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Microburst

May 8th, 2007

Last Saturday, May 5, I attended Phoenix College Creative Writing Program’s annual Microburst Writers Conference. I was asked to appear on a panel and to do a workshop, which was a very good thing for me and I was happy to do it. The conference was quite interesting and informative all around. The keynote speaker was poet Alberto Rios, and the lunchtime and final speaker of the day was David Morrell, author of the Rambo series and many other thrillers, including The Brotherhood of the Rose and Creepers. Both these gentlemen were informative and hugely entertaining to boot. I did the authors panel in the morning with Morrell, YA author Janette Rallison, and journalist and author Jana Bommersbach. The moderator’s questions all had to do with the writer’s life, and it was quite a fun and lively presentation and I felt pretty good about it.

The conference included a spectacular luncheon that was created by students of the culinary school at the college, so I not only ate well, but got to sit next to David Morrell, Janette and Jana and pick up all kinds of tips.

In the afternoon, I presented a workshop on “The History in Your Mystery.” Now, I want to tell you, Dear Reader, that generally I’m a good speaker who works hard to be entertaining and to connect with the audience. I had spent two solid weeks preparing for this workshop, and I had what I thought was some pretty good material. But when I mounted the dais, I knew I was in trouble, because I had a splitting headache and a major case of brain fog. I spent the next hour forgetting what I was supposed to say next. Fortunately, and rather oddly, since I seldom use notes, I had prepared a brief prompt sheet which I took up to the podium with me. If it hadn’t been for that, God alone knows what I would have said. To tell the truth, I’m not entirely sure what I did say even with the notes.

It was not my best work.

Too bad, too, because it was a great event and a great opportunity for me to charm myself into some fans. Actually, it probably wasn’t as bad as I make it out to be – I hope – but really, one hopes to knock ’em dead every time. Oh, well. You can’t win them all.

I’ll be the keynote speaker another event two weeks from today at Phoenix Public Library. This will be attended by 150-200 area public librarians. Let’s hope the old brains are back in order by then. Send me some good vibes, Dear Reader. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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