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Inhuman Swill : Writing : Page 21

Blue language

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Though I've been involved with local writers' group on and off in the time since, I hadn't attended a formal away-from-home writing workshop for nearly 21 years—well over half a lifetime, and all of my professional writing career. So it was with excitement and some trepidation early this year that I accepted Charles Coleman Finlay's invitation to attend Blue Heaven 2006 on Kelleys Island, off the Ohio shore of Lake Erie.

Excitement because this would be a peer workshop focusing on SF and fantasy novels, and I was having definite trouble transitioning from short fiction to longer work. And also because I'd be hanging out with some first-rate writers and rising stars.

Trepidation because, for all that I sometimes get worked up online and probably don't come across as bashful, I'm fairly reserved in person and don't usually say much in a new group until I'm comfortable, if then. And also because I'd be hanging out with some first-rate writers and rising stars.

The immediate benefit of Charlie's invitation was that it sparked me to write a hundred more pages on my novel Inclination in something under a month, which for me qualifies as a blistering white heat. The next benefit was the chance to read the first fifty pages of ten other nascent novel manuscripts that ranged from cool and fun to fucking awesome.

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Speaking of missionary memoirs, Christopher Bigelow has published a very fine personal essay over at Popcorn Popping. Despite my cheeky subject line, it's a revealing read and you should check it out.


Why do they call it Popcorn Popping? It comes from a favorite Mormon children's song, "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree."
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ShunnCast #16

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Epidode #16 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill learns that, even when hand-delivered, not every message comes with a happy ending, and the vigorous application of common dust is considered as a harbinger of fiery doom.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=16

See also [info]shunncast.

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No heaven, just blue

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Bill on the rocks
Came home last night to a happy dog and an even happier wife. And I couldn't have been happier to see them.

But quite a comedown to return to work—and be plunged into a manufactured crisis—after a week-plus at the Blue Heaven workshop. No time to post about the week's experiences yet, except to say that it was an amazing week filled with great people, and that the help I received on my novel was and will be absolutely invaluable. You may or may not glean more tantalizing details from [info]ccfinlay, [info]secritcrush, [info]sallytuppence, Paul, Greg, Tim, Brenda, and Toby.

And you may or may not be tantalized by Secritcrush's Blue Heaven photo album!

Oh, and here and here, if you read down the yellow columns on the left, you can see what happens when writers with too much beer and wi-fi edit one another's Wikipedia entries.

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Wing nuts

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It's WING NIGHT at the Village Pump, sort of a happy hour for chicken wings, 4 to 6. I could get used to this kind of living. Beer, wings, and internet.

Oh, yeah. And the critiquing of novels is very good, helpful, and educational.

But boy. Beer, wings, and internet. Yeah.

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Heaven is very blue

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I'm enjoying the week greatly here at Blue Heaven, on beautiful Kelleys Island off the Ohio shore of Lake Erie. It's raining like a mother, and will for the rest of the week, but I'm still having a wonderful time and learning a lot.

There are two places and two places only to get free wi-fi on the island: the public library, and a local bar called The Village Pump. Guess which one I'm sitting in right now with Paul Melko, Greg van Eekhout, and Tim Pratt?


Hint: we're drinking beer.
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My Himmelblau

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So tomorrow afternoon I fly out to Ohio for eight days of novel-critiquin' good times. This space will likely be pretty silent in the meantime. Looking forward to it, [info]ccfinlay! (And all you other Blue Heaveners out there.)

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ShunnCast #15

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Epidode #15 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which a young boy named Joseph spins a tall tale about angels, warriors, and golden treasure, and all and sundry learn why it's rarely the wisest of ideas to entrust the only copy of your manuscript to someone who doesn't like you.

I might also add that I spend an inordinate amount of time nattering on about Calvados and other brandies.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=15

See also [info]shunncast.

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Millions of awards

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I learn via Jeff Ford ([info]14theditch) that Rick Bowes won the voting in the Million Writers Award for Fiction! Way to go, Rick!

And of course, though it's old news by now, Jeff himself won an Edgar over the weekend for his excellent novel The Girl in the Glass. Congrats, man!

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Electronic copies of two more new old stories have gone on sale at Fictionwise this week:

These are the last two stories that will go up at Fictionwise for this time being, and they bring the total number available there to fourteen.

The user icon for this entry is taken from the illustration that ran with "Two Paths" on its initial publication in Science Fiction Age over twelve years ago.

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