~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Monday, March 12, 2007

Away and home

Words Written: “The Light at the End,” ~600
Writing Stats: Received, signed, and prepped to mail two contracts: “Stranger to my Shores,” Paranormal Erotica anthology (as Sophie), and “When the Rancher Needs a Loan,” Cowboy Lover: Erotic Tales of the Wild West anthology (as Andrea Dale). Received a rather preachy rejection from Clarkesworld for “Seeds of Hope.”
Exercise: walking through airports

I’m at LAX, waiting for my slightly delayed flight to Oxnard to be called. I’m tired, so the delay especially sucks. They looked for a volunteer to give up his/her seat in exchange for a round-trip ticket anywhere in the US, and if I wasn’t so tired, I’d take it and just rent a car. Oh well.

Part of me doesn’t want to go home. I really wanted to stay with Ken in Portland for a few days, working and relaxing and easing back into reality rather than hitting it full speed. I don’t have that luxury, though… Plus I really miss the cats. And my chiropractor and my massage therapist…

The week was incredibly successful and productive. Teresa and have two chapters left to finish OOTFP. (When we got there, we didn’t think we’d finish it there; then we thought we might; then we slowed down a little.) We’ll get the proposal in the mail this week, I think, and then get the draft finished and polished by the end of the month.

I also rewrote the beginning of WSWL, getting about 4000 words down (some new, some taken from the previous version). I realized it needed to be both darker and richer, and I had to start over to really weave that in—I needed that new info in order to be able to move ahead.

I also finished one story, which Teresa kindly critiqued and will be in the mail this week; wrote half of a joint Lust Bites article on collaboration; and started another short story on the plane today.

Everyone else at the retreat wrote lots of words and broke through barriers, and the energy was just amazing. Last time, we all stayed in our rooms to write, but when we hit the common area, we tended to hang out too much and not be productive. This time, we decided to try two optional two-hour quiet joint writing periods per day, from 10 a.m. to noon and 8 to 10 p.m. Well, the first day, all the women sat down and did it…and we never left. We did almost all of our writing in the common area all day, every day. Occasionally someone would hit their room for an hour or two, and Teresa and I did retreat to our room when we needed to brainstorm and confer. On the other hand, the two men in the group almost never came out of their rooms…

We ate out every night, with Kris & Dean and Chris and Steve, so we had lots of great seafood and great conversation. K&D invited us to bring take-and-bake pizzas and drinks to their place one evening, so I got to see how they’ve transformed the workshop house back into their home (they have two houses and one large office [former garage, I think] with several rooms). My usual bedroom is now Kris’s closet. That took a little getting used to…

It’s been almost exactly five years since I took my first OCW workshop, the Master Class, which changed the way I write and the way I approach and think about writing and my career. For a while, it seemed like nothing was changing, that it hadn’t had an effect. But five years on (and quite a few workshops later!), I’ve sold two novels and I’ve sold more short stories every year. It snuck up on me, strangely enough. But, as we discussed one night, you’re never satisfied. You’re always raising the bar, striving for a greater goal. To lose that would be to not need to write anymore. I can’t wait to see what the next five years will bring.

So we reluctantly left Lincoln City on Sunday after the weekly writerly lunch, swung by Hillsboro to pick up Ken, and went to an airport hotel to drop off Laura and get Teresa checked in. Then Ken, Teresa, and I went to the Kennedy School McMenamin’s to meet up with erotica author and fellow Lust Biter Shanna Germaine for dinner, drinks, and much laughter. Shanna’s a blast! Just a bundle of energy, with a great sense of humor, an incredible focus (she writes, edits, teaches…I can’t keep up with all of it!), and a keen mind. We sat there for hours, not wanting to leave despite how tired we were. We finally, reluctantly dragged ourselves away, and Ken and I didn’t get back to Hillsboro until after midnight.

So now I’m almost home, not wanting to get distracted by bills and e-mails and the rest of the real world. I’ve really got to focus if I’m going to get WSWL done in time for the novel workshop in May (manuscripts will be due in April so everyone has time to read them before the workshop). Plus I miss Ken. But he’ll be home towards the end of the month to pick up his new shiny motorcycle (he’s abandoning his beloved K1200LT for a sleeker, peppier GT), and then I may just ride back up there with him so I can spend my birthday in the Pacific Northwest.


Home now. Despite the fact that I watched my suitcase get loaded onto the plane at PDX, it didn’t arrive with me at OXR. But they’ve delivered it, and all is well. I’ve picked up some groceries, eaten dinner, talked with Ken, watched a bit of TV, scritched the cats, and done some catching up in e-mail and whatnot. I’m exhausted, so I don’t think I have the brainpower to write any more today. I’ll just hit the ground running tomorrow…

Despite some things, it’s good to be home. In part because there’s still Styx confetti all over my bedroom floor…


Currently Reading: Staying Dead, Laura Anne Gilman
Lately Listened To: Big Bang Theory, Styx; RWA session
Recently Watched: Without a Trace

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