“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.