Last year I planted beans and peas (among other things). I gave each plant it’s very own pole to climb up. I spaced them out neatly and was sure that I would have an orderly harvest at the end of the year. Oh how wrong I was. The peas and beans rejected my poles and climbed each other instead. This made for a very low harvest in the peas – we managed one meal of peas. The beans… well… I have no idea which pods were from which plants. Consequently many of them were picked at the wrong stage of ripeness. I don’t know which ones I liked or anything. It was a tangled mess.
The Fourth Street Fantasy Convention is a bit different from other conventions that I go to. For one, there is a single programming track which means that everyone (mostly) goes to every panel. Most conventions that I attend are multi track which generally means that everything that I want to see is at the same time and the rest is just a matter of boredom control (OK, not quite that bad, but somehow programming managers always manage to pit the really good stuff against each other). Other than not having to decide which panel to go to, this allows for a certain amount of blending of the panels. That is, later panels can reference things that were discussed from earlier panels with a high level of confidence that most of the audience would know what they were talking about. This is both wonderful and a bit disconcerting at the same time.
Vampires are a popular subject these days. There are a million different versions from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Anne Rice’s angst ridden vampires. You have everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight to True Blood. All of them different. There are vampires for every taste these days from sexy to scary and even sparkly if you go that way. But they all have one thing in common. Vampires are immortal.
I have to confess, I spend a lot of time paying attention to specific kinds of writer’s blogs. In Particular those of Kristin Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, and Chuck Wendig. These, among some others that I don’t follow as regularly, have given me the inspiration and the back bone to face this profession and know that I can make it. While Kristin Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith are great at being responsible, business focused and serious about their craft, I turn to Chuck Wendig to hear pretty much the same stuff with a lot more humor and swearing.
Part of world building is creating culture. Your people have to have a culture unique to their place in their world. Even if you are writing in modern America, it’s important to notice the influence of culture on the choices and assumptions that your characters make. However, since culture is a huge subject that spans several BA programs, I’m going to pick just one little piece to discuss today: Family.
Last summer I had my first chance to plant a vegetable garden (as an adult and without supervision). I wrote about it here. Some of you might laugh at the silly misadventures I had, but hey, I had fun and I learned a lot. Of course learning only showed me how much more there is that I don’t know. But that’s never stopped me before. It’s not stopping me now.
This year I have all four of the planned beds installed in the back yard. That means I can try my hand a more vegetables (I’m so not a flower person).
What do you do when you are working on a story and your characters start going off on a tangent? When they leave the outline behind and insist on going down the rabbit hole that you never even saw?
There are some writers who will tell you to back up to where they started going off script and get them back on. You are the writer after all, and they are just the characters.
I recently attended Minicon 48 in Bloomington Minnesota. It was a wonderful weekend full of interesting discussions and reconnecting with old friends. I could go for the standard “Con Report” style blog post where I give you tidbits about my weekend, or I could go in depth over the course of several posts about the conversations that intrigued me the most. I’m going with the latter option.
Community in the Information Age (7:00pm Saturday)