Three Quick Tips for an Awesome Creative Meeting

Carousel’s pomegranate martini. Dinner and a drink is key to a good meeting.

My friend Shannon and I have a project called Hard Road to Rad, where we interview creative people who spent long, grueling hours on amazing projects. It runs on Meltdown Comics’ website. Last night, we decided to have a dinner meeting to discuss what we have coming up in the series.

This had to have been the best meeting Shannon and I have had in our four years working together. Actually, it may be the only “meeting” we’ve had. Usually, we just chat over lunch when we’re on assignment. I’m not disclosing the contents of the meeting, just know that we have some really incredible stuff coming your way in the next few months. I am however, letting you in on the three things that helped make this meeting so productive. Keep reading.
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Luck Is Bullshit

Most of my work lately– both the non-fiction you see now and the fiction you’ll read in the future– is about turning an awesome idea into an awesome reality. That’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in life. Everyone has good ideas, whether or not they realize it. Frequently, though, those ideas will never leave your head or your diary or that conversation you had with a friend at 2 a.m. I want to know how people make things happen. The answers, overwhelmingly, have nothing to do with luck.

Luck, fate and destiny are a bunch of bullshit. I realized that for the first time this morning. Maybe I knew it for a while. After all, my mom has been telling me this since I was a teenager. I never believed her, though, until I was writing something this morning and the truth hit.
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Sally Ride: Hero for the Girls of the ’80s

Like many, I was saddened to hear about the death of Sally Ride yesterday. The first U.S. woman to travel to space was a childhood hero of mine, though not in a way you might expect. I wrote the following to try and understand how she inspired me.

Remember Weekly Reader? I counted down the days every week until we got ours, which I would devour before the teachers finished picking students to do the reading out loud. Weekly Reader, and the accompanying book order forms, were my favorite thing about elementary school, maybe the only thing I liked about school at that time. They were also where I first remember reading about Sally Ride. I don’t remember the details, I just remember that I was very young, maybe first grade, and we were reading about the first U.S. woman to travel to space. That was a big deal, even for us little girls, even when space exploration wasn’t part of our plan.

I loved the idea of heading into space, but was never all that interested in math or science, not because of the whole girls-and-math thing, but because I was too busy staging recess productions of Annie or trying to make the great Wonder Woman movie in my head come to life. Space, to me, was about big dreams and I had a lot of those. When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was make movies and plays, but, as far as I knew, women weren’t really doing that either.
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Polterguys: My Awesome Comic Book Find from Anime Expo

Laurianne Uy signing my copy of Polterguys at Anime Expo (Photo: Liz O.)

About a month ago, I was at Anime Expo chatting with my friend Ejen at his artist alley booth when I noticed his neighbor was selling a comic called Polterguys. The title alone says more about the book than any description or review could. I wanted to read it.

I talked to Laurianne Uy, who created Polterguys, a few times over the weekend. It turned out that we already met through Twitter, which was one more reason for me to get a copy.  I bought Volume 1 of Polterguys, which had just been released, and started reading it while riding the Metro home from the convention center.
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Watching Dark Knight Rises at Mission Tiki Drive-In Is Worth the Drive

Mission Tiki Drive-In (Photo: Carlos)

I didn’t think I would be able to catch The Dark Knight Rises for another few weeks. In fact, I had to decline a couple invites from friends to see the movie this weekend because I thought I would be working. Fortunately, I ended up without a weekend assignment (and, after Comic-Con, I really needed that break), so Carlos and I decided to drive out to Montclair to see the movie at the Mission Tiki Drive-In.

Montclair is in San Bernardino County, just on the other side of the county line from Pomona. It seems like it’s really far, but, in reality, it took us less than an hour to drive there from Los Angeles. Considering how often it takes more than an hour to travel fewer than 10 miles in this city,  I think we made good time. Plus, we got to see the latest Batman flick at a tiki-themed drive-in theater. That’s always a win.
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San Diego Comic-Con Pt. 4: The Thrilling Anticlimax

Friendship and Docs are Magic! Photo taken after Friday’s Venture Bros. panel at SDCC. (Photo: Liz O.)

I’m writing this post a week after the events took place. The only thing crazier than Comic-Con is the madness that happens after the fact, when you’re back in L.A. and your thrust once again into the non-convention life while you’re still trying to write about what happened. There was daily freelancing, the Andrew W.K. story for Hard Road to Rad, the Amanda Palmer show I covered for L.A. Weekly, the DJ gig at Underground last night.

Maybe I’ll sleep soon.

Saturday is really the last big day of Comic-Con. I go on Sunday as well, but since that is the end of the road, most of my time is spent checking out of the hotel room, packing up the stuff I bought and hauling it all to the train. Sunday is for saying goodbye, but Saturday is the last hoorah. This year, Saturday was also Super Awesome Day for me at the convention.
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Club Underground Set List 7/20/12

The moment I stepped away from the decks after my first set last night, I was hit by a brutal, if temporary, wave of exhaustion. I think I’m still recuperating from San Diego Comic-Con. I should probably sleep, but there’s more writing that needs to be done. Whatever, here’s my set list from Underground last night. It’s oldies-centric, but that’s what the crowd seemed to like last night, so I went with it.
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What’s Going on at Underground This Week

I’m back on the decks at Underground this Friday night. Not sure what I’ll be playing, but it’s going to be good and you will want to dance. In big Underground-related news, the Metro now runs until 2 a.m. on weekends, so, if you take public transportation, you won’t have to leave all that early. We’re at the Grand Star, which is near the Chinatown stop on the Gold Line. If you’re on Facebook, RSVP for free entry before 10 p.m. and $5 entry thereafter.

Upstairs at the Grand Star, Underground and Nadafly are hosting a benefit for L.A. artist Marie Hardwick, who was seriously injured after a hit and run accident outside of LACMA. Underground’s own Diana Meehan, also of the band Sweater Girls, will be performing live. There’s also a silent auction that will include loads of art as well as some rare Belle and Sebastian items, donated by the band. The event starts at 9 p.m. and there’s a suggested $5 donation. Please support. For more info, go to Underground’s website.

San Diego Comic-Con Pt. 3: When SDCC Loses Its Magic and How Andrew W.K. Changed That

Andrew W.K. teaches us how to party. (Photo: Shannon Cottrell)

By Friday morning, San Diego Comic-Con was starting to drag. It wasn’t particularly bad, but something was different this, something was missing. I couldn’t quite place it.

I haven’t been going to Comic-Con for that long, only four years, so I never experienced the convention without the crowds or the big movies and TV shows. Despite the size, though, it was magical, like a nerd Disneyland. There were massive street marketing campaigns and loads of people in costume (not as many as Anime Expo or Dragon*Con, but still a lot). If you walked around the Gaslamp Quarter after dark, you could still see crowds of people running around in costumes from party to party.
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San Diego Comic-Con Pt. 2: On Panels and The Tick

I’m not doing what I want with my career. I wanted to write, and while I’m definitely doing a lot of that, I’m also locked into one form of writing. I like working in non-fiction. I like writing about people who do awesome stuff. However, there’s other things that I want to do. Journalism isn’t everything, but, right now, it’s everything that pays. So I put focus on that, perhaps at the expense of the comic book I should be writing and the other stories that are wandering through my mind. There has to be a balance. Maybe I’ll find that here at Comic-Con.

My friends are a lot like me. We’re working creative people, so we have heads filled with thousands of ideas, but we also have that hardened sense of reality where we know we aren’t going to do everything we want. Thursday at Comic-Con, we decided to hit up some panels for that extra push to move forward.
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