Last weekend, for the fourth year in a row, my wife and I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for Imaginarium, which boasts panels and workshops for all sorts of creative types, an independent international film festival, a book fair and expo, cosplay, gaming, literary and film awards, and much more.
And once again, we reconnected with many old friends, made some new friends and learned a lot.
Kimberly gave a workshop on how to create events based on your books. I served as a guest panelist on four panels and attended two others as an inquiring attendee. And for the first time, we had a table selling our books and her essential oil diffuser bracelets.
It’s always interesting getting a bunch of professionals together to talk about various aspects of publishing, writing, editing, and creating. Even though they ask me to participate as a panelist, I always learn much more knowledge and tips than I provide. Everyone comes at this from different backgrounds, so they all have unique viewpoints and experiences.
In the “How to Get Along with Editors” panel, for example, I went in with the notion that this was for writers who were hiring editors to make their manuscripts better. That’s how I prepared. I hadn’t realized that some folks were writers hoping to attract editors who would publish their work. So, we had even more aspects of a writer/editor relationship to discuss than I’d imagined.
I was also on panels for “Research Done Right,” “Non-fiction Writing,” and “Walking in Another’s Shoes,” which examined writing from the point of view of varied characters. Taking a cue form my preparation, I mentioned that one could also write from the point of view of an animal or inanimate object (i.e., a polo pony, Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, etc.). One guy said he’d actually written a paper once from the point of view of the proverbial fly on the wall.
I also attended a panel on “Creative Depression,” which gave me loads of insight into how and why creatives can encounter that downward spiral as well as ways they can try to minimize it or come out of that deep, dark hole. The discussion helped me watch for warning signs in my own life and offered tips on things to focus on: diet, exercise, human contact, focusing on small goals, and more.
Besides all this learning, we also attended that awards ceremony (Kimberly was up for children’s book of the year. She didn’t win, but that’s OK). We were also part of the entertainment as John Pyka, aka The Bamboozlist or Big Daddy Cool, employed us as pawns in his card trick that night.
Looking forward to Year 5 in 2020.