Writers Retreat for six days

This is about the 4th year in a row I’ve gone to Montana on the long weekend with 4 friends for a writers’ retreat–this year we got away for 6 days. It was AWESOME! This is the best place to plan out a novel because we write morning noon and night, stopping for a break when we make lunch, go out to dinner, and to have about a half hour of social time at 10:30 PM.

You can really get ideas in your head, keep them there, manipulate them–all with no distractions. And the writerly conversations on the drive down and back and at meals are super-stimulating. There is no internet, but there IS a group of writers of whom to ask questions. I got a ton done, not only putting together a scene-by-scene outline of the next novel, but getting about 75% of my last novel edits complete. I want to submit well before my deadline, so this helps tremendously!

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Got my novel edits

Got novel edits, both global and line edits, yesterday and I managed to get through the line edits this morning (accepted almost everything). Now I am working on the big picture stuff–cut the first 2 chapters (may cut more) and need to see what needs feathering back in, as well as 3 new scenes (nice to have the word count space to do that).  A few nits on geography and character names to finalize as well.

When Words Collide–awesome, as always

Of course, I was over-booked. Not conflicting, but just so booked that I didn’t have time to go to any panels. Sigh. However, 2 people offered to take over jobs for me next year, so instead of 4 jobs I will be down to 2. Yay! I ran pre-festival registrations and attended Sam Hiyate’s session on agents and took him to lunch; ran a party for IFWA; sat at the shared-author’s table for an hour; did 3 panels and read for Live Action Slush; attended two book launches (including The Sum of Us); introduced the judges for the Robin Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest; was Guest Liaison for Will Ferguson (who is AWESOME); attended the banquet and autograph session; ran a SFWA meeting; and attended the parties (sat next to Guy Gavriel Kay at the bar). I think that’s enough.

Line Edits for Shades Among Us

Got a blog post for Mary Robinette Kowal (My Favorite Bits) done on what I learned by editing the Sum of Us, and now on to line edits for Shades Among Us. Five down, 15 to go. I think this book is going to be another real winner. As the structural edit requests come in, most of the authors have worked really hard to meet our editorial requests, and the stories are jumping to life.

First Review in for Sum of Us

Publishers Weekly reviewed The Sum of Us! They didn’t love every story (but why they picked out Bottleneck to dislike is beyond me–that is one of my favorite stories), but picked out four for special praise: “The Dunschemin Retirement Home for Repentant Supervillains,” “The Healer’s Touch,” “Blinders,” and “The Oracle and the Warlord.” All of these deserve the praise they got–but yeah, so does every other story in this collection.

When Words Collide upcoming!

I was away for a bit on the motorcycle, but got home and caught up on the last zillion tiny details for When Words Collide. I invited a bunch of panelists to moderate their panels, signed up for my pre-festival workshop choices, organized a list of all my duties for the festival weekend, and took notes on the panels I am going to be on–I always like to have a few ideas of things I’d like to mention, going into a panel. There! Ready!