Tags: shu



Seeing as it's Friday, I thought maybe I should post about what I did last weekend.  Yep, I'm that on top of things.

Last weekend (May 16 - 19), I attended the local Con, KeyCon.  This was my first time attending as generally speaking it is a fandom convention, and focusses mostly on gaming and costuming, neither of which I do.  However, this year, Winnipeg and KeyCon also hosted Canvention, which sponsors the Auroras, fan-voted awards for SF/F writing, both long for and short, and in English and French.  This, of course, meant that we had a greater literary track than usual.

So aside from participating on a panel with SF poet Carolyn Clink, and moderating a panel with Jane Yolen, Eric Flint, and Justyn Perry (marketing director for Canadian small press Edge), I hung out with and had lunch with Eric Flint, Rob Saywer, Dave Duncan, Hayden Trenholm, and Tanya Huff.  I also got to know Brian and Anita Hades, publishers at Edge Press.  Oh, yes, I must also give a shout out to Cliff Samuels and Randy McCharles of the World Fantasy '08 committee.  I can't wait to go in October.

I had a fantastic time attending panels on writing and the genre and often times I found myself torn between two or more panels.  There was never a dull moment, that's for sure.  And by the end, I was exhausted and it took me a day or two to recover.  It was like attending a mini-TNEO or mini-Residency at SHU.

I've left the best until last.  I had hemmed and hawed about attending KeyCon.  I had wanted to go last year because Kevin J. Anderson was the guest of honor but ended up needing to babysit my niece (which was fabulous, loved it, loved her), but hadn't made any decisions, until on my Odyssey Alumni e-mail group, Adria, from the class of '06 posted that she was attending.  I fired off an e-mail offering to host her for the weekend.  We had a great time, talking until 2:30 am one night, and in general it was great having someone to go with who knew all the people worth knowing, and to talk about writing with.  A new friend for life.

So that was KeyCon in a nutshell.  World Horror is Comming to Winnipeg next spring.  If you're planning on attending, drop me a line.

On the writing front: I'm in the middle of doing a complete read-through of the second draft, and highlighting places that need to be tightened and changed, without stopping to make the changes, because I've never read through the full novel as is.  I want to see how it flows.  So far so good.  Certainly I don't have a lot to fix up, and what I do it is very small and manageable.  I just might get the second draft done by Residency in June.

Updates long overdue

What I'm most proud of since my last update here, is that I've been writing or editing my novel six days a week, without fail, and without much effort.  That feels good.  Like I'm accomplishing something.  I've send the first chapter to the Manitoba Arts Council in hopes that I'll get a bursary for studying, I've sent the first two chapters and a synopsis to a contest from which I will hear back near the end of August, and after re-writing the first 3 chapters and a synopsis for project approval, I've just finished the first round of revisions on that.  And, I've been working on the re-writes and edits of the next few chapters for my next deadline which is July 25.

Mabel, the novel, is really starting to take shape.  Now if I can just get on paper what is in my head, I think it could be an excellent story.  Hopefully by the time I'm done with my M.A. not too much will have been lost in translation.   It helps to be working on the novel every day.  It keeps me in the moment, and thinking about the story and the characters.  

I was talking with a co-worker of mine earlier today and apparently there is a petition readers are sending to J.K. Rowling to keep writing in the Harry Potter world after the series ends.  There could be so much to work with.  That does beg the question faced by a lot writers:  How long do you keep writing in a particular world?  At the moment, I think I could write a few books with Mabel.  She's grown so much in depth and character, and it helps that I've changed the place where this first book is going to end which could lead itself to future novels.  I'm getting ahead of myself here.  What I'm just saying is that I love Mabel, and I could see myself writing her for a while after this one is done.

So how was the June Residency, you ask?  It was fantastic.  I can see where the second residency is hands down the least stressful.  Why?  Because I knew most everyone, I knew my way around mostly, I knew my mentor.  I did have some stress going into it though, with having started the process for project approval before the residency, which apparently not many other 2's had started, and may not have mentioned it in their mentor meetings.  But as I was rewriting the chapters for the bursary app and the contest, I was fine with getting that started.  The deadlines matched with my timeline.

My Books To Read shelf has now expanded into two full shelves totalling about 80 books, not counting the 25 or so I had read between January and the June Residency.  I had divided the books into books I need to read while in the program, and the ones I'll read after I graduate.  That still means I have about 40 books I want to read before January.  However, if I don't get all of them read, I won't be too disappointed.  I've accepted that if I'm reading, I'm not writing.  So I've got my set time to write, and my set time to read.  As I'm a slow reader, I have to accept that some books will just take me longer to read.

While I'm discovering some fabulous authors --  Tom Holt, Jim C. Hines, Charles Coleman Finlay to name a few -- I'm doing my best to limit any further purchases, at least until September.  Hopefully by then I'll have my bookshelf dwindled by a couple to make room.

All exceptions are made for Harry Potter 7, naturally.

First Residency at SHU

This has been a fantastic week. The instructors are fantastic and it is amazing to meet with so many writers, broadening my community. I am really pleased with my mentor, Anne Harris. With a few of the right questions, she helped me realize that the project I've been slaving over for the last 4-5 years is not what I care about. That's why writing has been so hard for me. I have not enjoyed it at all. She gave me permission to write Mabel, The Lovelorn Dwarf. So I'm really excited to be returning home to get writing.

And naturally I'm returning home with a tonne of books as well which I hope to read by June. I will be reviewing the books as I read them. The reviews will be available at inkling_review. Give me a week or two to start posting there.