I actually managed to sleep until 6:30am this morning, which was absolutely perfect since a) it gave me about 7.5 hours of sleep, and b) I was able to get up early enough to go for a run.

The hotel is right across the street from the beach, so running this morning was a really pleasant experience. I think I only went about 3.5 miles, but it was a little hillier than I’m used to, plus I did part of my run along the sand, so I still got a nice workout. Plus the weather is incredible! Every time I talked to someone from home on the phone yesterday I had to gloat and say, “Ha! I’m not sweating!!”

The workshop is a lot of fun so far, and everyone in the group is totally cool. We’re not doing any workshopping of existing stories (which makes sense I realized since it would be a bit pointless/painful to critique stories that are being published and thus can’t be changed), and we also haven’t had the chance to read any of the the entries/winners. I think we won’t get to do that until we see the finished product, and I don’t think that will happen until the ceremony on Friday. Bah! I guess I’ll have something to read on the plane!

So the workshop so far has been lecture and discussion with and by Kathy Wentworth and Tim Powers, which has been incredibly fascinating and informative. We’ve also been doing little story-development exercises which are all geared toward the thrust of this week’s workshop, i.e. the “write a story in 24 hours” goal. We’ve been cautioned to NOT try and start writing early and to not use an existing story, because the benefit of this exercise is in discovering just how productive (and good) you can be with limited time. We were all given objects yesterday and told that we had to incorporate the object into our story somehow. It didn’t have to be exactly the same as the object (if your object looked like something else, you could use that) but it definitely had to be an inspirational source. And, surprisingly enough, the object I was given gave me the idea for a pretty complete story.

I think that today we’re going to be doing the “go forth and talk to a stranger” exercise, where we strike up a conversation with someone and learn about their background, with the hope of then using that background in the story.

If anyone has questions, please post a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them. I know that there’ve been quite a few people finding their way here through the Writers of the Future newsgroup on sff.net, and I’m sure you’re burning with questions (because I know I was!)