10/19/03: Colonyhouse

Word count: 32765 Just back from a writing weekend at the coast, at the delightful Oregon Writers Colony house with a bunch of other Oregon and Washington writers (Jerry, Kathy, Paulette, Amy, Susan, Jim, and Brenda). Only (?) wrote about 2800 new words, but that includes a half-day re-outlining the current chapter and was about the same word count as everyone else did. The new outline wound up almost exactly like the old one, but where the old one was vague (“things get worse”) the new one is a list of specific incidents (“Clarity’s best childhood friend comes down with the plague”). This is part of that staring-out-windows thing that is so important to fiction writing and I don’t regret it. Apart from the writing, spent a great weekend with a bunch of keen folks. I cooked spaghetti sauce (half buffalo, half hot Italian sausage, all delicious) for Saturday dinner, Amy made a killer chocolate mousse, and each person brought enough food for everyone (we had a total of three pounds of bacon and three and a half dozen eggs for eight people for a weekend — definite overkill in the food department, but better too much than too little). The weather was nice, warm on Saturday and a little drizzly on Sunday, but as is my Colonyhouse habit I didn’t leave the house at all. When I go to the coast to write, I write — or at least hang out with writers. Much writerly gossip was gossiped, and the problems of the world were solved. Fun, relaxing, productive. I want to do this again in a few months. Oh, I ought to note this major milestone: I just passed 30,000 words, which was my goal for the first month’s writing when I did the Pseudo-NaNoWriMo back in March. Okay, it took longer than I had thought. But it’s still significant; I’m about 1/3 done with the first draft. When I got home I found a nice rejection from Ellen Datlow at scifi.com. “It’s very nicely written but there just isn’t enough to it for my taste. Sorry. I do like your work and trust that one of these days we’ll connect so keep on sending stories to me.” Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as my dad always says.

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