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SoonerCon 2017

It's hard to believe another SoonerCon has passed and I'm already excited for the next one. Arguably my favorite convention, in my mind, SoonerCon sets the precedent for what a convention should be. Their staff knows how to put on, and hold together, a great show. As long as they'll have me, I'll always be there.

It's truly an honor to be asked to participate as a guest, and I had a wonderful time with all of my panels.

My first panel was... Running the World After Conquering It... Which it turned out was a game show style panel where the moderator asked each of us a series of questions about how we took over the world and ran it, and at the end the crowd voted for who was the best villain.

I'm proud to say I won. All hail the marshmallow cannon!

Opening Ceremonies was hosted by Toastmaster Selina Rosen, who not only publishes my books through Yard Dog Press but is someone who's been a mentor to me. And she really knows how to work a crowd. She kept the crowd rolling as she introduced Guests of Honor such as Timothy Zahn and Mitch Bentley (Who did the cover for Assassins Incorporated), among others, all while dressed in a ring master's outfit.

During the Yard Dog Press Road Show, Selina pulled me on stage to sing a song. Selina Rosen is the Boss when it comes to singing funny impromptu songs for a crowd. I am... Not. Fortunately, while she was putting music hilarity together from scratch, I was able to piece in a few one liners that worked.

Friday night I got to be part of the SoonerCon @ Midnight: Worst Book Ever panel which we did in the hotel bar among a rather large crowd. There were concerns at first that it would be too loud, but as we got going, the crowd jumped in to participate and we had one of the funnest panels I've ever had the pleasure of taking part in. In the end, our 'Worst book ever' was about Smurfs and Klingons wrestling in space, forbidden love, and starred the Con Chair Leonard Bishop as Macho Smurf Leonard Savage as our daring hero.

On Saturday, I had the privilege of moderating a panel called Tech Talks: Our Aging Technical Infrastructure, where we had a wonderful discussion about the challenges of aging technology, disaster recovery, and IT challenges across the globe. My fellow panelists hailed from a variety of technical backgrounds and we had some of the best audience participation I've seen. We kept it to an hour, but I think that conversation could've gone on for several.

We also did a Yard Dog Press panel which we believe was intended for kids, but since we had an all adult crowd, Selina Rosen, Sherri Dean, Tim Frayer, Glenn Sixbury, and I shared funny convention stories.

My final panel on Saturday was... Are You Funny? A discussion about how we successfully convey humor through our writing. Moderated by Jody Lynn Nye, the panelist included Selina Rosen, Bradley Denton, Rhonda Eudaly, A. Lee Martinez, and myself. Jody Lynn Nye was well prepared and strove to give each of us a chance to explain our thoughts and processes, and the opportunity to grace the crowd with a few laughs along the way.

And, as always, the night life at SoonerCon was amazing. From Bland Lemon playing on the patio, to karaoke, to dances, and room parties, it's nearly impossible to catch it all.

Again, Sooner Con is my favorite convention. I absolutely love the atmosphere, the people, the guests, the attendees, and the staff. There's few conventions I can attend where I'm surrounded by so many people I'm proud to call my friends. Here's to hoping they keep it going strong for years to come!

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