How many writers can say they got the chance to enter a cage match with an editor? An editor that has rejected one of your precious stories in the past? An open invitation to kick and pummel them mercilessly before a crowd of other writers chanting for blood?
I did exactly that.
On Valentine’s Day.
Well, maybe the cage was a row of chairs in an awkward alcove off the artshow room. And maybe I refused to hit him all that hard. (I get enough rejection letters that I need to keep my options open.)
ConDFW XIV was great fun and the Literary UFC panel was a hit (rimshot please). We had representatives of several martial arts showing off their skills in front of one the larger audiences of the weekend.
Tai Chi stood serenely at the center while Bartitsu strangled his colleague with his own scarf. Krav Maga bounced up and down like she’d been shotgunning Red Bull and kept talking about ripping off fingers and sending the family jewels back to the pressurized cracks of the earth that formed them. Meanwhile, the Tae Kwon Do guys traded elbows to the face and roundhouse kicks to the head. Every so often we’d try to interject how the hell all this violence related to writing.
This was my first time as a panelist at a con. I kept getting this odd feeling of wanting to be…responsible or something. It was disconcerting to treat the little shoulder angel to some prime time. His pitchfork wielding half must’ve been off in the gaming room jinxing dice.
Because of this, I did not assault Adrian Simmons of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. I even checked my swing at the the slow pitch on a naming panel when Tex told an audience member “she’s got the double D’s” (context is everything and my brain is often outside of that.) I even inquired of the audience at my reading if anyone was offended by foul language.
Who the fuck was that guy?
Luckily, there was no video of the literary smackdown, but I did manage to get a recording of the epic reading with Tex. My son filmed everything and then I mangled his efforts. He may have a sick day after my next con, child labor laws be damned.