Patient: Stephanie M. Wytovich
Treatment: World Horror Convention 2013
Voodoo, Vampires, and Bourbon Street.
New Orleans was quite the experience.
It was my first time in the city, and to say that it was my last would be a lie. I fully intend to visit again, if not for the history, but for the air. New Orleans is definitely thick with inspiration. And jazz, which I love. If there is one aspect of life that speaks more to me than writing, it's music, and in New Orleans, that's never in short supply.
So I danced, I drank (highly recommend the Hemingway Daiquiris) and I met wonderful new people that have enriched my life in more ways than one. I listened to vampire stories, watched a Voodoo ritual performed right in front of my face, ate fried oysters and shared conversations and experiences with old friends that I won't soon be able to forget. I fell in love with a dress shop (Trashy Diva) and I'll probably have to sell a kidney or two to pay for my purchases there, but sometimes dresses happen, and sometimes a girl just has to say yes to them. You only live once after all. Might as well be stylish.
I think I learned more on this trip than any other that I've ever been on, and not just about writing. About life. Turns out my friends are insanely wise, and just when I think I have something figured out, life throws me a curveball, and I'm back in the madhouse. Which is good, because let's face it. That's where I belong! And that's why I'm a writer.
So I talked poetry, I drank some more, and I asked questions about the business. I sat along the Mississippi River, laughed a lot in a dungeon, rode in a street car for the first time, and then almost missed my flight back home because I was reading a book and lost track of time. I barely slept, consumed coffee to a (probably) lethal degree, got a GIANT bruise after scaling a wall to take a picture, and left with a wonderful collection of signed novels.
I'm learning that the key--another drink that I'd recommend, by the way--to being a writer is actually quite simple. Sure you have to write, and read, and submit, but you also have to live. You have to travel, and meet people, and have conversations, and dammit, you have to live. Because then when you tell a story, you'll glow. Not literally (unless you've had one too many hand grenades) but you'll shine, baby. And that is what writing is about. Emotion.
So play with Voodoo, and hang out with vampires.
Listen to too much jazz, and spend too much money on stuff you'll probably never use.
Go to panels and ask questions.
Talk to people that you admire, and tell them why you admire them.
Just promise me... you'll live.
Stephanie M. Wytovich