Live - BransforumFest 2012

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Sommer Leigh
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Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Sommer Leigh » March 4th, 2012, 12:45 am

I've started this thread as a way to post updates on the trip, including words written/edited, and the bizarre things that happen while we are here.

DAY ONE. March 3rd, 2012

So far I haven't had the pleasure of meeting any other forumers yet, but I have had a very weird day. The flight was extremely turbulent to the point of making me feel like an extra in LOST and, as if they come standard with every flight, several screaming babies. The young lady sitting next to me was nose deep in Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle. It was a pleasure to watch her read with such ferocity. I got through the first hundred pages of Dan Wells' Partials which I'm liking a lot, though I keep picturing Cylons the entire time I'm reading it.

The hotel is enormous. Despite how big this place is and how many people are here, there are a surprising number of hallways and areas that are completely empty. It's kind of disconcerting when you're walking a silent hallway when you know there should be ten thousand people around a corner any minute now. The atmosphere is ridiculous and cool.

I got involved in a domestic disturbance in the hallway between my room and the ice machine. I'm a midwest girl and we aren't raised to look the other way. The couple were apparently locked out of their room and very upset. I offered to call the front desk for them and asked if they needed anything, like water. They sort of looked at me like I had three heads but were pretty polite despite the fact they were just screaming at each other. By the time I left my room the second time they were gone, so I hope they are ok.

Then I got into a mild argument in a hotel elevator when an extremely intoxicated young man got on the elevator smoking, jokingly asked if he could smoke in the 6x6 space and asked if anyone minded, despite his girlfriends horrified expression. I told him I did mind. I don't think he was expecting an actual answer. The other people on the elevator stayed silent and despite me speaking up, he didn't put it out. I was going to get coffee and not interested in picking a fight. I feel a little bit alien amongst a city full of crazy people.

I then proceeded to get some organic nonfat milk and a skinny latte from Starbucks and head back to my room. This is Vegas, people, and I know how to party.

It is now time to write. I'm really happy to be here even though I forgot to pack my hairbrush.

Edit: I have a good story! On my way to meet Claudie I talked to a lovely woman on the elevator with me. I commented on how beautiful the ring she was wearing was (it was SO SPARKLY) and she gushed that she was on her 10 year wedding anniversary and it was a gift from her husband. I told her she was so lucky and it was beautiful and wished her much happiness. She was thrilled to hear someone tell her this and proceeded to tell me about how happy she was. It was lovely!

Then I had pizza with Claudie and her boyfriend at 12pm. Midnight pizza is the best!

I've read through my first 10 chapters and am ready to start writing new tomorrow. I am going to try to sleep, but the people on the other side of the shared door in my room are very noisy. We'll see how well this works out.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Beethovenfan
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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Beethovenfan » March 4th, 2012, 2:49 am

Hey Sommer! I made it here this morning! I should have come and looked for you. Yes, Las Vegas is a city full of all kinds of people from all kinds of places. I think most of the locals are pretty nice. When you're on the strip you never know where a person might be from. Hope tomorrow is a better experience. It has to be - that's when we all get together!
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Claudie » March 4th, 2012, 3:40 am

Day 1, and I have also arrived! I can't say we had any crazy experience like Sommer (except meeting Sommer, which is its own brand of crazy and awesome!) I do feel completely underdressed in my jeans and penguin-with-a-heart hoodie. And just walking around the Luxor I've counted 3 Starbucks, which brings the total for the day to 6. Guys, I'm not sure there's that many in the whole of Quebec City. I can't count more than 3.

I've yet to write anything, though I did read through the whole of Angelfall during the 5 hours flight between Newark and Vegas. With the tiny amount of spare time I have these days, reading an entire book made me feel like I was REALLY on vacations. I cannot wait to meet the rest of the crew. This promises to be incredible.
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Nathan Bransford » March 4th, 2012, 9:20 pm

I'm here! Last time I was in Vegas was just two months ago for CES - having some 18 hour workday flashbacks but other than that I'm ready to go. Looking forward to meeting everyone tonight!

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CharleeVale
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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by CharleeVale » March 4th, 2012, 10:41 pm

Let me know when ya'll are together so I can skype in and say hi. :)

CV

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Beethovenfan
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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Beethovenfan » March 5th, 2012, 3:31 am

This Bransforumfest is already awesome, and we haven't even done any workshops yet! It has been fantastic meeting everyone finally. Looking forward to day 2! :)
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Sommer Leigh
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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Sommer Leigh » March 5th, 2012, 4:19 am

DAY TWO. March 4, 2012

Everyone is here! The fitness center and spa was awesome this morning, but I was there so long I ended up missing breakfast with Claudie and her boyfriend Eric. Brenda, her husband and Tricia met in the airport and I met them when they got to the hotel. We ended up sitting around talking in my hotel room for like an hour while we tried to decide on where to go for lunch, but we were unable to stay on one subject for more than ten seconds, so it took a while to decide. Finally we ended up heading over to New York New York for their food court and met up with Nicole and her friend there. Lunch was awesome, but as we already knew, everything seemed so much closer until we actually were walking to it, so by the time we got back to the hotel we were all pretty tired. We headed off in different directions for a siesta and met up a couple of hours later. Tricia and I went shopping at the LUSH store. It was wonderful!

We then took over a Starbucks. We endured many, many weird looks from people walking by because like, who comes to a Vegas casino to invade a Starbucks with laptops and notebooks let alone in a group of eleven? It was awesome. Nathan showed up and snapped this pic of us: https://twitter.com/#!/NathanBransford/ ... 48/photo/1

We hung out for a while then when Margo finally arrived we headed off to dinner. Then we exchanged gift bags full of awesome items from each of our hometowns. Here's a great picture of the swag: https://twitter.com/#!/NathanBransford/ ... 16/photo/1

Some of us were dead tired and headed to bed and the rest of us walked with Nathan back to his hotel so we could sit and watch the Bellagio fountains. (Not gonna lie, I was imagining us like the end of Oceans Eleven during the whole thing.) The tram rides and the walk was long, but the fountains were GORGEOUS and well worth the trip. We stayed for two shows and then bid Nathan goodnight and trecked back to our hotel which proved to be the last of any of our strength. It was already well past midnight and the walk was much, much longer than we anticipated.

Fun fact! It is 1.2 miles from the Luxor to the Bellagio - sort of. That is, if we were to walk there straight away and not go through casinos and around exhibits and across pedestrian bridges. It's a 30+ minute walk each way. We did take the tram for part of it getting there, but we walked at least 2 miles to see the fountains and that does not count all the other places we went today. Everything looks close but because everything is so BIG here, it's at least twice, maybe three times as far as you think it's going to be.

Now it is time to call it a night. We're meeting up for breakfast in the morning and maybe some other fun stuff. I am just dying to spend some time in the Sega Arcade. Fortunately, there is no one in the room next door playing the guitar and singing poorly tonight, so might actually get a good night's sleep.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Evelyn
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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Evelyn » March 5th, 2012, 1:08 pm

Hi Sommer and everyone else in Vegas!

Thank you so much for the updates about the awesome time you're all having, I'm enjoying them very much. I so wanted to be there too, but it didn't work out for me. Have fun!

Evelyn

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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by MattLarkin » March 5th, 2012, 2:46 pm

Sounds great, I'm jealous!
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Mira
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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Mira » March 5th, 2012, 3:05 pm

Thanks for doing this, guys. It's really fun to hear about as it happens! So cool that you guys and Nathan are all hanging out in VEGAS!! Awesome. :D

So wish I could be there - very envious. So, you'll have to tell us all the good stuff. How Beetovenfan got hooked on Roulette. How Claudie got all WILD AND CRAZY. Stuff like that. What happens in Vegas should never stay in Vegas.

Sommer: I do have a suggestion for you: Taxis. There's a reason there are 152 taxis for every tourist in Vegas. It's HUGE.

p.s. Nathan, this means you have to reverse the order on this trip. 6 hours awake and 18 hours asleep. That will bring balance to the universe.

Have fun you guys!

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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Quill » March 5th, 2012, 4:03 pm

Yup, have fun!!

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Nathan Bransford » March 5th, 2012, 7:30 pm

I'm back in San Francisco but am so sad I couldn't stay longer! What a great group, so much fun and it was awesome to talk writing and put faces with usernames. It's going to be such an awesome week.

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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by Margo » March 5th, 2012, 8:09 pm

Best comment so far, from Claudie: He won't die from it.

I will leave everyone to supply their own context to that statement.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by dios4vida » March 6th, 2012, 11:10 am

I don't have time to read through everything (gotta get to breakfast and all...) but OH MY GOSH this is amazing!! Bransforumers are totally some of the coolest people on the planet. Sorry everyone couldn't join us, but I'll try to get on later today and post some of my thoughts and what I'm taking away from all of this.

LAS VEGAS BUFFET IS CALLING ME!!
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Live - BransforumFest 2012

Post by dios4vida » March 6th, 2012, 12:26 pm

Okay, having been sufficiently stuffed at the Luxor's buffets, I can now think clearly enough to write a real post!

Oh my gosh, guys, I seriously wish everyone could be here! It's writerly nerd-a-licious around here. I mean, really, where else could you stand around with yogurt smoothies discussing the proper usages of past perfect tense and having the BEST TIME EVER?! This is what it's like around here. You know how we all think 'wow, Bransforumers seem so cool'? Well, they are!! These folks are amazing.

For those who wonder: Yes, Claudie has this awesome French accent. She's so charming to listen to. Yes, Sommer really is that awesome. Margo is totally evil (you should have seen her snickering as she directed us through these horrible but wonderful dialogue exercises!). Nathan is completely cool and normal, which was great because there wasn't this "oh man, it's Mr. Bransford" stigma. He was fantastic. Tricia (trixie) and Nicole and Sheila (Beethovenfan) are so freakin' cool. Most amazing writers ever!

Yesterday, after breakfast with Nathan and some chatting/book signing (signed copy of Jacob Wonderbar FTW!), we had our first two workshops: Dialogue and Character. Margo, as I said, put us through some crazy dialogue exercises. They were so evil - like take your page of dialogue and rewrite it so that every line is an insult - but they were so incredible! I was thinking "I so can't do that" but suddenly I realized that not only was I doing it, but some of the rewrites are actually better than what I had. The profound 'aha' moments were plentiful. Our Character workshop was a great roundtable discussion led by Claudie. I had never really understood the advice of finding the one thing your character could never do then make them do that, but everyone explained it so that I finally understand why and how to do that! Amazing.

We're off to an Editing session with Nicole in about half an hour, then this afternoon are our critique groups (eek!). Most of us are going to some shows tonight, and tomorrow afternoon we're hoping for an excursion into the desert, so it'll be really tiring but so very exciting. I can't wait to see what's in store for us!

Okay, have I used the word 'amazing' enough yet? Cause everything is just amazing. Wow.

Y'all keep the forums warm for us, and we'll pop in on and off and be back soon! :D
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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