Notes from the Midwest Writer’s Workshop and Other Places Zombie Girls Might Thrive


I know that it’s been a little while, and I will get around to updating you. It’s been a very interesting and busy week including a little mini vacation. I wanted to fulfill my need to catalogue everything I see on some sort of notecard that I will tuck away in some dark and deep corner of my brain where I can access it later for what could turn out to be some illicit purpose.

I look around at the people who attend this writer’s conference and chuckle sardonically to myself. I want to interject here that I am much more relaxed at this particular conference than when I came here 2 years ago for the first time. Last time I came, I’d felt a little bit like I was trying to live up to some expectation that I couldn’t possibly ever live up to. This time, I just feel like going with it and trying to have fun, make good observations and learn something. I’m having lots of fun with observations today.

Today I am noticing that there is a little different crowd than was at the intensive sessions. Intensive sessions are all day classes on a specific topic. I had wanted to get in the manuscript makeover class, but Best Buy guy didn’t give me the money (as my birthday present) in time, so there were no slots open. I had to pick something else that may or may not have been helpful. In retrospect, it was only slightly in the may be helpful category. I would have been happier if I’d actually read the teacher’s stuff. I hadn’t. I also hadn’t read anything that anyone talked about during the entire session. Sigh. It was a long road with the promise of taking an idea to some semblence of fruition. In this class, there was a bullish man who tried to interject his ideas (none of them very good or very well thought out) into everything. He did this in a way that tried to warp everything into some strange Frankenstein monster of an idea. I did not enjoy that. I didn’t care enough to interject my own thoughts, I had decided to just go with the flow. I know, completely contrary to my normal autistic stance.

I look around today and see a few of those faces from yesterday, but I also see a few pretend people. That is to say, people who have an idea in their heads of what “real writers” look like, and they try to look like that. In other words, there’s some cosplay looking stuff going on here. A few examples: a guy with a steampunky waxed into curls mustache, a woman with an ostrich plume in her hair, a girl with a little 20’s inspired outfit, complete with flapper hat. It’s definitely an interesting group with a diverse idea of what being a writer means. There are lots of degrees of pretentiousness here which is a whole different range of scary.  I love it.

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