what should I do?

So I’ve mentioned before that I’ll be one of the GoHs at Sirens. But I’m allowed to submit my own programming proposal, apart from the stuff I’m already slated for, and I kind of think I would like to do something.

The question is, what?

I have a few ideas floating around my head, but none of them have really leapt up and convinced me that’s what I should go with. I therefore turn to you, The Internets, and ask: if you were coming to hear me do something at a con other than give a keynote address and present on my own writing (which are part of my GoH duties), what would you want it to be?

They have a good outline of different programming models here. The first two are out (paper and pre-empaneled paper set; I’ve had enough of those for now), and I’m unlikely to assemble a panel discussion in the remaining time. But that leaves everything from workshops on down as a possibility. And while this year’s theme is faeries and the conference is generally focused on women in fantasy, neither of those is a straitjacket. Practically any interest of mine could fit into this — though I don’t think I inkle-weave well enough to teach anybody else, and I suspect there would be liability issues with a “Stage Combat 101” class.

So help me brainstorm. If you could have me host a discussion on any topic, or teach a workshop on some skill (writing-related or otherwise), or anything else random, what would it be? I’m not sure if I want to riff off some of my website essays, or talk about the role of violence in fiction, or how to write politics, or fight scenes, or whatever. Too many ideas, not enough decision. Halp?

0 Responses to “what should I do?”

  1. praetorianguard

    …I suspect there would be liability issues with a “Stage Combat 101” class.

    Perhaps not! We had a self-defense class and a Dark Ages armor class (which involved stabbing a hay bale repeatedly with pointy weapons) last year, and we have a liability waiver already baked for just these sorts of occasions. 😀

    • Marie Brennan

      Heh. I’d be more likely to go for how to put that stuff on the page, rather than do it in person, but I’ll consider it. 🙂

  2. astres

    How to write fight scenes would be awesome. I’d prefer a more craft-related class from you than the stage combat one (though you could do both…)

    I’ll be seeing you there 🙂

    • Marie Brennan

      Glad to know you’re coming!

      I’m thinking about the fight scenes thing. But there are other possibilities floating around backstage; we’ll see what falls out.

  3. newsboyhat

    As a non-writer (reader instead!) I’m totally sold on stage combat 101. 🙂

  4. pathseeker42

    Umm… One-shot Changeling LARP set in an Onxy Court book? Ok I’ll just take my geekery and go now…

  5. leatherdykeuk

    An History of the Fae in Literature

  6. pentane

    I have a thought about otherness, but I’m finding it very hard to express.

    • pentane

      Here’s the best I can manage:

      There’s a term called ‘flexible ethics’. As I understand it, you can stick by your guns and never influence people, or you can ‘bend’ your ethics and influence people.

      The question is, how much are you willing to bend to influence. I think there are probably some worthwhile discussions to have along the axis of otherness and how much do you include or not include, based on your “goals”.

      • Marie Brennan

        Hmmmmm. That’s quite interesting — but I think I’d have to chew on it a lot more myself before I felt like I could usefully talk/moderate/whatever on the subject.

  7. Anonymous

    This would work as a panel, as a workshop, or as a discussion group:

    How Not to Research Folklore

    discussing areas from among:

    * “resources” to avoid because they misrepresent virtually everything in service of the author’s preconceived notion that is inconsistent with the actual evidence (I’m thinking specifically of J___ C___, but there are a lot of other candidates)

    * conversely, absolutely essential resources, whether in the theoretical sense or the evidentiary sense (this is where audience participation for particular milieu gets interesting)

    * the differences between oral traditions and written traditions, and what constitutes a “tale” in each

    * translation, translation, translation

    * the role of perspective shifts in understanding folklore and in retellings (and in influences)

    * dealing with problems caused by inaccurate popular retellings that may be the only contact many have with a tale (I’m thinking specifically of Disney’s versions of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, but there are so many other examples…)

    And since you’ve got some academic chops in folklore analysis — unlike Certain Bloviating Persons — you’re in a better position than most to “moderate” a discussion/panel/workshop in this area.

    • Marie Brennan

      I think I still have too much lingering academic fatigue to tackle such a topic this year. 🙂 But I’ll keep it in mind for the future — maybe a website essay, or series thereof.

  8. janni

    You know, there’s a place for simply a “what exactly are the fae?” panel, if you could tie it to women in fantasy as well.

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