Thursday, March 13, 2008

137. Blue Horizons Continued: Summer 2007 Kickoff with Santa Barbara Writer's Conference

On the first week of Blue Horizons, I managed to catch a glimpse of the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference ... on the very last day of it. I managed to get a little bit lost on my way down to "Fess Double Tree Resort," off of Cabrillo Blvd., right along the beach.... By this point of the conference, there were not many people left. All the "great ol' wise ones" (aka Ray Bradbury types) already had their talks early on... and the agents and editors day already passed... so now there's just leftovers for the main conference go-ers. Technically I was supposed to pay $10 to get in to a few talks, but the nice ladies in the front let me go in as soon as they found out I was a graduate student. By the time I got to the hotel, the last talk remaining was a panel of women writers. One I vividly remember was a lady who was on the writing team for Sex and the City and she wrote a book about the pains and horrors of teenage "love," however you define love at such a meaningless early age. I also remember another young girl from Ireland who wrote about her depression and had her book published through a small publishing company. She was a do-it-herself type of person in terms of booking guest talks and doing presentations. And finally, last but not least, I had the opportunity to meet Marlise Elizabeth Kast, who was basically the youngest paparazzi on the Hollywood scene. She now does a lot of travel/surfing writing instead (as a more productive alternative). You may ask... why would I approach someone like Marlise? I have no interest in paparazzi. The truth of the matter was that she was the most eloquent and to-the-point guest speaker there. Marlise was very sharp and on top of things. I approached her after the talk, and she was actually very friendly with me (this is the first time a non-university author took the time to ever talk to me and hold a friendly conversation... the other authors I have met were rude and were quick to brush me off). Marlise gave me her email, and she also provided advice in overall journalism. Two essential resources she uses are "media kitty" or and a house-sitting website I told her about my first manuscript I ever wrote and she was very enthusiastic, despite it's philosophy and environmental properties. I emphasized that I wanted to make my writing accessible to everyone, so I created two comical characters--biogeek and geobum graduate students--going on a road trip up the California Coastline, but simultaneously taking an arduous adventure into the de-construction and re-organization of Terra's mind and her perception of Reality. Marlise took a step back and said this was very interesting! I haven't pulled out "the card" yet, but I may shoot her an email sometime!

Anyhow, this brief experience impacted me greatly, to the point that by the end of the summer I officially labeled myself "rock crab paparazzi" in my film.

This year I am anticipating to volunteer at the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference. I am required to volunteer 30 hours, which is quite a lot! Hopefully I can get some "before-the-conference" hours so I can enjoy the time during. I have been attempt to contact Ms. Grace Rachow, who is the coordinator of volunteers. She has an interesting website at in which she is actively involved in organizing community events, from Community of Voices publication to Toastmasters to writing tutorials. I have had a little bit of difficulty trying to get a hold of her to see if I can volunteer during the spring quarter as well. I also had the opportunity to speak with Marcia Meiers over the phone, who is the coordinator for the entire event! What a daunting task, so it would seem to me.

Hopefully this all works out. It would otherwise be my first ever chance to participate in a REAL writers' conference!

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