Hi all!

It’s been a busy month. After returning from ICON, I’ve been hitting revisions to Project Awesome with renewed zeal and have finally finished! I sent the novel off to Beta readers last week and spent the weekend relaxing. Now, though, it’s back to work.

Today I’ll brainstorm ideas for my next novel project and tackle short story revisions I had on hold while I finished Project Awesome. I’m also currently Beta reading a friend’s novel. so must get through a few more chapters of that today. The final piece of the puzzle is my day job, which is heating up as we head into the last few weeks of the semester. Lots of exams and grading coming up, which is no fun. BUT one of my favorite times of year – Christmas season – is also about to kick off.

Thursday, of course, is Turkey Day, and I’ll be cooking an epic feast for friends and family. And then…THEN WE CAN GET OUR CHRISTMAS TREE. Once we’ve got the tree, I can drink eggnog and decorate it. Once it’s decorated, I can spend many evenings sitting and enjoying the pretty lights and delicious smell of pine needles (also while drinking eggnog). So, I’m excited for that.

So, yay for finishing novels and dreaming up new ones and drinking eggnog and putting up Christmas trees!

ICON recap

I just got back from ICON and chilly Iowa late last evening. Though the fridge is empty and my cat spent most of the night meowing in my face, it’s good to be home–especially since I’m returning refreshed and inspired.

I went to ICON so I could attend Paradise Icon, a writing workshop organized annually by my friend and fellow Viable Paradise graduate Catherine Schaff-Stump. It’s a lovely workshop. There were ten of us this year, which did mean a lot of reading beforehand, but we’ve all gotten to the point now that our writing is good, so the critiques were fun rather than painful. A lot of the attendees were friends from VP or folks I’ve met at other workshops, like Paradise Lost, but there were some new friends as well.

Cath organized a great workshop. The whole first day was critiques, which were incisive and on-point, while the second day was a balance of talks with some of the pros in attendance at the Con (Jim C. Hines, Elizabeth Bear, and Scott Lynch) and professional activities, like an author meet-and-greet and a reading. In between, of course, was lots of food and socializing and all of us generally nerding out about writing and fandom and all that good stuff.

Friday night we sat in the bar and helped each other work on pitches for our novel projects and Sunday morning some of us made time for a group writing session. ICON is a small, very chilled-out Con filled with very nice people, so the atmosphere was relaxed and fun. Every single participant in the workshop was exactly the kind of person you want in a workshop — smart, creative, supportive, and talented.

In all, it would be hard to ask for a better weekend. I even got to meet a writing hero of mine, Joe Haldeman (author of the brilliant Forever War). He couldn’t have been nicer as he gave us some advice and regaled us with stories of hanging out with Arthur C. Clarke back in the day. It was awesome.

Now, I think it’s time to sit down and write!