own DML session for another 45 minutes. Feel bad that you missed it? Don’t. We recorded both sessions and I’ll be podcasting them as part of the Balticon 47 Wrap up later in June. Until then, savor the anticipation.

All Steampunked up for my reading.

So where did I go, while Starla was holding court? I had a reading scheduled for 11 PM down in Pimlico. Except Pimlico was still being used for judging the Masquerade. Really? Really.

We ended up taking over Salon B, which had just finished being used for photos of the costumes. After getting our audience to help hastily set up the room, we commenced to reading. First up was PJ Schnyder, who read a particularly steamy section from Bite Me, Book 1 of the London Undead series. Then, Grig “Punkie” Larsen read a section from his story Space B!tch which is due out in the fall. Bit of a long section, but with a damned funny ending. And then my turn came.

I gave the audience, small as it was at 11 PM on a Saturday night, a choice: I could read from my already released MoPO story “The Cross of Columba”, or I could read a new section from The Perils of Prague. I think the vote was unanimous for Prague. I launched into the reading, and I was really pleased with myself. My voice changes went smoothly. I didn’t find any places where the flow was awkward, and the voices felt distinct. It actually sounded much better to me that it had when I originally wrote it. I got to my first stopping place, and asked if I should stop here or go on for a bit. Everyone said go on!

As I continued reading, I noticed that Grig had picked up his phone and was punching buttons on it furiously. I figured he was tweeting something and went on. I would was flattered to think that  he was tweeting some of the lines from my reading. I finished the reading, and one of the people in the audience asked where they could get a copy of Perils. I explained that I was still working on the second draft, and that I hoped to get it ready to publish by the end of the Summer. At this point, Grig dropped his phone to his lap and said, “No wonder I can’t find it.” Apparently he had tried to buy my book! Now I just need a few thousand more people with that attitude!

This has been my most successful reading to date, and I can only hope that when the audio goes live, I can build up more interest in the book as I push towards publication.

Ok… Part 2 has now gotten longer than Part 1, so we’re going to end things with Saturday and save Sunday and Monday for Part 3. Talk to you soon!

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