Posted October 4, 2008 in Blog
I always struggle a bit when explaining writing conferences to the uninitiated. Part family reunion. Part workshop. Part business. Part party. The nights go late enough to blend into the days and you can learn as much (if not more) at the hotel bar as you can listening to a panel.
I managed to score an early check in and nap before the con got rolling on Friday, and it’s a good thing I did. Within five minutes of registration, Nick snagged me for dinner with Alethea and Kelli. The hotel was either being remodeled or preparing to shoot a Mad Max movie. Either way, we managed to catch a bite at the makeshift bar/restaurant with an ever increasing circle of writers. Brian Keene and Maurice Broaddus were just getting on a roll when I had to duck out for a Friday night workshop with flash-master, Mike Arnzen. Doug Warrick and Kyle Johnson were already there, and we started a conversation that weaved its way through all three days. I skipped that night’s parties in favor of hanging out at the bar. Keene was holding court in a section the con had taken over. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Cook and John Jacobs. And I’m happy to say Mike Arnzen and I managed to close the bar for the second year in a row. Around 3:30 or so, I ducked out of the post-bar festivities and managed a few hours sleep.
Saturday started late with room service and a long shower. Diana Botsford was doing a workshop on graphic novels at 2pm. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to geek out over our mutual love of all things Sorkin/Whedon. She had a meeting and I had dinner plans. Over dinner with Lawrence Connolly and Mike (Arnzen), I got the chance to meet Mike (Brendan), the new editor for Flashing Swords, and continue the prior night’s conversation with Doug and Kyle. After dinner, several members of the Indiana Horror Writers ran a panel on writing groups. I snapped a few pictures for the new IHW website and then headed downstairs for Mike (West’s) birthday celebration. If you haven’t noticed, the con is being taken over by Mikes.
From there, the night started to pick up speed. We headed up to Jason Sizemore’s suite for the Apex party. After a few rounds of rum punch, he talked my wife into being one of his Apex girls. I got to meet Dan Robichaud and continued a prior conversation with John Jacobs. The suite was packed and hot. A group of us, including Mike (Arnzen) and Tim Waggoner stepped outside to get a break from the heat and then dropped by the Shroud party. After a few birthday shots, Mike (West) was kidnapped by Doug and Kyle. Brilliant dirty jokes, a brief spot of nudity, and yet another bar closing followed. I got to meet Kealan Burke and ended up saying yes to a series of post-bar festivities that got me in bed just shy of 5am.
Sunday, I took one for the team and pulled myself out of bed early. Despite the lack of sleep, I was able to enjoy Mike, Lucy, and Gary’s readings. I ended up in a two hour conversation with Mike (Knost) over our broadcast roots and got to catch up with Brian Hatcher on his WIP. We capped the con off with a farewell dinner that was a mix of sleep-drunk sillyness. Thankfully, my wife drove us home. That’s the bare bones of it. Of course, I’m leaving out much to protect the guilty…
For those interested in some behind the scenes pics, the magical Alethea Kontis posted some great ones here.