Next week I’ll be attending Starry Heaven, a week-long novel workshop in Flagstaff, with 10 other science fiction and fantasy writers. (In 2008, I brought the first draft of ABOVE WORLD to the original Blue Heaven workshop on Kelley’s Island, Ohio.)
Starry Heaven has already been a huge success, and it hasn’t even started yet. The novel submission deadline got me writing my work-in-progress and kept me motivated. I turned in the first draft of BLUE BELTS the day before Wiscon. (My third novel! My third novel!!!)
Since then, I’ve been reading the first 50 pages of the other participants’ novels, as well as the full novels of two other writers. It’s a lot of work, but it feels so good to dig into critiquing again. And if Starry Heaven truly follows in Blue Heaven’s footsteps, many of these novels will go on to be published.
It’s an exciting environment. I love immersing myself in writing talk, especially when the group is laid back, smart, funny, and of a manageable (non-overwhelming) size. And hey, I’ve always wanted to visit Flagstaff!
There are two other great bonuses to this trip:
1. An excuse to roadtrip. (Some of you may not remember how much I love my car, but I do. It’s my grown-up version of a horse — the universal girl-symbol for freedom.)
2. A visit with my mom, who lives near Phoenix. I’m heading there today to spend a few days swimming in the pool, hitting some bookstores, and gossiping about my brothers. (Just kidding, guys! Except not really.)
I’ll leave you with a little trip-preparation advice: Don’t let the cats help you pack, no matter how often they ask. It’s just not as efficient as it sounds.
|From 2010 Photobook|