The Accidental Panelist Reflects

Adventurec123 asked, in the comments section of my ‘Accidental Panelist’ post last week …

 “So, looking back at your fears before you were there, how did it go? what did you learn? will you do it again?”

My only fear, when I boiled all ‘em down, was that I would make an ass of myself. I’m an opinionated woman. I reckon that if you want to have any kind of public profile then you need opinions. And lets face it, if we’re serious about this writing gig, then yes, we do want a public profile!

The trick is; know your subject, inside out, back-to-front, upside down, and aroundabout … and then find that sweet spot between coming across as a know-it-all or an invisible wallflower when you deliver your lines. That, and the ability to think on your feet – fast!

I learned that I like being ‘on stage’. Well … it was more like remembering that I like it. In previous lifetimes I’ve been a guitarist in a womens band in the 80’s, and a motivational/personal empowerment speaker for a while after that, (among many other things) both of which require a performance to be delivered and a stage presence that holds the audience’s attention.

Although this wasn’t a ‘live’ performance I was still on stage, and I had a blast!

I will certainly do it again, not only with this festival, which will now become an annual event, but wherever else I think it’s appropriate, both for the event and for me.

I also made some new *Frogs.  **waves across the lily-pads**

The only down side was the format. Being a forum didn’t allow for immediate audience feedback, or a swifter flow of input from the panelists. A chat would’ve worked better. On the other hand (which is a total of three hands now) unless the chat is strongly moderated, keeping some semblance of order between multiple panelists is a lot like herding cats!


“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without falling through” Jules Verne, 1828-1905 – Science Fiction Writer


“Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them” Jim Davis,  creator of Garfield


“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this” Sir Terry Pratchett – Science Fiction Writer

(What? You think I could get away with only one cat quote? In this household?)

*Frogs’ – Friends on blogs

18 comments on “The Accidental Panelist Reflects

  1. Wish I’d been there… well done. BT–Love the cat quotes!


  2. jannatwrites says:

    The cat quotes were awesome. I’m a total cat person, so you could’ve kept going and I wouldn’t have minded a bit.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the panelist role. I had no idea you were a guitarist and motivational speaker – both interesting facts.


    • Widdershins says:

      Believe me, I could’ve kept ’em coming all night!

      I’ve reinvented myself many times as each career takes its toll on my body or I move beyond it’s boundaries. My hands decided they didn’t want to play guitar any more, at least not professionally. I pick it up every now and again and get a little sentimental.

      The motivational thing was part of my shaman training. No amount of journeying in different realms of awareness had a usefulness to others if I couldn’t express, in this reality, what I experienced there … and teach it to others. And that too had it’s time.


  3. No,of course we have not forgotten our origins!


  4. What a conversation it was too – you were great. Very interesting answers (I immediately thought of The Road) to very interesting questions. So glad you’re doing it again.


  5. clarbojahn says:

    I missed it. IS there a transcript? I would have loved to see you on a panel for authors. Mine is coming Oct. 5th. I’m one of three or four other authors talking about how we got here from there. IS what you did similar? 🙂


  6. celiaboop says:

    I too am a cat person. They are the most self-confident, cool and unpredictable creatures on this Earth. I always have my girls by my side (actually one is now a fixed boy). They’re named after the cast of “Bewitched” because I believe they have special psychic powers.

    Love the motivation speaker and stage background, Widder. It’s amazing what we can come up with on the hot seat.
    I’ll keep following you!


    • Widdershins says:

      Hiya Celia, thanks for stopping by … I have a theory that when cats ‘zone-out’, they’re communing with what I call the ‘Spirit of Cat’. Kind of a super hive mind that’s created by all the cats all over the globe. us ‘oomins are in such trouble if they ever develop opposable thumbs!


  7. londonmabel says:

    Glad it was fun!


  8. Wayne E. says:

    Congrats on being a panelist!

    LOVE the cat quotes!!


  9. “herding cats” hahahahahaha. Glad to hear it was a blast for you.


    • Widdershins says:

      I wonder if that’s why cats decided on humans as their staff species. Because we’re the only species that thinks it’s possible to herd cats, and they have a twisted sense of humour!


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