Whiz, whiz go the days

Word count: 6753 | Since last entry: 6753

Fourth of July already!?

Went to the Iron Springs Writers Retreat on the Washington coast, where I was “writer guru” along with Jay Lake. Very strange for me to be Big Name Writer Guy. In addition to leading two critique sessions I also gave two informal talks, one on plotting and one on using sets and props to build character and display emotion. And of course there was much eating and chatting and walking on the beach (though my it was windy on that beach). Jay and I will be doing it again next year, though at a different location.

I also used the retreat to force myself to stop researching and start writing on my Wild Cards story. It worked. I wrote an outline and 1400 words of prose, and have continued to write 500-900 words per day since for a total of 6753 words so far. This is supposed to be a 10,000-word story and at this rate I expect the first draft to come in at about 12,000 words, but I can already see some places to make cuts.

Came home from Iron Springs to find a rejection in my email box from Catastrophia for the story I read at Wiscon. Darn it. Very encouraging rejection, though, and it’s already back in the mail. On the plus side, Space Magic is a finalist for the Endeavour Award and “Firewall” and “Sun Magic, Earth Magic” both got honorable mentions from Gardner Dozois in his Year’s Best SF. (Hmm… never noticed before that the titles of the latter story and my collection form an implied trilogy.)

Way too many of my friends have been in the hospital lately. M’s having a heart valve replaced, P shattered his humerus and collarbone while ice skating, D’s having a quadruple bypass, B was in a very serious car wreck, J’s got cancer, R has had two surgeries for a duodenal ulcer, E was hospitalized for exhaustion… It’s not even the usual “we’re all getting older” thing; every one of those people but R is younger than me. Stop it, y’all.

Yesterday, at Kate’s instigation, was a rock climbing party. Camille Alexa, Tina Connolly, Felicity Shoulders, and Camille’s and Tina’s partners joined us at a local rock gym for a laid-back “rock climbing for novices” evening. None of us had ever climbed before. Much fun and very impressed by everyone, especially Tina’s spider monkey clamber and Felicity’s patented “Falcon Girl” descents. I didn’t reach the top myself, but I did manage to go higher on each ascent. Afterwards: drinks and snacks at Doug Fir.

Leah Cutter is using the halfway point of the year to review her progress on her goals, which strikes me as a fine thing to do. My New Year’s Resolution was to celebrate the holidays with friends; I don’t think we did anything for the Vernal Equinox but we’ll be attending a potluck tonight for the Fourth of July. Other goals for the year are to write every day, exercise three times a week, watch what I eat, and keep the house clean and decluttered, and I’ve been doing quite well on those (except for the exercise, but I have been managing at least two sessions most weeks except when traveling). I’ve also sold two stories, which puts me on track for my usual four sales a year.

Looking into the future, I’ll be in Seattle July 9-11, visiting with Janna Silverstein and Mark and Elizabeth Bourne and attending Elizabeth Bear’s Clarion West party at Jordin and Mary Kay Kare’s. See some of you there!

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