miércoles, 31 de octubre de 2007

Galumphing back from Villa Diodati

In case you thought my post on Villa Diodati sounded too good to be true, check out these post by people who don't have my reputation for wanton exaggeration.

Nancy Fulda thinks Villa Diodati is like college without the homework.

Aliette de Bodard wrote a lot, but doesn't she always?

Ruth Nestvold calls it a sublimely wonderful workshop.

Picture supplied by Ruth.

martes, 30 de octubre de 2007

Villa Diodati Workshop

I'm back home after a blast of a weekend.

I'd had some experience with live workshopping from the Madrid Writer's Critique Group, but nothing near as extensive and intensive as this. We spent three glorious days in a German castle with a moat and a gorgeous garden, sipping tea, coffee and wine, chatting about everything, crittin' and writin' writin' writin'!

I got to meet six writers who've gone straight to my list of favorite people.

Ruth Nestvold organized the whole affair. I never imagined she'd have such an exuberant personality. She had us laughing the whole time and she was generous with her knowledge of writing and the publishing world. Imagine having someone who is as accomplished and talented as she is, locked up in a castle with you and knowing she can't run away from your questions! Awesome! Thanks, Ruth, for putting this together.

Nancy Fulda is sweet and funny and also shared her writing and editing experience. She endured my conversation for the two hour drive from Frankfurt to Mosbach and back. Big thanks for picking me up and dropping me off at Frankfurt!

Deanna Carlyle writes chicklit and YA and has a great eye for plot. She was the only one of us from outside the genre, which was good, since she challenged our views of how things are and showed us how an SF story looks like to a mainstream reader. Her insight was hugely valuable and she's a blast to be around with.

John Olsen has a beautiful lyrical writing style. I loved the story he had up for critique. He made us a three course meal for supper on Sunday that was absolutely great. Great sense of humour. He stoically put up with five jabbering women.

Aliette de Bodard. What can I say? I already knew her from Liberty Hall, and she's already great over the Internet but she was absolutely hilarious in person. We shared a room and chatted long into the night. She and I were the only two people there who'd grown up outside of the US, so I found we shared some common experiences. We've both decided to write in English because our other languages don't have a strong Speculative readership. We've both come to American culture in a roundabout way. What can I say? I can't wait to see what she writes next.

The weekend also turned out to be totally affordable. We paid 127e for three nights of lodging and food. Although we doubled up, the rooms were so huge that I didn't feel cramped. There was loads of little nooks to write in. The bathrooms were humongous, with a fresco of Botticelli's Aphrodite, of all things. There was a giant bathtub (yes, I took a bath, something I haven't done in years).

In the garden, there was a plastic mannequin in a nightgown half submerged in the river. The leaves from the trees kept falling. We have mostly perennials in Spain, so watching red crunchy leaves fall was a treat.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of us end up setting a story in that castle.

It was decided that there had to be another workshop next year. Villa Diodati lives!

jueves, 25 de octubre de 2007

Villa Diodati Workshop Weekend

It's here! It's arrived! It's real!

Tomorrow I'm leaving for Frankfurt to participate in the Villa Diodati Worshop. This workshop was devised for expat English Speculative Fiction writers who usually don't have the time and cash to go to the US for workshops and conventions. This year, there are five of us: Nancy Fulda, Ruth Nestvold, John Olsen, Deanna Carlyle and me, but if all goes well, I expect we'll repeat the experience next year (hint: if you want to join, drop me an email).

Ruth got this webpage going http://www.lit-arts.net/VillaDiodati/

We're staying at Schloß Lohrbach, which is a Castle. With a Moat.

This Moated Castle looks awesome

I'd like to think of this as more than a consolation prize for European writers. My foreign reprints of Godtouched have taught me that there's a whole wide world outside of the American SF community, and I'd love to cultivate that. European SF could really lift off, if we just gave it a push.

On a different note, the Apex Raffle is still OPEN until October 31st. The number of yummy items on the list is mind boggling. Besides, it's a way to bet with a clean conscience, seeing as how it's for a good cause. A percentage goes to the National Centre For Family Literacy. Actually, upon second thought I'm not sure giving money to them is "altruist". After all, literate people are a writer's bread and butter.

domingo, 21 de octubre de 2007


I self-google for a number of reasons, ego kicks being the most obvious, but more often, I self-google just to keep track of the conversations I've commented on in different blogs. I could tag these blogs, of course, but then I'd forget to check them and besides I end up tagging too many things and never get around to going back to any of them. Yes, I'm a dissaster.

Anyway, my weekly self-google turned out this.
which bablefish says contains my name and the word "Ennea" so I'm guessing Godtouched is already out in Greek. I can't read the comment, which the bablefish rendering seems to imply is negative (still, no way to tell for sure with an automatic translation). If anyone speaks Greek and would like to tell me the gist of the post... It's not a big deal, but I like to know what people thought of my stuff.

sábado, 13 de octubre de 2007

"Clapping for the Fairies" sold to Helix SF

Helix SF has agreed to buy "Clapping for the Fairies", a second person, choose-your-own-adventure, lesbian horrortale written for the Liberty Hall Shimmer sponsored contest.

This is the second story I've sold to Helix (check out Pretty Little Thing) and I'm happy that it's found such a good home.

miércoles, 10 de octubre de 2007

Godtouched to be translated

It appears that Ennea wants to publish the translation in Greek of Godtouched.

Ennea is published on Wednesdays with the Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia. Ennea has around 200.000 readers and is possibly the Greek Comic and SF mag.

Yes, I'm getting published in Greek. I'm immensely proud. I still don't have details about the issue I'll be in, but I'll post about it as soon as I know.

Anyone speak Greek? I'd love to have someone read the translation and tell me how it correlates to the original.

domingo, 7 de octubre de 2007

Apocalypse Meme

Picked this one up from bymeaclue

Am I lame? Seriously yes, but what's more worrying, I'm still better than 99% of respondents of my age and gender. If the aliens come, we're all going to die!!!!

Your chance of survival: Preparedness: 27%, City Skills: 71%, Survival Skills: 47%, Nature Skills: 38%

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”

“Even the end of the world is described as if it were only an exceptionally hot afternoon.”

“The heart of a man to the heart of a maid - Light of my tents, be fleet - Morning awaits at the end of the world, And the world is all at our feet.”

"If I left you alone in the woods with a hatchet, how long before you could send me an e-mail?"

Link: The Apocalypse Survival Test written by mike_ix a>

martes, 2 de octubre de 2007


Started writing a story today in the Metro and jarred to a halt after a page or so, not because I don't know where I'm going, but because of disquiet.

This is an odd feeling that hits me whenever I touch on something "serious" in my writing. "Serious" is a lame definition for it: I can write about serious stuff as long as I feel entitled to do so, but there are certain topics that make me queasy. This particular story involves a fight between two brothers who have been brought up to embody the two sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At this point, I might just scrap that part and carry on, with a more "normal" epic SF story. I just don't feel good enough to do the topic justice.