Late Nights, Pseudonyms and Elizabeth Bear

I had an in-class critique yesterday.  (Was it yesterday?)  I’m not so sure anymore. Once again, I am humbled by everyone’s kindness and brilliant offerings.  I think I will work on expanding this story into either novella or novel size.  I’ll have to see how it develops.  My next project will be a short story.  A real short story.  Not a novel that I’ve tried to cram into 6000 words.

I’ve been doing all-nighters and sleeping 3-4 hours a night so all the days have been blending into one another.  It’s been like one very long day punctuated with naps.  We are coming to the end of our fourth week at Odyssey and the realization that we will all go our separate ways in two weeks is so very sad for me.  Everyone has expressed that they want to keep in touch after this experience is over, and I really hope that we do.  Among the 16 of us, we have an invaluable source of expertise that includes sword experts, gun experts, history experts, research experts, and general nerd and geek experts.

We had three in class critiques today.  I think the stories are getting more difficult to critique.  Even with the limited time frame, people seem to be turning in excellent stories that are enjoyable to read and inspires thought.

Elizabeth Bear was a guest lecture this morning.  She is very personable and lots of fun.  We talked about plot structures, Hollywood movies and how many science fiction readers seem to prefer male writers.  While I know that many authors use gender neutral pseudonyms to write in different genres, I have mixed feelings about this concept.  One part of me is thinking: Which gender neutral pseudonym can I use?  The other part thinks: Why should I perpetuate this gender bias?

And to be fair, it’s not just gender bias toward women.  Men who write romance also have to use pseudonyms.  I really can’t understand why we can’t move beyond the gender limitions and just enjoy art for the sake of art.  No one stands before a painting and wonders whether a man or a woman painted it.

That’s the end of my soapbox chat for the day.  I have 3 critiques this weekend.  One story to write.  Gary Braunbeck reception on Sunday.   AND a write-a-thon tonight where I may yet win back the two cookies I lost.  Not the exact same ones of course.

Tonight’s BBQ pictures and more to come.

For now, here is a picture taken the other night.  Fairy, Nat and Peeko were going for multi-hand scary ghost effect.  I’m much too serious and mature to participate in such silliness.  So I took their picture instead.

Other random fun pictures:

Nat laughing so hard she fell out of her bed.

Chris the Texas BBQ Master “running” to the grill.

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