And there was much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth . . .
Slayage 4 is over, folks. Put to bed, so to speak. Oh, there will be a Slayage 5 at a currently-undisclosed location for reasons of national security and the fact that we don’t know where it’ll be yet. But it’s nice that at least three universities are vying for our business, which has not always been the case. Moreover, it’s a distinct possibility that the next Slayage will be outside the American South – possibly north of the border. (Cue “O Canada.” Or possibly “Blame Canada.”) Two years is a long way off and who knows what may happen in that time span. Still, I’m sure that in 2012, there will be an enthusiastic gathering of Whedonians somewhere. They’ll come equipped with brilliant insights and nigh-encyclopedic knowledge of scenes, deleted scenes, shooting scripts, draft scripts, the contents of multiple interviews with Whedon, his actors, his writers, his shoe-shine boy and so on.
And I fervently hope to be right there in the very thick of it!
Two years ago in Arkadelphia, I spent a lot of time pacing around a hotel parking lot and talking on the phone to FryDaddy, who attended this Slayage at my side. (Oh, it was determined today that a “Slayage” is an exact unit of time. Three days followed by two years.) I stopped at one point in our conversation, sure that my gushing was boring him. Far from it. As he put it, “I like hearing you soar.” So today’s keynote. I had been unusually nervous about this one - not the content, which I thought was pretty solid (although I had to cut some stuff I really, really liked which is always the case). Rather, I was nervous about the reception from the audience. Whedonians can talk about gender studies and production details until the cows come home (and we will), but I was applying Twelve Step principles of recovery to the arc of several quite beloved characters, one of whom (Willow) doesn’t turn out too well. There was some definite pushback, but overall, I’d say the presentation went well and I may have started a new conversation in the field. Or I may have lobbed a hand grenade into the crowd; I’m not entirely sure.
But it was a whale of a ride!
I met some wonderful people here – some very talented writers and presenters and some people who are in the “scary smart” section of the intellectual spectrum. I learned a lot and thought so much I was exhausted by nine in the evening. I have ideas for half a dozen writing projects and a long list of people to e-mail and stay in touch with. And I hardly saw a bit of St. Augustine. I hear there’s some kind of fort here.
All the more reason to come back, but tomorrow, we head for home.
And I’m sad about that. But glad in a way, too. But sad.
A “Slayage” is a long time.