Wonder Boi Writes

GCLS 2009 (Day One)

The Spangler family arrived at the Golden Crown Literary Society’s 5th annual conference on Thursday morning.  Well that’s not completely true.  We didn’t get to the conference until 1:00 because we had to stop off at the Magic Kingdom first. 

Intro to Disney

Intro to Disney

I just love Disney!  Thankfully Jackson does too.  I was worried he would be scared of the rides, but he had a blast.  The first thing we rode was Dumbo, and he kept making his elephant noise and saying “up, up, up.”
He liked the Flight of Peter Pan and Cinderella’s Carousel quite a bit too, but the big hit of the morning was It’s a Small World.  He was hooked from the moment he saw the boat, but once we got inside he was in awe.  Jackson rode the whole ride with his mouth hanging open.  We couldn’t even get him to look at the camera.

It was so hot and we were all sweating like crazy by lunch time, but the boy was a real trouper.  He was content to ride on my shoulders and take in all the sights and sounds around him.


By the time we made it to our hotel, he barely stayed awake long enough to eat before he picked up his lovie and binky and demanded a nap. 

I, on the other hand, was just getting started.  I only had a few minutes to get checked in and grab my name tag before the “What’s Age Got To Do with It?” panel started.  The session was moderated by Renee  Bess and included Gabe Goldsby, Mavis Applewater, Jane Volbrecht, Cheyne Curry, and Nann Dunn. 


Some of the insights I picked up from the panel are that several of the panelists developed a stronger need to tell their stories as they got older.  They are not the same writers in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.  The motivation for writing changes over time.  Challenges to writing are universal and can happen at any age. The excuses always exist, but you need to “write right now.”   Success should be a personal measure, and writing should be fun/fulfilling.  Learning has to continue throughout your life, and that doesn’t just apply to writing.  And one my favorites lines, “I used to use my relatives names to get back at them,” from Cheyne Curry.

The next panel I attended was the “readers voice their choice,” which was a panel of readers. This panel was moderated by Mary Phillips,  and consisted of Mary Griggs, Lynn Glover, Elaine Mulligan, and Nancy Nunez.


They are all super readers and will pretty much read anything as long as it had a good story, a proven author, or something to spark their fancy.


They are intrigued by e-books and like the conveniences of being able to have a lot of books in a small space, but they don’t want to give up paper books all together.  They are all very proud of their libraries.


They are all a little distrustful of reviews and want “truth in advertising” and resent it greatly if a book blurb is misleading in any way.  The main theme of the session, though, was that they want good stories and they don’t care what genre they fall in or who writes them.

My final session of the day was my own coffee chat with my good friend Georgia Beers.  Poor Kat Smith was the moderator for this one, and she probably had no idea what she was getting into when she signed up for that job.   Georgia and I crack ourselves up, and it’s probably not a good idea to give us microphones.


I honestly can’t remember much of what we talked about, but I do remember laughing a lot.  If the pictures of the session are any indication, I also spent an inordinate amount of time looking at her legs.  Seriously I have seen at least 5 pictures like this.


Anyway, we had a lot of fun, and we even got a special guest as Jackson crashed the last few minutes of the session.  After we wrapped up, Georgia Beers dissolved into Aunt Juh-Juh, and a rousing game of  “boo” errupted.


That eveningSusie, Jackie, and I headed to Epcot for dinner, because there really is no better way to celebrate the gobal community than to eat one’s way through it.


We didn’t have a lot of time, so we made a bee-line to France for breads, cheese, and desserts.  Rach and Jackson had a baguette, and Susie had a croisssant.


Jackson wasn’t completely sure how to tackle the bread, but he wasn’t going to let it beat him. He finally settled on the most direct route.


We all did much better with the cream puff and creme brule we shared for dessert and ended up back at the hotel still stuffed and totally exhausted.  Suz and Jackson crashed while I went down to the pool for a little socializing with some great authors and readers.  Someone has pictures somewhere, but not me.  I do know that at one point Lynne Ames and I were on a big blow-up dog together, and in case those pictures ever do surface, I would just like to say ahead of time they the situation really was more innocent that it looked.

I finally made it to bed just before midnight, in order to rest up a little bit before another big day on Friday.


July 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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