Emerald City Writers Conference 2011

I have napped and recovered from my two 60-hour weeks, so there’s a good chance this post will make more sense than the last one. (I knew my brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders yesterday, but there had been two weeks of radio silence from Valworld. Oy.)

My workshop proposal “This Is Your Brain On Love” was accepted by the 2011 Emerald City Writers Conference, being held at the Bellevue Westin October 28-30. Luckily, they sent me the e-mail on March 31, or I would have thought it was an April Fool’s joke.

It’s kind of funny. I submitted a workshop proposal on craft, a workshop proposal on publishing business, and a workshop on brain chemistry. They picked the one on brain chemistry, which I figured would be the least useful for writers.

After all, who cares if infatuation is triggered by a dopamine cascade in the midbrain, as long as it works for the characters?

Maybe it was the short description I sent:

“Covers the biochemistry of love, from initial attraction to infatuation and on to long-term attachment, including the major hormone cascades: phenylethylamine, dopamine, norepinephrine, endorphins, oxytocin, vasopressin. Includes functional MRI and PET studies as well as differences in the hypothalamus of monogamous and promiscuous voles. There are also side trips to waist-to-hip geometry, pheromone theory, sniffing dirty t-shirts, and…did I mention the voles?

“Plus, because deep down I’m a mad scientist, I figured out ways of faking each of the stages through available medicinal compounds. You know, just for fun. Because we all have dopamine agonists lying around the house, right?”

Just for the record, I don’t have dopamine agonists lying around my house. They’re only available by prescription, for Parkinsons disease and Restless Leg Syndrome. Neither Spooky Man nor I have either of those maladies, for which I’m thankful.

If you’re going to ECWC 2011, feel free to stop into the workshop and heckle. I haven’t had to sound like an expert in front of strangers for several years, so friendly faces will be welcome.

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