Writers Tell Wacky Stories

“The Wacky World of Writing” panel on Friday at 11:30 AM in Embassy D-F (Hy) was like attending an informal conversation among long-standing friends who are also writers telling grand stories about the business, with the audience members providing the needed laugh track in the backdrop. The panel consisted of Stephen L. Antczak, Peter David, Bill Fawcett, D.B. Jackson, Katherine Kurtz, and yours truly, Chesya Burke.

As both a panel member and the reporter offering commentary, I can tell you with all honesty that I am totally biased. The panel was hosted by the Writer’s Track, and each of the writers regaled the audience with their “wacky” stories, good and bad, funny and sad.

The panel opened with Kurtz exclaiming to the mostly wannabe writers that one of the wackiest things they’ll have to look forward to is trying to find their way to a panel in a hotel of fifty thousand people. That comment set the tone for the entire panel.

Although lots of personal writer stories were told, one of the most disturbing was from Peter David.

David explained that he was in an elevator at Comic Con with actor Bill Mumy and a fan. Recognizing Mumy, the fan asked him to “Send me to the cornfield,” which is a line from The Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life” in which Mumy starred. When Mumy laughed, the fan repeated, humorlessly, “Send me to the cornfield!” Suddenly the man grabbed Mumy’s throat and began choking him, screaming, “Send me to the cornfield!” After Mumy and David escaped the elevator, the doors closed with the man continuing to beg to be sent to the cornfield.

The audience seemed equally horrified and amused by the multitude of stories, and as a panel member I think I can speak for everyone when I say we enjoyed telling them.

Author of the article

Chesya Burke’s 2011 fiction collection, Let’s Play White, was featured in i09 and received praise from Samuel Delany and Nikki Giovanni. Her work has appeared in Dark Dreams I, II and III: Horror and Suspense by Black Writers published by Kensington Publishing Corp.; the Stoker-nominated, Dark Faith and many more. She also is recognized for her critical analysis of genre and race issues such as her articles, "Race and The Walking Dead" and "Super Duper Sexual Spiritual Black Woman: The New and Improved Magical Negro" published by Clarkesworld Publication. Likewise, several of her articles appeared in the African American National Biography published by Harvard and Oxford University Press. Chesya is currently getting her MA in African American Studies at Georgia State University and is a juror for the 2013 Shirley Jackson awards.