Tag Archives: Villa Diodati workshop

Cthulhu and Globosome

A couple of things today that I just have to share. We had the granddaughters overnight the other day, and in the morning, the five-year-old was running around the house yelling, “Cthulhu! Cthulhu! Cthulhu!” I realize that it is indicative of a rather warped sense of priorities, but it makes me happy and gives me the feeling that we’re doing something right.

Of course, it’s really all Sylvia Spruck Wrigley’s fault and the crocheted Cthulhu she gave me at the last Villa Diodati workshop …

The other thing I wanted to spontaneously share is this stunning video, produced just down the road aways from me. 🙂

The Rise and Fall of Globosome from Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg on Vimeo.

Enjoy!

Villa Diodati 14 (and 13 too … )

VD14

A little over a week before we flew to the States to visit relatives, I got back from the most recent incarnation of the Villa Diodati workshop. VD14 was once again in southern Spain, but probably for the last time, since we are losing our venue, unfortunately. Ah well. We will find other cool places to meet, I am sure.

This workshop was one of the biggest we’ve had, with ten participants.

Group shot VD14
Front row: Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, Ruth Nestvold, Grayson Morris, Christian Walter, Jeremy Sim
Back row: Frances Silversmith, Bo Balder, Floris Kleinje, Jeff Spock, Stephen Gaskell

It was also one of the most reading intensive. We put a cap on submissions for critique at 10,000 words, and usually most participants play by the rules. This time, four out of ten submitted works that exceeded the 10,000 word limit, which meant a lot more reading and critiquing than usual. I think in future I will have to exert my dictatorial powers more effectively, and create truncated versions of the works submitted for critique that conform to the rules. 🙂

Critique session
Critique session

Despite all the reading and critiquing, we still had time for other exercises and discussions. Among other things, we had a long talk on marketing. I was encouraged to submit a novella I wrote with Jay Lake (and was revising when he died) to Analog, which is where it is now. I also got some ideas from the group mind as to where “Pool of Souls” would fit, the short story I brought to the workshop. Unfortunately, that is not yet out, since I haven’t had time to address the critiques I got at VD14.

We also did a wonderful brainstorming session around the pool, where a number of us tossed out ideas we had for input from the group mind, or described stories that were flailing and might need some outside input. Sylvia and I got some great ideas on where to go with a collaboration we’ve written.


Brainstorming around the pool

We even got a chance to play the Surreal Oracle game again!

And of course we ate, and ate well, like we always do at Villa Diodati workshops. 🙂

Eating well
Eating well

VD13

The autumn 2014 workshop took place in Picardy, France. When I got home, we had a bit of a family medical emergency, which was why I never got around to posting a report. I figured the report for VD14 would be a good opportunity to make up for that. 🙂

The fall workshop in France was much smaller than VD14, with only six attendants. Here in the group shot you see only five of us, since Sylvia Spruck Wrigley wasn’t feeling well when we took the pictures. At least her crocheted Cthulhu made it in (next to my knee):

Group shot VD13
Ruth Nestvold, Aliette de Bodard, Jeff Sock, Nancy Fulda, Grayson Morris

We did many of the same awesome things we usually do besides critiquing, such as brainstorming and market discussions. Jeff also gave a talk on creativity.

During the brainstorming, I got some excellent ideas on how to continue with the Glassmakers trilogy. Not only that, since Sylvia was crocheting her amazing Cthulhus while we did critiques, she promised me and Nancy our own personal monsters if we could finish the novels we were working on by the end of January.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7598/16858900837_464e6e6aba.jpg
Critiquing and Cthulhu-making

Since things got very complicated at home for a while after I got back, it was an incredible incentive for me to return to writing and finish the first draft of Facets of Glass by January 31. Nancy finished her novel as well. After all, who doesn’t want their own cuddly monster?

I think we really should consider adding incentives for each other to our regular agenda of activities. An outside deadline can be an incredible motivator.

Quarterly progress report and a #WIPpet snippet

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get to this today. I’m flying to Spain tomorrow for the next Villa Diodati workshop. But I’m almost done packing now, so my head is free for a blog post after all.

I’ll start with the final update for this Round of Words. If you’re here only for WIPpet Wednesday, feel free to skip. 🙂

Here are my goals from the beginning of the quarter:

Writing:

– Write an average of 4000 words a week – MADE IT! 53,300 words in 12 weeks. The weekly output was up and down quite a bit, but it managed to average out to more than my initial goal. Nice when that happens. 🙂

– Finish Facets of Glass – First draft complete!

– Write 5 new short stories – Not quite – I wrote 3.

Blog:

– Write a report of the Villa Diodati workshop (finally!)- Never got around to this, and now it just seems silly, so long after the workshop. :/

– Write a new installment of “Starting out as an indie author” every other week – YES!

– Update my book page (LONG overdue!) – Ooops, ‘fraid not …

Writing business:

– Write New Year newsletter for my subscribers – Didn’t get around to this one either …

– Schedule upcoming promotions for my books – Did a lot of these! And it’s paying off. 🙂

– List books with Babelcube & Noisetrade – Nope

– Publish last episode of Yseult – DONE!

– Publish “The Shadow Artist” as ebook – Nope

– Publish Chameleon in a Mirror to Createspace – DONE!

– Find reviewers for CIAM and Island of Glass – DONE!

I’m pretty happy with my progress this round. 🙂

On to WIPpet Wednesday! For today, 2+5 = 7 short paragraphs from Facets of Glass. This scene comes right after the one I gave you last week:

By the next day, all of Venice knew of Minerva’s mysterious fainting spell, and how she still had not regained consciousness. When Anastacia declared her intention to visit her sister, Gaetano was considering bribing one of the Foscari guards assigned to go with her when he was called into the dowager princess’s presence again.
“Gaetano, I would like you to go with the princess to Murano. While you are there, I need you to try and find the apple for me and bring it back. Do you think you can do that?”
Seeing as it was exactly what he’d been intending to do, he certainly hoped so. But if he did find it, he was not bringing it back to Palazzo Foscari. He did not know what magic the apple held, he only knew he did not want Princess Zilia to have it.
He bowed. “I will do my best, Your Grace.”
She gave him one of her most charming smiles. “Thank you, Gaetano. I will give you command of the house guard for the trip. That should allow you more freedom of movement.”
“Very good, Your Grace.”
He wondered how long he would be in her favor when he failed to find the apple.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

Because of the travel, I’m afraid I won’t be getting to other folks’ blog for several days — just a little “sorry” in advance. 🙂 But I’ll be “seeing” you all again soon!

Writing for (a) Cthulhu

My writing progress this past week has been better than usual, and this is the reason:

Cthulhu

At the last Villa Diodati workshop in France, VD13 (for which I still have to write a report, mea culpa), Sylvia was crocheting these lovely little monsters, and she promised to make one for me and Nancy if we finished our WIPs by the end of January.

Well, when I got back from France, I got a bit distracted by Life complications that cropped up while I was gone. My writing suffered for a while as a result. But things are looking better now, and I really still want my Cthulhu. 🙂

When Life had calmed down a bit and I took a closer look at Facets of Glass, I realized I still had to get in about 1,000 words a day for the rest of the month if I wanted to earn my own personal monster.

This week I manged 6,800. 🙂

Wishing everyone a great week!