The 2018 Writer's Symposium was well worth the driving to and from Indianapolis. Being associated with GenCon, the workshops focused on science fiction/fantasy speculative/genre fiction.
The fun panel that discussed Young Adult and below is the Urban Fantasy panel (photo courtesy of Alethea Kontis).
(That's me in the front row, soaking it all it. Terry Brooks!!! Squee! Wow, he has great comedic timing, besides dropping writing gems left and right.) My three days were filled with lectures and panels. I booked myself through lunch each day, fortunately finding a minute or three to eat a small sandwich. I did find the food trucks outside the Convention Center Saturday night to enjoy a Cubano before viewing the film premiere of Eye of the Beholder about the art of Dungeons and Dragons. Very nice film. I enjoyed the artwork and interviews with the artists. I think that film will be a "must see" for fantasy art fans or anyone with an interest in D&D or similar games.
I took a brief run through the Exhibit Hall on Sunday and purchased three fun t-shirts. Any gamer would need days to explore the Exhibit Hall. Days.
Located on the north side of the Indy metro area my hotel was about 30 to 60 minutes away from the Convention Center, depending on traffic. Parking with Gate Ten on the south side of the Lucas Oil Stadium was very convenient with shuttle buses running frequently up to the Convention Center and back. It would perhaps have been nicer to stay closer, but with 60 thousand people participating in the main Con, I am happy I had a nice hotel anywhere. I'm catching up on household chores this morning, but plan to review my pages and pages of notes tonight. Would I go again? Yes! I'm full of energy today, even after all the driving and human interaction. The Symposium was well-run, I met a lot of nice people, and came away with only pleasant experiences.
Just one thing. I did have a rather odd experience midway through my trip. I downloaded Google Maps on my phone just before setting off since I read somewhere in a GenCon forum that the app was better with keeping current with road construction projects than other map apps and Indy was full of road construction. It worked great and I had no problems navigating to Indy or inside the metro area. Friday or Saturday morning, I had the Google map app open on my phone and was in a bit of a hurry so I ignored the pop-up rating request from the map app. No big deal, right?
Here's the odd part...the verbal directions for my trip that morning were markedly different than the past few days---with the lady in the app no longer saying street names and, frankly, she sounded quite bitchy. Seriously, it was just "turn right" or "turn left." I could have been in big trouble, except I was on a route similar to one I had taken the day before. Flipping spooky. Did I go back in and rate the app? You bet your sweet bippy I did. Will I use that app again? Not unless I've got a bouquet of roses and a box of Godiva chocolates by my side.