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!
Nice, over the holidays, to have a few quiet days–finished three and a half scenes out of the next (four-scene) chapter. That’s fourteen! January may be a less productive month as I have my own grant applications (just one, this year, though I should check to see what grant applications I am missing) as well as those for When Words Collide (three). Also, I am teaching eight half-days as an artist-in-residence–in a French school! Have to brush up on my French. And, start letting people know I am eligible for the Aurora, Hugo and Nebula awards. At least I already updated my website with access to all the stories I can. Oh, and–this just in–I made it past the first cut of the Green Man Anthology! Yay! (And if I find a little time, I have an idea for a series of watercolour paintings…) Oh, and did I just volunteer for positions on the Robin Herrington Short Story Contest committee, and maybe SFWA? Hmm.
The past week has been excellent! Let me see if I can remember ALL the fantastic things that happened! First off, the writers’ workshop with David B. Coe as our guest author was amazing! I was very fortunate to be his host and billet during the workshop, and so as we drove back and forth to various workshop and social events, I was able to have some very enlightening and stimulating discussions about writing and the business with him. The workshop itself was very informative, as we discussed a number of topics as well as doing our critiques. And, I got some good ideas for further working and marketing my short story.On his Facebook page, David wrote: “Great workshop. I had a wonderful time, and was blown away by the level of work I read and the level of professionalism I encountered. Thanks!”
The workshop was followed by ConVersion, which, for all its shortcomings (such as having no idea when or where any of the panels were occurring — including absolutely no mention of the big musical production I was involved in — communication was an issue) was very profitable on a number of fronts. The Monster Mash, our musical, was a big hit in spite of its time being switched multitple times right up to the day of performance (we were lucky all the actors got there on time). I got to sing a song and I played the villain, which is always fun.
The literary programming was run by IFWA, and as such, was very successful. Panels had interesting presenters, were well attended, and took the various topics to new places for most people. I was able to do a panel, judge the Robin Herrington Short Story Contest and do three separate readings, which all went well (and I got some nice compliments!). I attended a number of entertaining functions tool, such as having the opportunity to hear wonderful stories at Bedtime Stories with IFWA, Writers’ Idol and launches for Rigor Amortis and Edge Press’s Tesseracts 14, as well as improvisation by the hilarious 404s.
One really special highlight was my opportunity to receive my Aurora Pin as a finalist for my short story, “Back” in Analog. It is a gorgeous pin, and part of a limited edition just for winners and finalists. Very special!
And naturally, I also had opportunities to buy books (and get autographs!), t-shirts and art, network with authors, editors and publishers, and make connections for future writing opportunities. Very exciting! And on top of ALL THAT, I got to spend big chunks of my weekend with my two daughters, who also took in parts of the convention (one performed in the play with me and the other attended panels with me!). AND both my daughters received publishing credits for artwork they did for the 2010 In Places Between chapbook!
My husband took care of the home front (he is to die for!) and we even got to spend a fun afternoon together today getting out of the city on his motorcycle. AND, my oldest daughter was able to skype me from England to say her interview for her application for her doctorate program went well!
All in all, I feel like about the luckiest person on the planet, right now.
Okay, well, it is over 9,000 words and I have to cut it back to at least 8,000, so there are definitely edits to be done — still a nice feeling! Also, I have been asked to judge the Robin Herrington Short Story Contest again this year, and I have read and ranked all the submissions — for both the student and adult categories — so I certainly haven’t been idle!
Yes, I think the universe conspired to ensure that I would NEVER want to go back on my decision to retire from the day job. So, as much as I enjoyed it, leaving it behind feels very much like Heaven, right now. I revised a flash fiction this week and am getting it critted right now for submission to an anthology next week, and have just come up with an idea for a short story, which is a good thing, because I have a deadline for a short story workshop coming up in 3 weeks. Also, I was asked to judge the Robin Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest again this year, so got a start on reading stories for that. Then, there is the novella revision and submission, and the novel to have done by the end of summer . . . September? Lots to do! 🙂