On my recent trip I drove from Minnesota, to Iowa, to Missouri, to Kansas, to Oklahoma, to Texas, to Arkansas, to Tennessee, to Kentucky, to Virginia, to Maryland, to Pennsylvania, and in all that driving, there was never a point where I said to myself, “Wow.  Drivers in this state are —–.”  Until I hit New Jersey.  Good grief.  What is wrong with those people?


Viable Paradise

This was my second year teaching at the writer’s workshop Viable Paradise on Martha’s Vineyard, MA.  I have no idea how to talk about it.  I mean, there’s only so many times you can say, “Holy crap, wow!” before it gets old.  But, holy crap, wow.

I can’t mention the students by name, because I’ll leave someone out, and that would be wrong.  But, like last year, they were all as geeked about writing process as me.  Amazing, amazing week.

Thanks to my roomie, Stevie Chuck, who did several wonderful things (including talking Jenphalian into showing up) capped by swapping rooms at Just The Right Time.  Patrick gave a talk about publishing history and its current state that I thought was going to be dull and academic until suddenly it came into a focus with a snap of, “this is why your career is where it is.”  And music; fun, fun music.  Teresa on exposition was her brilliant self, and then she cured my scurvy.  Forever.  Jim and Dr. Doyle, who do the parts of this that I could never do, were wonderful throughout.  Bear spoke of plotting and a bit more came into focus; I’ll be trying some of it out in my current book.  Scott was delightful, and his explanation of plot tomatoes cleared that up wonderfully.  Sherwood?  It astonishes me how small she is, for having that much knowledge; you’d think she’d need to be bigger to contain it all.

And the staff.  Mac makes things work, Bart makes things happen, Chris is the one who is always there when something needs doing.  I’m tempted to leave Pippen out, to continue the joke, but I can’t on account of how much work she does (and the fact that she’s utterly adorbz).

But, really, the students made it all magical.  There was a moment during a critique session when one of them applied (perfectly) a subtle and nuanced approach learned in a critique the previous day.  You could feel the learning taking place.  That’s the sort of shit I live for.  Well, that and writing.  They kind of go together.

Off to Milehicon in Denver this weekend; I wonder if I’ll have come down by then?


New York via…Texas?

Yeah, well.  I’m heading off this weekend for the East Coast.  I’ll be gone something like a month, ending with Viable Paradise.  Then I come back, and immediately fly off to Milehicon in Denver.  Then I come back, catch my breath, and it’s off to Convolution in California.  Finally, in the middle of November, I return home and collapse into a little pile of dust.

I had some trouble figuring out what to do with the bird–I do not want him spending a month in his little travel cage, which is what would happen if I boarded him.  My friend Caliann has agreed to watch him for me, which means that I drive to New York with a brief stop in Texas first.  Doesn’t everyone take that route?  I’m not sure when I’ll be picking him up again; I’m going to be pressed for time between the end of VP and my flight to Milehicon.  Maybe between Milehicon and Convolution.  Ugh.

Meanwhile, I’ll be gone from here for a month (though I will check in from time to time).  Those of you who know my alternate email address can start using it on Saturday.  Those of you on the East Coast, maybe we’ll run into each other.  I’m hoping to get a chance to see Gettysburg.


Update: Life keeps happening

Just random stuff that has, is, and will be happening.  Let’s see.  I now have health care.  I have surgery scheduled for August 22nd to install a defibrillator in my chest which ought to help keep me alive and will make me a Cyborg.  I now have a “partial denture,” which means that I can bite into things again, and great is my glee.  I’m still working on Hawk, albeit slowly.  I’m also working on an Incrementalist short story that my critique group savaged.  (Well, that’s not fair.  They didn’t savage it; they just said it didn’t work as is, and pointed to some ways to make it work.  That sort of thing would annoy me if they weren’t right).

Yesterday, helped give my friend John Sjogren the best. birthday. present. ever.

I have a full physical–the first one in years–scheduled for July 23rd.  I’ll be heading to Armadillocon at the end of the month.  Then back for August and some of September, then I’m planning an East Coast road trip culminating in Viable Paradise in early October.  Then I’ll be heading to MileHighCon in Denver.

I would love to have a first draft of Hawk finished by the time I leave for the East Coast, but it seems doubtful with how slow the damn thing feels like going.  On the other hand, that’s because the plot insisted on getting all twisty on me.  I kind of like it when a book does that–I think the last one that turned on me like that was Orca, and I was pleased with how it came out.