and then I’m getting back to writing about writing, I swear *grin*
I got home from Worldcon with the flu, so I’ve been medicated out of my head and curled up with a fever and racking cough this whole last week. It has especially sucked because one of the good things to come out of Worldcon was that I came home with ideas leaping out of everywhere for all of my current projects and some totally new ones. I feel like I just lost a week of my life, thanks flu!
One of the things I meant to do right when I got home was give a more in-depth report on Worldcon. But there are con reports out there and it’s been a week anyway, so I’m just going to mention a few thoughts and highlights.
The workshop was well-run and while I won’t say it was a bucket of fun, I found it informative and helpful. This was the third time I’ve workshopped Space Bones (and the third form the story has been in), and this workshop liked it the least over all, though I’ve read through comments on the drafts that were handed to me and there are some nice comments that no one bothered to say aloud in the workshop, which is ok but did give the impression that it was universally panned when it wasn’t exactly. However, I think that this story has reached the point where I need to shelve it or rip its guts out and try something a little different. I know the story I’m trying to tell. I read over the comments and my notes and I see that the story I want to tell is getting lost somewhere in this version. I like this story too much to give up on it, and besides, it got a very near miss with one editor, so it can’t be that far off something *someone* would like to read. I have some ideas on how to change/fix it, so we’ll see if I can make it work better. I found the level of crit in the workshop on par with Baen’s, blunt but understandable/helpful on a whole. Plus it was good to get to talk to people and meet them without having to introduce myself to strangers. Context is a good thing.
Another highlight of the con was meeting a bunch of local Portland writers. A bit funny that I haven’t met a single local writer until I went thousands of miles away, but oh well, I’d have to probably leave my house and put up with that whole introducing myself to strangers thing more often. I have new blogs to follow and hopefully a few local connections for people to chat about writing (or whatever) with. I also connected with some of the not-local to me writers whose blogs I follow, though that involved a fair bit of stranger talking to, but I held it together, mostly (I think a couple people caught me on the zomg 1am oversocialized talky edge of things, heh…sorry).
Some of the most fun panels I went to were the Odyssey, Clarion, and Anti-workshop panels. I mention them here because in some ways I’m glad I didn’t get into CW this year (sniff). I’m much better informed now about what the different workshops entail and what might be the best fit for me. The Odyssey grads were especially helpful in this, and I think it’s moved to the top of my list for next year (pending what the instructor list for Clarion SD looks like, of course…). Not that I won’t apply to all three, but I’m thinking of seeing if I can get early acceptance to Odyssey since they do that. Of course, after my sound rejection from CW, who knows if I’ll get into anything next year, but I’ve been working my ass off to try to improve and getting the “almosts” to prove it. Hope and Spring and all that. Oh, funny thing about the Anti-workshop panel and the Clarions panel, they almost ended up being opposites. The Clarion grads all admonished people to be sure they knew what they were getting themselves into, while the anti-workshop (really, the hey you can do it without a workshop panel) ended up agreeing that it can be really helpful. Go figure.
This leads up to the strongest message I took away from Worldcon after listening to countless professional writers and editors. Everyone gets there on their own path. No ones methods look the same, no one followed some careful formula for success (well, other than work hard and write a good story), no path to publication or agent or finished drafts look the same. Which was comforting, because sometimes I feel like I’m diving in face first and hoping thats water down there.
Over all, I’m glad I went (flu notwithstanding). Now, back to real life. I need to revise my list of things to do and add in the new ideas/plans. It’s about time for another “things to get written” post, so I’ll work on that for sometime this week. First, however, I need to reread a few chapters of Chwedl so I know what I was thinking when I quit (has it really been a month since I worked on it? Eek. Momentum loss, anyone?) and then start the writing. And maybe do something with the stack of hotel stationary I scribbled all over in Montreal.