I had the most wonderful time at the Odyssey writing workshop!
I want to post more about it, but I’m very tired tonight, so you’re just going to get a synopsis and some pictures. Yesterday, I drove to New Hampshire, through unexpectedly heavy traffic. But I arrived in time and immediately headed over to St. Anselm College for a reception with the students. I answered their questions for about an hour, being as honest about writing and the industry as I could. At the reception, I received three more stories to critique, so afterward I went back to my hotel room and worked on those. I also went over my talk again. You may remember that it was called Writing Your Voice(s). Here I am, post-reception, looking very tired:
And collapsed. Hotel lights aren’t exactly flattering, are they?
The next morning, I headed back to St. Anselm College for a full day. Here I am ready to go over:
Yes, I dressed in all black. In addition to talking about voice, I mentioned my philosophy of packing. If you’re a writer, you’re always traveling to one convention or another, so you need to be able to pack quickly and easily. I do it by bringing one, or maybe two, colors – and jeans. ICFA was brown. Wiscon was burgundy. Odyssey was black. (Looking at my calender, I realize that I’ve traveled somewhere almost every month this year. And it will be the same for the rest of the summer, with trips to Asheville and New York.)
First, I gave my talk. Then lunch and critiquing the three stories I had read the night before. Then meeting with four students whose stories I had read and critiqued beforehand. Then dinner and another unscheduled question and answer session, because the students had more questions and of course I wanted to answer them. The students seemed exceptionally smart, talented, and together. I’m not sure my Odyssey class was as together, the third week! And all the stories I read were interesting and accomplished. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Then I drove back, through no traffic at all. The return trip was so quick and easy. In my email inbox, I found some illustrations for the Secret Project that I’m not yet allowed to show you. But I can’t wait, because honestly, they’re going to blow you away. Also, my preliminary schedule for Readercon, which is as follows:
9:00 p.m. There’s No Homelike Place
Doyle, Goss, Janssen, Kiernan, Warren
11:00 a.m. Rudyard Kipling, Fantasist and Modernist
Dozois, Feeley, Goss, Schweitzer, Taaffe
12:00 noon Classic Fiction: Howl’s Moving Castle
Cooney, Files, Goss, Link, Taaffe
3:00 p.m. The Rhysling Award Poetry Slan
Allen, Lunde, et al. (I’m part of the al.)
7:00 p.m. Wold Newton Reading Extravaganza: Special Readercon Edition
Rosenfield et al. (Again, I’m an al.)
10:00 a.m. Interstitial Arts Foundation Town Meeting
Allen, Bradford, Kushner, Lipkin, Vanderhooft (I’ll be in the audience for this one.)
And I’ll have a reading, but I don’t yet know when.
So it’s been a very writerly sort of day. Talking about writing all day, then coming back to the gorgeous illustrations (honestly, I just hope the story lives up to them) and my Readercon schedule. The rest of this week, I have a Folkroots column to finish and a great deal of dissertation work to do, so it’s going to be busy. But that’s all right. I’m meeting the deadlines (mostly), doing work I’m proud of. And that feels good.