If you’re at Loncon, stop by and say hello. Friday at 3 pm.
I haven’t posted about this in a while. I’ll be showing my face in public in two very different events in the next couple of weeks.
This coming weekend, August 7-10, I’ll be conducting several workshop sessions in science fiction writing at the Cape Cod Writers Conference, in Hyannis, MA. It’s not too late to sign up! (At least, I don’t think so.) This one is for the general public, and last I heard, there was still room in my workshop, which is just part of a much larger conference. So if you’re in the area, and you’re interested, check into it right away!
After that, I’ll be in London for Loncon, the annual World Science Fiction Convention! This will be the first worldcon I’ve attended in a number of years, and I’m looking forward to it. Cool fact: My wife Allysen went through Air BnB and got us a place to stay on a boat on the Thames! How can you beat that? I was late in registering, and apparently too late in asking to be put on the program—because they didn’t schedule me for anything, not even an autograph session. Ah well, that may make it a more relaxing trip, after all.
If you’re at Loncon, keep an eye out and say hello if you see me!
EDIT: I’m signing at 3 pm Friday. Please stop by!
Last week I wrote about the time I’d just spent at Bread Loaf working with high-school aged writers. Well, now I’m just back from a similarly awesome event, the Champlain College Young Writers Conference, in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, overlooking Lake Champlain. This was my first time there, so I had to discover how things worked as I went. While extremely busy, it was a little more laid-back than Bread Loaf. (Sometimes that meant easygoing and sometimes it meant confusing.) I saw a bunch of familiar faces from Bread Loaf, both faculty and students, and that gave me a feeling of comfort. There were also quite a few of us newcomers among faculty, including Craig Shaw Gardner, who rode up with me from Boston. As far as I could tell, everyone had a great time.
For me, there are three great things that come out of this kind of event: First, the chance to work with incredible kids, whose talents and ambitions both inspire and challenge me. (If any of you guys are reading this, thanks! And that includes the terrific college students who helped us as mentors.) Besides their writing, some of them gave “Moth talks” on real events from their own lives, which were funny, touching, alarming. Their final group presentations were priceless.
Second is the opportunity to mix with writers from all sorts of fields—poetry, mainstream fiction, playwriting, nonfiction—whom I would probably never otherwise meet. They feel like valued new friends, even if I only see them once every year or three.
The third thing is a little less obvious, and that’s the chance to learn more about teaching. Most of these guys not only write, but teach for their day jobs. They have quivers full of skills that enable them to keep a classroom full of kids interested and engaged. I try to soak up as much as I can, while I can. For example, Linda Urban at Bread Loaf gave me a great group exercise for learning to write dialogue. (I didn’t have time to try it on this round, but next time!) At Champlain, I sat in on a craft session on writing from different points of view. I was in awe of Sarah Braunstein’s command of the group, and the way she got them to experiment with different viewpoints. I’m keeping notes for next year!
I also discovered that Phil Baruth is a hell of a pool player, as well as a Vermont state senator. But that was after hours, when I learned that excellent craft beer on draft is a staple in downtown Burlington, and when I for the first time tasted gravy fries. And tasted. And tasted again, just to be sure!
P.S. Many thanks to Lesley Wright and Jim Ellefson for inviting me!
I’m heading off shortly to Boston’s Westin Hotel on the waterfront to spend some time at Arisia, currently New England’s largest regional SF/F convention. I’ll be on a bunch of panels related to writing and ebook publishing. Tonight at 10, the subject is “Self-editing your SF/F Novel” —self-editing being the first step in rewriting a manuscript, to be combined (preferably) with critique from trusted readers, followed by more revision as needed. I happen to have a self-edit checklist just for the purpose! (If you don’t catch the panel, you can always read my checklist at writesf.com—click the link for Rewriting.)
Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about “Punching Up the Action,” “Self-publishing” (particularly, from my point of view, as it relates to self-publishing one’s backlist), and “Plot and Structure.” If you’re in the area, come on down!
I’m also eagerly looking forward to seeing the art show. The artist Guest of Honor is Roger Dean, creator of all those wonderful Yes album covers (which were in fact one inspiration for my novel Panglor)!
That’s where you’ll find me, this Thursday evening August 2, from 9:20 to 10:00 Eastern time! The show is called The Author’s Corner, with host Elaine Raco Chase, at www.trianglevarietyradio.com. It’s a call-in show, and I’ll be talking about my writing and books, and pretty much whatever she asks me. So if you’d like to chat with actual spoken words—almost as if we were talking in person—check it out! Go to www.trianglevarietyradio.com, then click on blog talk radio (a silver bar, halfway down the page). You’ll find a phone number for calling in. Listen to the whole show, from 8 to 1030 p.m., Eastern time! (Forget the boring Olympics—they’ll be on your DVR.)
If you must watch adorable and athletic divers and gymnasts instead of listening to our scintillating conversation, podcasts will be available after the show. (But really, you aren’t going to watch the Olympics Sunday night instead of the Mars landing, are you? I didn’t think so. This is similar.)
Edit: You can listen to the interview as a podcast, by clicking this link:
Several other authors precede me in the interview. My own section starts at around 78:30.