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Dan G.
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 485
Former government employee; I know more about how governments actually work than many sf/fantasy writers seem to. (Why do engineers postulate governments which work exactly according to specs, and with no friction?)

Personal experience with several kinds of synesthesia.

Mild degree of cerebral palsy (roughly speaking, my coordination is equilvalent to that of someone who's had a couple of beers.) ADD/ADHD.

I grew up in the 1950s, which to some of you is the ancient past.

I grew up in a rural area. (Not on a farm; my parents did a bit of farming, but not much. Not in a small town -- between two places of two or three hundred people each.)

If you want to know whether your story idea has been used already, I've read enough old sf that there's a good chance I can give you an answer. But note that the safe assumption is "Yes, it's been used -- twenty years to two milleniums before you think it could possibly have been used."
Roy C. B.
user 3023314
Bemidji, MN
Post #: 408
I've worked on over 200 theatrical productions, amateur and professional, from director to fight choreographer to set designer to stage manager to scenic painter and beyond.

I own 100,000+ comic books. That's my personal collection. My comic book store has about an additional 80,000 or so more in it.

I worked in radio in the 1980's before computerization.

Severe traumatic head injury survivor.

Eagle Scout.

Might add more later . . .
Eli E.
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 106

  • Bicycles. More about urban/commuting cycling than racing or distance riding, but enough about all of them to be of use.
  • State legislature and legislators.
  • LGBT history & modern queer life, especially legal aspects.
  • Migraines.
  • Grammar and punctuation. If you have a character who's an uber language geek, I can fill their mouth with geekery.
  • End-of-life planning; home deathcare & funerals; disposition of remains.

I also have excellent access to an expert in pediatric medicine/child psychology, Judaism, and the city of Detroit in the '50s and '60s.
Margaret T.
user 12895497
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 35
I work in a laboratory, so I know what sort of things actually go on in there (hint: the equipment is banged up because people actually use it, and you are NOT allowed to drink anything you make).
Dana M B.
user 7609295
Saint Paul, MN
Post #: 76
My Areas of Expertise:

Historical clothing - particularly the early middle ages (14th century) through the Elizabethan era (16th-early 17th centuries), and early Victorian (1820s or so) through Edwardian (1890s- turn of the 20th century). I have studied other eras, just not as intensely.

And along with that...sewing and costuming (I have a pretty freakish memory for all things fabric-related)

As a singer, I'm generally familiar with choral music

I am a studio art major, so I can talk about the creation process for most art mediums and rattle off all the pretentious art-speak you'd ever want to hear.

Some subjects I studied/minored in college, but I might be a bit rusty:
Art History
Early modern European history (Medieval - Industrialization)

So, typical Renaissance Festival hippie-chick stuff. smile
Genta S.
user 32014122
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 3
I hesitate to put anything here. I've been around the block a couple of times and done a lot, but claim expertise in nothing.

Some things I know some things about:

  • Teaching K-8th grades
  • Professional storytelling (getting paid to entertain live audiences from a stage)
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder aka Multiple Personality Disorder
  • Traveling the country in an RV
  • Butch/Femme relationships among lesbians
  • Drag performers, both queens and kings
  • Very first gay marriages in San Francisco, 2004 (invalidated six months later)
  • Gay bullying
  • Fishing for crappie and sunfish in Minnesota
  • Terceira Island, Acores

Sarah O.
Saint Bonifacius, MN
Post #: 23
I may add more later...but for now:

  • I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and my main symptoms are dizziness and vertigo (room-spinning sensation). I've also experienced muscle weakness, pain and numbness. For the most part, you'd never know I was sick, even when I'm having an "episode."
  • I'm an artist and I love learning new ways to get creative, so I paint, draw, sew, knit, bind books, etc. If it sounds artsy I've probably done it or will be doing it soon. I also knew quite a bit about art history once but have probably forgotten most of it.
  • I'm a software developer at my day job. Mostly Java programming but I also work with many other languages and technologies, including website development.
  • I used to travel a lot for work, so I've been around a lot of the US, Winnipeg, and lived in Paris for four months. I used to speak French but I've probably forgotten most of it.
  • I played bass guitar in a rock band in college (Michael's a bassist too, I found out yesterday). My husband was the drummer, so I know quite a bit about drums too. I also play piano.
  • Connections: My husband hunts. Two of my friends are chemists, one academic and one professional. The academic one has done a lot of cancer research. My best friend is Laotian and speaks Lao and Thai fluently. My sister-in-law was a foreign exchange student from Hanoi and stayed here for college, where she met and married my bro-in-law. They live here but go back to visit every few years. I have a *lot* of friends who are currently active in the local Mpls music scene, and have been for many years. They know and have toured with national acts. Any music industry knowledge you need can be found through one of them.

Oh, and I suppose I should mention the slush reading experience, which a lot of you learned about yesterday at the panel. I'm a slush reader for Apex Magazine, and have been there for over a year.
Meg N.
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 1
I have been sewing since I was about 6 years old and can fashion just about anything from some fabric and a few pins. I've done bridal and costume ball creations as well as standard tailoring, furniture covers and actual upholstery.

I worked in radio for 12 years, small and large markets, formats ranging from old-school country to televangelism. On-air talent for overnights for one summer, set up and ran radio auctions as well as giveaway promotions...even wore a panda suit in a parade once..which reminds me I worked as a balloon handler in a couple of parades (not as easy as it might seem).

Worked in the financial/brokerage industry for awhile (8+ years). Studied for the Series 7 brokerage exam, worked in the Compliance area. Admin support for brokers and lawyers (all kinds of weird experiences ensue there, let me tell you). Various experience with setting up foreign travel; passport issuance (emergency and otherwise), work visas...oh, and had to get an attorney out of jail in Saudi Arabia a few years back when he was arrested for jogging in running shorts. That led to some experience dealing with the State Department. Have been through three SEC investigations, worked with the FBI on a kidnap threat to one of the execs I supported.

Have a fairly extensive library of research and textbooks I got from a former prison psychologist when she decided to quit and go raise avocados in California. They are from a few years back, but basic profiling, psychology of serial killers, prison life...all covered. Would be happy to help research any specific questions.

My son has experience in automotive customization so he'd be happy to answer questions about re-painting vehicles, hidden compartments, etc.

I worked for an architecture firm and now work at a roofing company, so can answer many questions regarding blueprints, construction, building materials, permit issuance, Historic Preservation procedures, etc.
Kali R.
user 32255732
Andover, MN
Post #: 1
I don't claim to be an expert in anything but there is a lot to be said for life experience. I can give you a general understanding of these subjects:

Foster care: I was in and out of the system from the age of 8 to 17.

Bipolar disorder: I was diagnosed with this at the age of 16.

Rheumatoid, psoriatic, osteo, Gout, and Fibromyalgia arthritis: I have it and my mother before me had it, my sisters also have Fibromyalgia.

Essential Tremors: I shake all the time which can cause many forms of frustration.

I have a fairly good overall understanding of Urban and suburban life in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Georgia: I lived there. I also lived for short periods in a couple other places.

Poetry: I've worked with professional poets, done a couple workshops and have been published in a couple places.

Being a stay at home caretaker to an invalid family member

Abuse: No one should ever have to come close to being an expert on this from a personal standpoint but I am.

I might have random things that I can contribute. Please feel free to contact me and ask questions.
Jacob C.
user 32917132
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 2
I have had quite a bit of experience in different fields. My college major was archaeology and I double minored in cultural anthropology and psychology. I am prior Army and have lived all over America and Europe. I have a civilian background in law enforcement, animal control, and am currently working for the government with any kind of mammal you can think of. I know a lot about weapons and survival, and am a self proclaimed zombie expert.
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