A blog about writing and all things story…
One of the highlights of the Willamette Writers Conference was the night we watched the short film ‘BUG EYED-BILL’, based on WW’s screenplay contest winner, Mark Scarbrough’s script which was then produced by Willamette Writer’s FiLMLaB. Read about it here, and maybe submit your script next year. This short was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, and when time came to interview the stars, the nine year old actor, Holden Goyette stole the show–a great example of ‘Never act with kids’. Holden is ready for prime time, or at least his inevitable interview on ET.
Larry Brooks’ class provided me with an epiphany about my story, my next novel, and that had me writing in my hotel room until midnight. What a great night. Thanks Larry. Check him out at www.storyfix.com
My classes went so smoothly I couldn’t believe it; no computer issues, and the internet actually connected so I could play my Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake flick (watch below, it’s hilarious!). With the exception of me laughing every time someone got up to quietly go to the restroom and instead opened the closet and stepped inside, then had to reenter the room, as bug-eyed as Bill, red-faced and in a hurry to escape via the real door. From the front of the room where I was speaking I watched this happen five or six times. It was hysterical. So everything went perfectly except for my uncontrollable outburst of giggles.
Since I taught my Social Media vs Writing Time class, I live tweeted throughout the conference. LOTS of people who were also at the conference and also on twitter came up to me and said “Hello, I’m so and so on twitter. Thanks for the retweets.” It was fun exercise in social media.
I met some inspired writers in my crowded How Objects Help Tell a Story class who shared with us what object they would take from their burning house–we learned what interesting, meaningful items they would choose–that was fun and I encourage them to write those stories about their objects. The standing ovation and especially the hugs were greatly appreciated and I’ll remember that particular audience for their warm reception.
What they didn’t know is that was my first return to speaking and teaching in many years due to cancer in my throat. I was stressed that I’d lose or hurt my voice, but instead I was invigorated by their receptive smiles and creative thinking. I felt healed from my years of lack (no public speaking) and felt confident I could move on doing what I love, again –talking to people about the writing craft. I get a special thrill when I see the light bulb go on and a student quickly jots something down. Love that! And it happened a lot that day. Thank you to that packed room of beaming creatives at the Willamette Writers Conference. I hope to see you again.
Thank you to all the hard working organizers and volunteers who pulled this wonderful conference together. I hope you all collapsed with a magic elixir of your choice and recuperated from your huge success.
Have a chuckle at Jimmy and Justin on ‘hashtags’….
Author, Editor, Speaker, Storytelling Coach, Writing Instructor, and Director of The Outlaw's Journey Prison Writing Project
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