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Novel Writing Workshop day 1-Arriving

Sunday, June 1st, was the official start to the Science Fiction and Novel Writing Workshop here at Kansas University in Lawrence.

Basically all of the students trickled in during the afternoon and we met over Chinese takeout and learned what we signed up for. I was very pleased that the legendary James Gunn stopped by to share some food and history about science fiction over the many decades he has been involved with it. Amazing man.

He gave us a few helpful tips on writing. The one that stuck out the most was that a character isn’t a character until they interact with another character in the story. Through interaction, characters are defined.

There were many other tidbits that were ingested along with the fortune cookies.

Kij Johnson then rounded up her 8 novelists and spoke for a few hours about how the workshop is structured. It’s not a critique group in the usual sense. Basically, the outline/synopsis for your novel will be taken apart and the group will offer suggestions on how to improve it from the ground up.

I’m fascinated and look forward to the experience.

Kij also shared some concerns she has with writing and one of the major issues she sees out there in the world is that characters have no AGENCY.

Characters seem to react to events. Action is not AGENCY. Reaction is not AGENCY.

Characters need to engage and DO things. Make decisions. Make mistakes.

This gave me a lot of things to think about in my current works in progress.

She also encouraged us to enrich our worlds through bits of description that hint to things.  It was a very interesting and productive evening. I had trouble going to sleep because I was so revved up.

I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes.

New Clinic Today!

I started working at Avondale House, a residential facility for people with autism/mental retardation, etc.

I’m the new primary care doc as of 5/1/14. My first clinic was today and it was fantastic!

The nurses  are incredible. Very organized and helpful. And of course, I really enjoyed meeting the patients.

This is going to be a great relationship. Thank you, Avondale, for making me a part of your family.

Here’s a link to the website.

ComicPalooza Houston TX!

I’m very pleased to be asked to lend a hand in the development of the literary track of ComicPalooza 2014.

I was involved last year and had a great time. This year I’ll be working on a few panels and workshops about writing. We have some great authors out there that will be coming to share their ideas about writing, the writing life and how to survive the process.

John Scalzi, the 2013 Hugo Award Winner for his novel Red Shirts, will be the guest of honor this year and we’re all very excited to hear what he has to share with us.

Mr. Scalzi is a wonderfully interesting speaker. I had the opportunity to attend the 2012 WorldCon and Mr. Scalzi was the moderator and host of the Hugo Award Ceremony. Funny and insightful!

Back to ComicPalooza and what I’ll be doing there. I’m reprising my panel on Good Writing Habits of Good Writers. It was very popular and we had a great panel of authors!

Then there’s the No Holds Barred Critique session. Writers submit about 2,000 words from their current work in progress, we read it out loud and a panel of writers offer opinions. Very fun and many writers received helpful and encouraging advice for their projects.

I’m going to be a panelist on where writers get their inspiration. This will be fun to talk about!

Today, though, I have a lot of work ahead of me.

I’m very honored to be a part of Kij Johnson’s Novel Writing Workshop held at Kansas University for the first 2 weeks in June. I need to work on my novel outline and polish up the first 30 pages or so of the manuscript. We have to submit our material in just a few short weeks!!!!!

I’m glad I have the weekend off. This rarely happens.

Hope you find the time to immerse yourself in your worlds today. Write with passion!