The Indie Pub Panel is approaching, as I may have mentioned before; it's a small thing compared to most professional conferences, rarely more than 50 in attendance, and when I last checked only 12 people had signed up. I'm pretty sure there are more now (it's being held at Disneyland...they're gonna go just for the room discounts) but the first person to sign up is the first person who always signs up as soon as the dates are set.
Now, the last time I was there, said person instigated a bar fight with homophobic slurs and an implied threat, IIRC (I missed it. Dammit.) She should have been banned then, but money is money and she has money and supports the online group and has, honestly, kept it afloat. She's tolerated at best, when she asks for critiques of her work people do their best to be fair, but frankly--and if she sees this, oh well--she's not a nice person.
She's also very, very afraid of me.
I am everything she's internalized as being Very Very Scary. I have multiple, visible tattoos. Often I have pink hair. I've spoken about owning and riding motorcycles. I fit quite nicely into her neat little Box of Stereotypes, and she's admitted to other members of the forum that she's afraid to be alone in a room with me.
So of course, I was asked to front two panels: one on cover creation, and one on formatting print books using InDesign. She signed up before that tidbit was announced, and I was curious what would happen when she found out.
She found out.
That, boys and girls, is how badass I am.
Here's the real kicker. I'm not presenting those panels, after all. If she had waited just 3 days longer to withdraw, she would have learned that I wasn't comfortable with the cost being charged for what is, essentially, basic information easily available online, and instead promised to host an online Q&A for free. It worked out for the IPP overall, because it frees up a few hours for a trad-house editor who jumped in at the last minute to host an informal round-table with writers in the group.
[Why Thump, you were fired, weren't you? Tsk. No. I withdrew before they landed the editor. Swearsies. But I guarantee that's what my biggest superfan will try to tell everyone once she finds out.]
Gotta admit, I am impressed with the structure of the 2019 IPP. As promised, there's a dress code--no more shorts and t-shirts in anticipation of bugging out for the parks--and there are fees associated with each panel to stop people from bailing out and playing instead. It won't stop anyone from ditching, but they'll essentially be paying 2-3 times as much as they would have for that park admission.
But dang, peoples. I'm officially wicked super scary.
I might have to celebrate with new tattoos.