Friday, August 08, 2014

LeakyCon Day 4: Leading as a Lady, Charming a Witch, and The Process Porn Panel

Leading as a Lady with Amber Benson, Scarlett Byrne, Mary Kate Wiles, Joanna Sotomura, Alain Huffman

These talented women have made a name for themselves playing versatile and interesting characters both in movies and television. With a focus on how and what it takes to be a leading lady in an often-male dominated business, these spirited actresses shared their experiences of what inspired them to become actresses, how women are paving the way both in front and behind the camera to create empowering entertainment, what to do with rejection as a professional actress, and maintaining space between their personal and professional lives.

Amber Benson  with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm shared some inspiring words about how women today can forge their own creative paths and declared her want of seeing versatile female characters in television, movies, and books.

David Martin

12 Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches, Lessons from Ron's Wooing of Hermione

The variety of Harry Potter panels at LeakyCon was nearly endless with subjects ranging from Severus Snape's motives to JK Rowling's headline-making announcement in 2007 about Dumbledore's sexuality, and wandlore.

David Martin pursued another aspect of the Harry Potter fandom; the transformation of Ron Weasley when brothers George and Fred gave the young lad a book for his birthday. It wasn't just any book, but a guide of how to charm witches; a penchant for understanding his female peers that young Ron lacked.

Every seat was filled as Martin, with chocolate in hand rewarded fans answering trivia questions and guided us through the a young wizard trying to capture a witch's heart. We're talking, of course, about Weasley's relationship with Hermione transforming from friend to boyfriend, where he gave us specific lessons he thought might be offered in 12 Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches.

The curriculum Martin posed included listening, taking action, letting his beloved witch make relationship decisions, and being a knight in shining armor when the appropriate moment called for it. The panel was humorous, filled with insight over the relationship changes between Ron and Hermione, and even inspired attendees to implore Martin to offer a published version of his book online. Only time will tell but it was surely a memorable experience.

Lev Grossman, Rainbow Rowell, Holly Black, Malindo Lo, and Varian Johnson gathered together for The Process P*rn panel.

No, it had nothing to do with mature bedtime activities. Instead the authors shared their experiences of what they went through to begin their stories, massage their characters into outlines (or not outlines), researching, and superstitions pertaining to following routines, being comfortable while writing, and editing.

A favorite story offered during the panel was when Rowell confessed that while writing her books at a local coffee shop, one of her superstitions formed over sitting in the same booth every single day allowed her ideas to flow. When she came to sit at the shop one day to begin her writing day, she was shocked to see that the decoration of the shop had changed. It inspired her and her husband to take measurements of the booth she liked to write in and have it recreated and furnished for her own use at home.

As an aspiring writer it is easy to read guides about "what it takes to be a writer" and get caught up in all of the different suggestions that blogs offer. With five published authors appearing together (rather than a  one-on-one Q&A), it was refreshing to hear how much the answers ranged widely for each guest over whether their characters "talked" to them to how they managed a full-time job as a homemakers or journalists. Walking away from the panel, a new perspective was born that not all writers use the same methods to fuel their creativity.

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