half-way

Ian MacLeod knows character, and thankfully he shared his thoughts on the subject with our class. He’s gentle, clever, and possesses a love for the classics. In particular he was very helpful in the one-on-one conference, and offered effective advice on how I could re-draft this week’s story.

We’ve been very lucky with the instructor line-up thus far. They’ve been supportive and generous with their time, and downright likeable.

We’re half-way through Clarion, and thus far we’re doing well. The standard of the stories continues to rise, even though they are all first drafts people are rushing to submit to deadline. It’s not easy to hand in work that you know has flaws and problems in front of people you admire and respect. This is a talented group, who offer savvy and direct critiques of the work. I suspect we’re all pushing ourselves harder now to produce compelling stories with fresh characters. I know I am.

Yesterday a bunch of us took the ferry to Bainbridge Island, poked around the town of Winslow for a while (pretty but dull), and took the ferry back. The ferry trip is fantastic because of its beautiful views of the city, the island and the stupendous Mount Rainier (a God among mountains). Afterwards we had a tasty and cheap lunch at The New Orleans Creole Restaurant in Pioneer Square (we’ll be back), got sucked into the time vortex that is Elliot Bay Books, and rounded the day off with a tour around the incredible central Seattle library. The library is an architectural wonder, and is one of the most beautiful public spaces I’ve had the pleasure to explore. I hope to return another day and ensconce myself in the reading room on the top floor and write.

Today we meet Nalo Hopkinson. I’ve been a fan of her work since her first novel, Midnight Robber. I’m looking forward to this week’s instruction, and her take on the writing process.

I’ve stories to critique, and characters and plot to wrestle to the ground, so I’ve no more time to waste on this summary. Tune in next week.