LA Stories

Recently I flew down to sunny California to attend the Story Expo.  It was a three day conference on writing predominantly for film and television.  the experience was astonishingly enlightening and I was fired up with enthusiasm, energy and subsequently a complete inability to write anything about it.

I have had this happen before when I have crammed so much information in to a short span of time that save writing a small treatise there is too much information to disseminate in a single essay.   This trip was a different experience for me on several levels.  I have been to many music conferences over the years but this is the first time I have truly addressed my secret passion for writing, and my geographical focus turned to a single strip along the oceanfront from the airport to Venice and back while I am normally bouncing from downtown to Pasadena to Venice to Malibu and all places in between.

Here’s my route close up.

And here it is in the larger picture of LA.

In an effort to describe the limitations of my geographical forays and to start the writing flow again I went to a website enumerating the Latin names of phobias in the search for a term to describe my extremely limited movement.  Xenophobia and agoraphobia skirt the parameters (being the fears of things perceived to be foreign or strange and the fear of open spaces respectively) but nothing really nailed it.  I WAS delighted to discover Aulophobia (fear of flutes), bufonophobia (toads), genuphobia (knees) and lutraphobia (otters).  Porphyrophobia is the fear of the colour purple (I am assuming the actual colour rather than the 1985 Oprah Winfrey film of the same name).  I hope to utilize this list more at some point.

The Expo itself was excellent.   I learned a great deal, met some inspirational teachers and am looking forward to a return visit next year.  In an effort to avoid doing a huge injustice to any of the talented instructors I will not attempt to paraphrase their lectures.  I will say that the seminars were very well organized and the subjects covered all aspects of creative writing from the very nascent stages to helping people pitch and sell a finished product.

The host venue was the Westin LAX.  I opted against staying there and instead rented a beautiful apartment in the Venice Canals.  It was an easy 15-20 minute commute and meant the difference between staying in a generic hotel room in an area with limited fast food meal options that looked like this:

To a place on the water, five minutes from the beach and a stone’s throw from fantastic restaurants.

I have loved Venice and the few canals that remain ever since an old friend moved there some years ago.  They are changing of course, as all things do.  Many of the tiny cottages remain, but they are being bought up and much larger homes are being built in their stead.

It is still a calm and beautiful place to be, and the quirkiness endemic to Venice still remains.

Here are two transportation options to be had in the area – kayak and USS Enterprise

I did find some time on the Sunday before my departure to wander in to Santa Monica long the main street in Venice and back along the boardwalk.  The weather was perfect and I was delighted to see they have reclaimed an area in front of the court house and turned it in to a beautiful park.

I stopped to watch some excellent break dancers, dabbled my toes in the ocean, breathed in some salty aired and called myself lucky for being able to experience all the things I managed to cram in to a single weekend.  I am a fortunate soul.  Now I just need to write about it.

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