Always feels good to finish a chapter. Began chapter 16 as well. Also, I hosted a reading of speculative fiction by my writers’ group at the local independent book store.
Mar 11 2013
It is great to get so much done at a retreat, but boy, when you come back, there is so much to do–haven’t got too much writing done in the whole last week! Did do some work on chapter 15, but thought I’d have it done by now. However, I have helped to arrange readings for the Imaginative Fiction Writers’ Association at a local book store on Thursday, did some volunteer work for the When Words Collide readers’ and writers’ festival this summer, and got back to my exercise routine–and worked on a murder mystery play. So, lots done–just not much on the novel. Sigh.
As always, the Rainforest Writers’ Village was awesome. Highlights included Rob Sawyer’s two talks, one on theme and the other on adapting one’s work for television or film. Some very good stuff on pantsing (Jim Van Pelt), critiquing (Brenda Cooper) and what happens AFTER that first contract (John Pitts). I got to be part of a panel on literary vs. commercial fiction which was well-received, too. Of course, the food and camaraderie was excellent, but the best part was getting some very good ideas worked into my novel outline, and a good start on Chapter 15!
Last weekend at Dead Man’s Flats was awesome. Seven of us wrote from Friday at 4 PM to Monday at 6 PM, with a few breaks to visit the Rose & Crown pub in Canmore for dinner (great food, reasonable prices), or dip into the hot tub for re-inspiration. And, of course, a few conversations on writing. I revised a novel outline and wrote the opening 3 chapters–but now I have to get back to my other novel.
When I leave for the Rainforest Writer’s Village in Lake Quinault, Washington, I’m back to chapter 15 of the vampire mermaids book. <grin>
Tomorrow I head for Dead Man’s Flats for a 4-day writers’ retreat with six other friends. Simple enough: about a year ago we found this condo set in the spectacular mountains–has a hot tub in case we need to take a break from all that typing, and it’s only 5 minutes from Canmore where there are lots of restaurants for dinner and to get out of the condo. Really looking forward to it: dedicated, focussed writing time. And I have tons to do!
I think I’ve said before, but I’ll say again–my family laugh at me when I tell them about great rejections I get, but I got another good one this week: Sure, Tor is not buying the manuscript I sent in, but I did get some compliments from their editor. But the best part is, I asked if I could send in a future project, and was told yes, and that I can use the current email address I have, rather than try to meet a Tor editor to speak face-to-face at a conference. To me, that’s a great rejection.
Feb 02 2013
Just got home from the Calgary Public Library’s writers’ conference (which was, as always, fabulous) and learned that I sold a story to The Urban Green Man anthology coming out this summer from Edge Press! I’m pumped! My first sale for 2013!
Jan 24 2013
Yeah, it’s not writing. But working for my writers’ group (we run a short story contest every year that is very cool), a writers’ festival (WWC encourages cross-fertilization among a zillion different writers’ organizations) and teaching adults how to write novels (through the Alexandra Writers’ Society) can also be very satisfying. So–okay–no fiction this week. But next week, for sure!
I had a super time working with four classes of grade 3/4 students this week. The first two days I was able to have extended sessions with each class to go into depth on story planning, using the try/fail cycle, and the third day I was able to help the students deepen and add detail their own story plans–along with trouble-shooting story ideas that missed the mark or didn’t have enough conflict. The kids worked hard and created really detailed plans and seemed to enjoy the process. The best part, for me, though, was when one of the teachers told me that after I left her class, the kids dove into their planning and “you could hear a pin drop.” One of her students who sometimes has difficulty staying on task asked at a later point to go back an add more ideas to his!
So, how cool is this? Monday I start at a local school to teach writing as their artist in residence! I will work with four, grade 3/4 classes for eight half-days in January. This week, I met with the teachers to finalize plans and also joined them for a tour of a local aboriginal museum,to