7/26/04: Back from the coast

Word count: 83161 | Since last entry: 263 | This month: 4513 Spent the weekend at the Oregon Coast, at the Strange Horizons Workshop Reunion at the Colonyhouse. It was like a very small con, or a three-day party, with ten cool writer-type people. We did critiques in the afternoons, and otherwise just hung out in the house, or walked and did martial arts on the beach, or ate. I tried my hand at kendo, but I have no coordination whatsoever. It wasn’t a good environment for writing — too many keen people to talk with — but I did do a little, and a little more today. I went back and wrote the “Jason reacts to the events of the day” scene, which required a tweak to the following scene to remove some things that had already been covered, so the word count change doesn’t reflect the effort I put in. Still, I need to really crack down in the next few days if I’m going to have the chapter done by Saturday. Kate wasn’t there, though she was supposed to have been. She came down with a fever late last week and decided she’d rather just hang out at home. When I got back she was feeling better, but was afflicted with some kind of rash. She saw the doctor today and got some prescription drugs, which seem to be helping, but I feel bad for having run off without her. She assures me she was just as happy staying home. At the Colonyhouse I asked for advice on a problem I’m currently having, which is that I don’t know how to keep Jason from leaving Sienna as he begins to suspect she has betrayed him. One of the other writers suggested that Sienna should get pregnant. This floored me — it is so not the kind of thing I would have thought of (which is, I suppose, the point of asking) and it does solve some other problems as well. But it completely invalidates one of the things I was trying to do with Jason: that he is gay, and is tempted by a woman (who is all wrong for him), but in the end he returns to his male lover and is happy. It probably won’t happen that way now — the original concept has changed a lot in the last year and a half — but I still resist the conventional plot of “gay man is redeemed by the love of a woman and becomes a happy father.” At the moment I’m leaning in the direction of not doing this, but if I don’t I will still have to find a solution to my original problem. And I’m worried about exactly what happens at the climax. I know in broad terms what has to happen, but the devil really is in the details and it would be easy to get wrong. In other news… the issue of Talebones with my story “Where is the Line” is back from the printer and should be in subscribers’ mailboxes shortly; the editor is also going to put up my story on the Talebones web page as a sample of the issue. And I’ve gotten my program schedule for the Worldcon:

  • Friday 1:00pm: A Worldcon Orientation for SF Professionals
  • Friday 3:30pm: Reading
  • Saturday 2:00pm: Great Cliches in SF and Fantasy
  • Saturday 4:00pm: BAD Con Advice for Newbies
  • Sunday 12:00 noon: Kaffeeklatsch
  • Sunday 5:00pm: The Great Character Swap (what would happen if various SF characters were dropped into other universes’ stories?)

It’s a good schedule — busy but not insanely so. I’m not really expecting anyone to sign up for my Kaffeeklatch, but I’m glad the committee thought it was worth a try. And I’m really glad they gave me a reading. Don’t forget to vote in the Hugos! Deadline is July 31. (You must be a member of the Worldcon to vote.)

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