Writers of the Future, Day 1: Going to California

So a few weeks ago, I blogged about my trip to Montreal (starting here), and all my wondrous discoveries in that strange land.  The end of August saw me on a journey to an even stranger place:  Hollywood, for the Writers of the Future workshop/awards.

That’s right–Hollywood.  Tinseltown.  La-la land.  As glittery and decadent as Montreal was cultured and urbane.

And yet somehow, I felt right at home.  There’s a lesson in that, somewhere.

The wife and I arrived at LAX mid-afternoon, after some agreeable flights on Southwest–one of my better airline experiences, I must say.  We were met at the airport by a couple of representatives of the contest, Peter and Lucy.  They piled us in a van and drove us to the Roosevelt Hotel, site of the very first Oscars.  There we were warmly greeted by Joni Labaqui, contest administrator and all-purpose benevolent goddess, while photographer Huguette captured the moment.

Operational note:  They take a lot of pictures of you at Writers of the Future.  I mean a lot of pictures.  I have three zip files’ worth.

As you can see, the Roosevelt is right on Hollywood Boulevard.  Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Kodak Theatre (current home of the Oscars) are about half a block away.  Imagine how cool that would be to someone who’s a lifelong movie buff.  Someone like–oh, I don’t know–me.

Dude.  These Writers of the Future people are totally dedicated to giving you the star treatment.

That evening was a night of many meetings.  I got acquainted with all the other writer winners, plus more of the good folks at Author Services and Galaxy Press, plus Tim Powers and K.D. Wentworth, contest judges and our primary workshop instructors.  Tim I had met before, at MileHiCon last year.  Man loves his Coca-Cola, I’m here to tell you.

The evening concluded with Jordan Lapp introducing all of us to the game of Thing–a variant on Mafia, only cooler, since it’s based on the John Carpenter version of The Thing.  And I’d just like to point out that my Thing-spotting was second to none . . . but no one would listen to me.  So we all ended up dying.  I’m just sayin’.

By that time, Schon Zwakman was about ready to collapse from hunger, anyway, so we called it a night.

Now, the Roosevelt is a very nice hotel, and the staff were absolutely first-rate.  But it’s also an old hotel, and it has a very clanky elevator.  Which is fine, unless your room happens to be right next to the elevator shaft.  Every minute or so–clankRattle rattle rattle.  Clank.  And so on.  Our first night was a bit rocky.  But you know, some people live right next to railroad tracks, and they get accustomed to trains rumbling by at all hours.  Eventually, the wife and I got used to the clanky elevator.  Thank goodness for room fans.

Anyway, I had arrived in Hollywood.

In our next installment:  Getting to Know L. Ron, and the Great Random Object Giveaway.

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