Back from the Washington Coast where Jay Lake and I were “writer gurus” at the annual Writers’ Weekend. Jay and I each led two critique sessions for 3-5 stories each; I gave two lectures (on plot, and on using props and sets to define character and build emotion) and gave my Mars talk. Delicious meals were provided by our hosts. The rest of the time we walked on the beach, swam in the pool, relaxed in the hot tub, and talked.
The conversation ranged widely, from hardcore writing and publishing advice to extremely silly. One of my favorite moments was a series of Other Sith Lords, including Darth Congruous, Darth Corrigible, and the ultimate winner of them all Darth Sectivorous. At one point someone came up to a group and asked what we were laughing about, and we told her “Thundercat slash.” “It’s a gas, gas, gas?” she replied without missing a beat. I ’bout died laughing. And one of our host’s nieces introduced us to a Salish word pronounced, approximately, “lobstaboot,” which means “don’t do anything you’d regret” and which we used as a farewell for the rest of the weekend.
Sometimes I worried that Jay and I were dominating the conversation, but then I realized that the Jay and David Show was part of the point of the whole exercise. This made me feel weird, but over the weekend several people came up to me and told me that they found my critiques, lectures, advice, and blogs useful, so what the hell.
Good critique, good food, good chat, I made new friends and got to know old friends better. What’s not to love?