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At least, that's the plan. I just made my iced tea. While it's brewing I'm checking LJ. Then I'm going upstairs to start writing my new book. By the gods of Olympus, I will have a "normal" day!

My son is doing well. He's responding to the program, and is making some friends. Big, beautiful and charming as he is, he has never had many of those. Getting cut out of socialization at fifteen didn't do good things for his confidence or his social skills. That's part of what he's learning while he's away; maybe the most important part.

Life is quiet here right now. The oldest daughter out in her own life, the youngest in France, only our older son remains in the house. He's just thrilled with all the attention we're giving his life at the moment, having no one else to focus on. ;) Seriously, life is quiet just now. I don't know if I'll be able to say that next week, or even tomorrow, but--moment by moment. That's all I have to give it.

A few links:
Heroines of Fantasy: wherein I extol the magic that is Viable Paradise Workshop.
Finder for 99 cents on Amazon
Finder for 99 cents on B&N

The sale started on Saturday, and goes through today (though you never know!) Most of Hadley Rille's books are on sale for the April Fool's Day price of 99 cents. Get them while the getting's good!

For the hugs, the songs, the poems, the general love and support you've given me over the last few weeks. It truly means the world to me.
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It's that time of year again. The greatest science fiction and fantasy workshop in the known world is once again open for submissions. I have been directly responsible for getting at least one person to apply every year since my own experience in 2006. In fact, I'm also responsible for someone who applied and attended in 2005--the year I was supposed to go, but couldn't.

So here I am again, touting the virtues of this week that will change your life. Really, what more can I say? Oh, I know--I'm going to be slave staff...erm...I mean...island slave staff...wait, I mean...STAFF. I'm going to be carting and toting and cooking and diffusing and assisting and doing all the other behind the scenes stuff those of us who have gone and long to go back will do just for the privilege of being there.

Viable Paradise. Go, if you can. You will never be the same.
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Ugh--so much to tell, so little time to tell it in. Let's just say I'm home from California, the con was FABOO, and I've no power, no water, the battery on my computer is dying and I'm borrowing wifi from McDonalds.

Since I was so mean and left you all hanging, I'll now give you my BIG news--I'm going to be staffing Viable Paradise, world's GREATEST scifi/fan workshop of all time. Mac and Bart (fellow Xmen) are heading up staff this year and wanted me to come on board. I'll be slave labor for a week, cooking, carting, having some fun between drama and exhaustion--like Girl Scout Camp all over again.

I'm thrilled to have been asked. Any former VPer will tell you that it becomes a DREAM to go back, but there is no going back, unless you get asked to be So, next October, that is where I shall be! On Martha's Vineyard watching others have their minds blown away. I will not and smile and say, "Yes, young one--now you know the power that is VP!"

More when I have time--about the con and the fun and all the fabulousness. Right now, I have another 64 emails to read and only 45 minutes left on my battery (and no place to plug in!)

I have just enough power to point you over to Heroines of Fantasy and our fabulous guest poster, Terra Whiteman and her post: The Evolution of Duality in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Hopefully, I'll be able to read it before my power dies!

Happy Halloweeeeen, everyone!
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Ask anyone who's been there, Viable Paradise is a life-changing experience. I attended VPX in 2006 and was lucky enough to have not only the core instructor group, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, James Macdonald, Debra Doyle, Laura Mixon and Steven Gould, but Cory Doctorow and James Patrick Kelly as well. This year, once again, Elizabeth Bear and John Scalzi are on the team. And they want YOU there with them. Yes, you.
Viable Paradise : The Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers' Workshop

Go. Check out the site. Apply. The deadline for applications is June 30. If you get in, it will change your life. You'll thank me for giving you the nudge.

I accept chocolate in all it's forms.

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The illustrious Margaret Ronald, former VPer, new staff and author of Spiral Hunt and the recently released Wild Hunt pimps our beloved Viable Paradise Workshop (best workshop EVER) on her blog in a most humorous and creative way. Go check it out!

Then go to the Viable Paradise site and take a gander:

It will change you. No, really--it will. (At the very least, you'll get to sample Uncle Jim's fantastic pancakes.)

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Courtesy of orogeny. :)

VPX Squid

Dec. 30th, 2009 08:02 pm
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What you can't see is the paddle tentacle thingies that wrap in and out of all the seaweed. See the VPX?? It's bigger than it appears. The pic was taken at an angle.


Dec. 29th, 2009 09:35 pm
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The VPX tattoo has been inked! The squid and the VPX are in place. In a couple of weeks, we'll have some color. By Boskone--barring complications that I don't anticipate!--it will be finished.

I love it. It's exactly what I wanted. I'm STOKED!!! I can't wait to show you!!!

In writing news, I started the synopsis for Finder. I got about three paragraphs done. ALL DAY. Yeah, not working downstairs tomorrow. Up to the loft I will go! Headphones will be in use.

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If it worked, this is a rough line draw of the kraken (giant squid) that will incorporate my VPX tattoo. Woohoo! Soon! Before Boskone, for sure.
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Ok, VPXers, I'm going to see my tattoo guy on Thursday. I want to be able to give him some ideas about what we're looking for in lettering.

In emails, and on LJ comments, I think the consensus was that we should concentrate on all having the same lettering encompassed by whatever design (if any!) that 'speaks' to us. Me? I'm going for a kraken on my under-the-sea leg, the letters VPX made out of its tentacles--sort of. I'll leave that up to him.

So what kind of lettering are we looking for? Block? Ornate? Scripty? Calligraphy??

Leave your comments here. I will bring them all to him and when he's come up with something, I'll post it here.

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Life in LJworld has brought me into contact with some pretty fantastic people. One of them is the wacky yet lovable and ever-so-talented [ profile] marshallpayne1. He's been doing a series of interviews with writerly types. Today's featured our wonderful VPX mentor, James Patrick Kelly. Check out the interview. I, for one, did not know he was the LAST exception to Clarion's policy, "one and done."

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A notion has come up, and that notion is a VPX tattoo. The beautiful, talented, ever-so-brilliant [profile] orogenyafter much back and forth with the equally beautiful, talented and ever-so-brilliant [ profile] athenais, and an enthusiastic cheer from the spectacular [ profile] hirez, has asked if my tattoo guy might come up with a VPX tattoo that we could have done as a collective homage to that magical week and one another.

Aside from the four of us, is anyone else interested? I ask because I'm going to see my guy in a couple of weeks; I'd like to have an idea of what we're looking for so he can draw something up. What sort of lettering? Size? Any picture with it? A quill? A book? A keyboard? Color? Black and white? All that sort of thing. I'll post what he comes up with here.

What say you?

Edited in later, from a response to bmlg:

--with JRH's lighthouse idea, and your jellyfish idea, I am thinking more and more that it's the lettering that will be the binding force. The letters can indeed be incorporated into ANY design, but as long as they are the same in every design, they will create the bond we're going for. And in this way, the tattoo can be to everyone's individual style. As big, small, plain or elaborate as desired. AND, if the letters are what matters most, they can be adapted for any VP group that wants in on the tribeness of this.
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[profile] orogeny[profile] dfableand I met in NYC yesterday for a few hours--too FEW hours, it seemed. The weather held out for the most part. We met, had lunch, (brunch, actually, as we all had breakfast at noon) walked and talked and walked and talked. Lots of blocks. Lots of chatting. It was faboo.

During the course of our talking, the issue of 'glitter' came up. Not the fairy dust sort, despite my enchantment for such things, but the manuscript kind. Without glitter, no matter how good the writing or the idea, the story falls flat. Do you think there is a market for it (my manuscipt)?" L asked. Does it glitter?

That was a good discussion.

After we parted ways, I thought to myself, Hmmm...does it glitter? All I could come up with was, I hope so. I think everyone can agree that we all have a bit of a problem seeing our own work clearly. Either we DON'T see the sparkle, or we see it where it doesn't exist. Why is it we can see it so easily in other people's work, but not in our own? The writing world may never know...

NYC with [profile] dfableand [profile] orogenywas so great. I really want to make this at least a quarterly thing. We discussed such an endeavor right after VPX, when [personal profile] garunya was still in NYC. One thing is certain--we HAVE to do this more often. There is nothing like discussing writing with the tribe. 

(PS--I'm currently (and finally!) reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and who do I find on the acknowledgements page but [profile] tnhand [personal profile] pnh. I'm sure everyone already knows this but me, but it was sort of cool to see them there. Very fun. Just thought I'd share.)
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I was in my bathroom this morning, blowing out the air jets of the tub and looking out the big window there, and for an instant I saw [profile] tnhwalking across my back lawn early on an August Sunday morning. It was funny, having only recently gotten out of bed, to find the party starting all over again. Two nights and two (going on three) days of VP-happiness.

I started remembering my house full of friends, watching Pan's Labyrinth, eating, drinking.  A day outside by the pool, in the gazebo. Putting away several bottles of scotch that night. A year's worth of writerly conversation in a weekend. It was amazing for me.
And then [profile] tnh, [personal profile] pnh[personal profile] malkingrey, Himself and Twin A coming across the lawn that Sunday morning. Shortly thereafter came [personal profile] prusik, [profile] avocadovpx, [personal profile] garunya, [personal profile] jenwrites, [profile] bmlg, [personal profile] e_underwood, (and a few others who are not on LJ). [profile] lauradisewas coming down from upstairs. I made eggs with  [profile] tnh while Himself made pancakes. My family barely existed that weekend and I don't feel even slightly guilty about that.

Most left before noon. [profile] tnh and [personal profile] pnhwere catching a train back home a little later. Himself was giving them a ride to the station. For a little while, the house was pretty quiet but for [personal profile] pnhplaying guitar. I don't know if I've ever heard, or will ever hear, anything more beautiful. He played the way all music should be played; like it comes from somewhere only few can ever find, and are completely unaware of this fact.

Maybe because so many of you are in Boston together and I'm wishing I were with you, maybe I'm just a big much today, maybe, maybe, maybe--whatever it is, I'm thinking of all of you today, and not just those who were able to come to the reunion.

Excuse me--I need to go get a tissue now. *g* 

Edited later: Apparently, I confused Erin and Jen's time and place in my world that weekend. I knew they were there--I knew they spent the night--after that is a blur. Sounds like a bad After School Special plot.


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