Jack and I went running together yesterday morning, which was delightful for a number of reasons. Firstly, we almost never get the chance to run together–we usually take turns going out to run so that someone can stay home with the baby. Secondly, the weather here is GORGEOUS!!!! It is such a treat to walk outside and not instantly begin sweating, even at 6am. Thirdly, the scenery is beautiful here. We ran the same route that I ran Tuesday morning, which was just going north along the Pacific Coast Highway until we reached a public beach area, where we went down and ran along the beach for a while. The only problem I had was that I’m not used to running with someone at all, and so talking during running really screws up my breathing rhythm, and as a result I had a vicious stitch in my side for about the first three miles. (We ran about 3.5 miles.)

After we got back it was a rush to shower and have breakfast, then I went off to my workshop and Jack went off to do whatever he wanted to do.

First thing we did was critique the three stories that had been randomly selected. Not much to say about that except to say that I was impressed that pretty much everyone was able to turn in a reasonably well put together story that would probably only need a rewrite or two to be saleable.

The rest of the day was speakers. David Brin, Anne McCaffrey (Squeeeee!!! I grew up on the Pern novels!!), Jerry Pournelle, Kevin J. Anderson (Jesus H. Christ, but the man has written over 90 novels!!)who gave us some absolutely incredibly advice about how to be prolific and how to be professional, as well as numerous others including several past winners of the contest who have gone on to do some pretty amazing things.

After the speakers were finished we went out onto the patio and had the “meet and greet” barbecue dinner. The food was all right, but the chance to talk to all of these luminaries and rising luminaries was really incredible. Also at one point I was dragged into a room that had been set up like a studio, had some more makeup slapped on me and interviewed. (Second filmed interview of the day. It’s getting easier…lol)

Finally as the party wound down we began discussing our acceptance speeches and past acceptance speeches and Oscar acceptance speeches, and somewhere in there I ended up doing one-handed pushups Jack Palance style.

You had to be there.

So now, today is the day! I can’t believe how quickly this week has flown by. None of us can believe how quickly this week has flown by! I’m also really struck by how different this experience has been from when I went through Clarion, and I’m not referring just to the differing lengths of one week vs. six. Clarion is an incredible workshop and an invaluable learning experience, but this week the attitude has been different. In this workshop you are treated like a pro writer. Everyone here has made a pro sale. It’s understood that you already know the basics of how to write and how to structure a decent story. This workshop was about refining your skills and turning you into a Pro. yes, there were some sections on craft and story and suspense, etc. But I think that over half of the workshop focused on the professional side. As Kevin J. Anderson said, “A writer is someone who knows how to write. A Professional Writer is someone who knows how to write, and then also knows publishing and the industry.”

I’ll probably post another entry tonight after we get back with Any News I Might Have.