Shore Leave 41 was a great experience but I was left withregrets which is not how things usually shake out.
First of all, the con was fun and despite more than a few ofthe regulars being absent for one reason or another, it was good to be there.
As I discussed last week, we moved to the emcee model and for the most part that worked out fine. I had my notecards prepared and was able to engage my guests in a lively conversation before turning things over to the fan questions. On Saturday, the new tech team tried a roving mic which seemed to waste time so on Sunday they switched back to the standing mic in the center aisle which flowed much better.
Lexa Doig and Michael Shanks were a playful married couple,enlivening the conversation with some wit and more than a few expressions,mugging for the camera. When a librarian asked them what one book they eachrecommended everyone read, Michael came right back with, “The driver’s manual”,which brought the house down.
The Smallville reunion was very well received.Backstage, I was introducing myself to Aaron Ashmore, Erica Durance, JohnGlover, and Laura Vandervoort, checking on topics they didn’t want to discuss.Glover leans over and asked, “Are you ticklish?” Sure enough, after I broughtthe cast out, as I took my seat next to him, he reached over to tickle me morethan once. He was this playful throughout the weekend, endearing him to one andall. They had wanted me to try and come up questions that were out of theordinary but may have fallen short there.
On Sunday, it was one on ones with Vandervoort and Durance.These were good conversations and I am glad I prepared. There were definitely gapsin audience questions so I was able to fill in with follow-ups or bring up newtopics. Both relished talking about their growing work as producers and Durance’snew role as a director. They told stories and were gracious with the fans. Onestarted a question by praising my work as moderator and Durance agreed, adding,“I couldn’t do that.” It was a nice validation.
The Bob & Howie Show was its usual freeform hour although he surprised me by introducing me as, “King Bob of the House Greenberger, the First of his Name, the Un-Sunburnt, King of playing the angles and the First Me, Drag Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Daddy of Dragons.” Go figure.
The regrets were more about social matters. After all, many of my fellow authors came in for the shore and I see them once a year. And yet, I couldn’t find the time for more than passing conversations with them. By being on stage for full hours rather than dash in, introduce the guest, and dash out, I couldn’t serve on panels with them. The big author dinner on Saturday helped but many repaired right to the bar for the evening and unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling and retreated to my room, another lost opportunity. Then Sunday, I sat at the Crazy 8 Press table for two hours in the hopes of selling more books and chatting with fans, but that was two hours away from my pals. Is there a happy solution? I dunno but need to think about it for next year.
The con committee and their score of volunteers helped makeit yet another wonderful experience for fans and its national reputation as oneof the best fan-run shows in America remains intact.