Through what was arguably the hottest day in many years here in the Valley of the Sun, Thor, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and a million other super powered heroes patrolled the foyers of the Phoenix Convention Center, keeping the peace while an army of villains, equal in number, sipped lattes and checked social media updates on their phones. And so Phoenix Comicon 2016 was spared what could have been an intergalactic battle that would easily have destroyed our planet… solar system… galaxy. (If only our political system were so civilized.) But I digress.
I had the good pleasure of hosting a class on writing, specifically adapting screenplays to novels and vice versa. Attendance was very good. As the doors to my session closed, the room was full with eager writers–screenwriters, novelists and those toying with the idea of stepping into the proverbial swimming pool that is the writer’s life to find some sort of relief from the heat. And to each and every one of you who attended my session, I want to thank you for being so engaged during our one hour together!
My goal was to give as much useful, specific information as possible during the session. Because as I floated about, attending various other sessions last year, I found that sometimes, at least at writer’s sessions, there was a certain nonchalance, a ‘let’s talk in vague generalities and just get this over with’ protocol. In fact, during a writer’s panel, one of the panelists leaned into the microphone and asked the room in all seriousness, “So, wait, what panel is this again?” Needless to say, that particular session didn’t offer much in terms of actionable, practical information that so many writers crave, especially new writers. When you’ve gone through the trouble to buy a pass for the weekend, travel, brave the crowds, the lines, and in Phoenix, the heat, one should expect a certain level of value when attending a panel about writing. In my opinion.
If I get invited back next year, I plan on adding even more substance to my session. And who knows, maybe I’ll dress up and join the cosplay army, keeping the peace while adding value to writers who are hungry to grow or are just wanting to step into that pool–that writer’s life–to escape the heat.