And before I jump into Mile Hi Con, Day 2, a quick NaNo update (I have not yet written for today): I'm at 18900 words, and had a great breakthrough during a movie last night, which is funny, because said movie had nothing to do with my novel. It was two words said, and they were being used in an entirely different way than I will now be using them. I love that inspiration can strike anywhere, for any reason.
Now for Mile Hi Con, Day 2 (Day 1 can be found here):
I had my workshop presentation on "Social Media for the Professional Woman" that morning, so I didn't end up back in Denver until a bit after 3 p.m. Once I got up there, I got checked into my room (only my second time ever being in a hotel room on my own) and changed, then met up with my friend. Day 2 was a lot easier on me, more comfortable. I had a better idea of how things worked, where things were, etc.
We took in part of a panel on "Science Travesties in Current Media," which was interesting. There was a panel of people with knowledge in different areas (for instance, an ex-Navy man pointed out that the orange torpedoes used in The Hunt for Red October are test torpedoes and would not actually blow anything up, and a woman on the panel discussed how unrealistic it was to outrun the volcano in Dante's Peak). I don't have a lot to report on this one, though, due to missing most of it. However, suffice it to say, always do your research. There will be someone who knows about what you're writing about, and it will bother them when your information is inaccurate. That's a reader you've just lost.
I attended a reading, and I will not name the readers, because I discovered I don't like just sitting and listening to people read. I need to be reading it myself. I can't pay attention to books on tape, either. Maybe it's the ADHD, I don't know, but I was bored out of my mind. Now, it did make me want to purchase several of the books. It was not at all about the books not being interesting. I just can't sit and listen to people read. I can't sit and watch a movie without fidgeting, either. It's just not for me. Again, some really interesting books were shared, though, and they're on my wish list now.
We grabbed some food and then ended up taking part in some after hours fun. I won't go into that, because I have to say that after hours at Mile Hi Con, stays after hours at Mile Hi Con. Suffice it to say that I didn't get to my room until about 2:30 in the morning, and that I hung out with some people that I respected in the writing world, which was fantastic. I also met a lot of new people and had a good time. And I can safely say, in case you're worried, that I didn't do anything regrettable or illegal. Well, I'm pretty sure it was all legal... (just kidding, people...it was all illegal!). Come on, you all know I'm a boring old mom.
The only thing I'm sad about is that we were going to go to Rocky Horror Picture Show. I've seen it, of course, multiple times, but I've never gotten to see it with a crowd, singing along, participating, you know? And that is an experience I'd like to have, just because I haven't. Maybe next year? I don't know if they do that every year, but I hope to have the opportunity next year.
Since that was short, I'm going to run through Day 3. I didn't get up early, because, well, I'm a mom, and I wanted to sleep in, dangit! And there was nothing I so desperately wanted to do that I was willing to drag my butt out of bed. Once I did drag my butt out of bed, I had a lovely, albeit overpriced, meal in the hotel (I took all my meals in the hotel at one or another of their restaurants, so they were all overpriced - at least the food was good). After breakfast, I had to check out and take all my stuff out to my car, so I missed another hour's worth of programming.
After that, I went to the second half of "Transparency & Ethics in Scientific Research" and left feeling dumber than when I went in, not because of a failure on the parts of the panelists, but because a few of the discussions were a bit over my head. I don't take part in scientific research, don't write papers on it, etc. I did find it interesting, though, which is why I attended.
|By OCAL, clker.com|
I then went to "Comedic Elements in Horror," which was fun. Those of you who stopped by during Alex's Genre Favorites Blog Fest know that my guilty pleasure is horror comedy, so this was right up my alley. The panelists were Jesse Bullington, James K. Burk, Wayne Faust, Stephen Graham Jones and Molly Tanzer. They discussed needing those tension breaks in a movie, and how comedy works well for that. It's a better version of the startle response (for instance, the cat that jumps out in so many horror movies). You startle and laugh at yourself, and some of the tension is broken up so it can grow again. But in horror comedy, you get a legitimate laugh to break that tension. A quote I enjoyed was "Nobody laughs at a clown at midnight," originally said by Lon Chaney. It means things that aren't scary in one setting (say, a birthday party during the day) can be scary in the right setting (let's look at Stephen King and the clown in the sewer). It's about how you handle it, how you set it, and the unexpected.
|By OCAL, clker.com|
My final panel before heading home was entitled "Forget About the Midi-Chlorians and Embrace The Force! Religion and Sprituality in SF & F." On the panel were Stephen Brust, Michael Carroll, Daniel Dvorkin, Warren Hammond, and Aaron Ritchey (one of my columnists over at Writing From the Peak!). Most agreed that religion should play a part in world building, as religion is big in people's lives. Look globally. How does religion play a part in real life? Consider that when building your worlds. Religion dictates ways of life, laws, morals, etc. So don't forget that detail.
At this point, I was thoroughly exhausted and missed my hubby and my babies, so I took off, skipping closing ceremonies and bobbing for authors (fun in the hot tub - I had no interest in being seen in my bathing suit). Traffic cooperated with me, and I was able to get home in time for a wonderful dinner, put together by my hubby. And I got to read to my babies and tuck them in at bed time. Perfect.
Any of these panels you might have found interesting? Do you know what a midi-chlorian is (cuz' I didn't)? Would you laugh at a clown at midnight?
May you find your Muse.