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Archive for March, 2009

My name is Sally, and I’m an SF-aholic.

Hi Sally.

You want my story? (The story of me or the stories I write? Today it’s me.) I got my first taste of SF when I was just a child: the sweet, tangy flavors of Walter Farley’s The Island Stallion, a charming and quite stirring (for an 8 year old) tale of horses, alien shapeshifters and space ships. My parents encouraged me to imbibe healthier fare (Trixie Belden books spring to mind… so where’s the healthy exactly?) but that one taste had me hooked.

I resisted for quite a few years, mostly due to peer pressure, but then, one day in hospital after giving birth to my first child, the library lady came trundling by my bedside with a cart bearing Robert Silverberg’s The Time Hoppers. I was in a weakened state. It called to me more loudly than the Harlequins and mysteries around it. I went for it like an alkie with a big, big thirst. That book turned me into a full-blown SF-aholic.

It’s a disease. No doubt about it. In the way alcoholics love to talk about their drinking days, and over-eaters anonymous members revel in reminiscing about cheeseburgers past, we who love science fiction and fantasy flock together to share our joy. As Spider Robinson says: Shared joy is increased, shared pain lessened. And it’s painful to go without a good sf fix for too long.

For me it was always about the books. Sci-fi movies are generally laughable at worst, okay at best, with the occasional rise to greatness (Star Wars-The Empire Strikes Back; Blade Runner, Galaxy Quest (Yes, Galaxy Quest dammit!). But the books! Dune, Red Mars, The Stars My Destination, A Canticle for Leibowitz, The Lathe of Heaven, Neuromancer, Starship Troopers, Ringworld… by God it’s like a bar where the drinks flow freely and the bartender can put his hand on a bottle of the very finest stuff. And open it just for you.

And the best thing is—people are still writing the stuff! And loving it. And passing it around like a doobie.. but that’s a whole other addiction. I’ll stick to the SF, thanks very much.

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Mary Robinette Kowel helps distill down an editorial to its essence. And it’s a good reminder to just STFU and do it.

Here’s the full editorial by Beth Wodzinski (editor of Shimmer) over at Apex’s Blog.

This is part of why I agreed to do things. Village Council, Ruritans, Cajun Sushi Hamsters, and other things. All because some times you have to just say, WTF. And yes, I say that putting on Ray Bans (you know, or you don’t, don’t make me explain it). Take the leap. Sometimes you splat, sometimes you figure out how to fly. After a time you get better at flying.

Given how low my word outputage (yeah, I made that up) of these past few days has been, with the current leap there’s a high probability I may splat. Add in the day job shakiness and it may be a big, expensive splat. But you never get the brass ring riding safely.

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As a board member of Popular Fiction Association of Idaho I am in charge of writing our press releases and that’s the headline I came up with.

Writers’ Master Class Weekend

June 5-6, 2009

with

Bob Mayer and Margie Lawson

Hosted by the Popular Fiction Association of Idaho, the people who bring you Murder in the Grove, the weekend features two day-long workshops that will give in-depth instruction on key areas to enhance your writing.

Workshop presenters: New York Times bestselling author Bob Mayer has thirty-eight books published.  He has over three million books in print and is in demand as a team-building, life-change, and leadership speaker and consultant for his Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way concepts.

After attending West Point and serving as an Infantry platoon leader, battalion scout platoon leader, and brigade reconnaissance platoon leader, Bob joined Special Forces and commanded a Green Beret A Team.

Bob draws on these experiences as well as his Masters Degree in Education to write his novels and his nonfiction books, including WHO DARES WINS: The Green Beret Way To Conquer Fear & Change and The Novel Writer’s Toolkit:  A Guide To Writing Great Fiction And Getting It Published.

Margie Lawson, psychotherapist, writer, and international presenter, has applied her psychological expertise to dissect over a thousand novels and analyze how authors write page-turners.

A former university professor, Margie taught psychology and communication courses. Her resume includes clinical trainer, professor, sex therapist, Director of an Impotence Clinic, hypnotherapist, and keynote speaker.

Margie focuses her analytical skills on writing craft, developing innovative editing systems and deep editing techniques. Her deep editing tools are used by newbie to multi-award winning writers.

Workshops will be held at the Owyhee Plaza Hotel, 1109 Main Street, Boise, (208) 343-4611. The evening of Friday June 5th will also feature a book-signing by Bob Mayer at local bookshop Rediscovered Bookshop, 7079 Overland Road, Boise, (208) 376-4229.

For more information about the Writers’ Mater Class Weekend or to regitster, www.murderinthegrove.com or inform@murderinthegrove.com.

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