Tag Archives: Villa Diodati

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!

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Villa Diodati 12

Last week, I got back from the most recent Villa Diodati workshop, this time in southern Spain on the Costa del Sol.

Villa Diodati 12

It. Was. Amazing.

We were in a big, beautiful vacation home a 10 minutes walk from the ocean. The sun didn’t stop shining, except for one morning when it took a while for the haze to burn off. I added a day on the front and the back before the other workshop participants arrived and after they left, and I thoroughly enjoyed the amazing writing venue.

Writing in southern Spain

We talked.

We ate.

We drank.

We danced. No, really!

We even critiqued each other’s fiction. *g*

It might look like a party, which it was, but it was a writer party, where conversations continually revolved around writing projects, markets, marketing strategies, writing ideas, and words, words, words. I managed to finish the Big Fat Translation a couple of days before my flight, and the workshop was amazingly energizing. While I was there, Sylvia and I decided to take a shot at another collaborative story (during one of the many writing conversations), and since the workshop, I’ve gotten a big chunk of that done. I’ve also started analyzing the first draft of A Wasted Land and written a couple of new scenes. During the brainstorming session, I got some great ideas for the next book in the Glassmakers trilogy, and I started integrating those into my Scrivener file the next morning.

This workshop was a lot more informal than previous workshops. Normally, we critique in the mornings and do exercises in the afternoons. This time, we lazed around the pool or in the hot tub in the mornings, did our critiques in the afternoons, and had writing discussions in the evenings.

I put the first third of Recontact through the workshop, a collaborative novella I wrote with Jay Lake some time ago. While the feedback was largely positive, it has led me to the conclusion that I need to separate the prequel story and the novella proper after all. One of my beta readers also had problems with the change in style between what we had originally envisioned as the prequel story and the novella. And then during our marketing discussion, a number of markets were suggested for the novella that hadn’t existed when Jay and I first wrote it and sent it out to the few who would take 20,000+. All of which means I have a lot to think about regarding Recontact. 🙂

Naturally, we also played the Surreal / Surrealist Oracle, which has become something of a tradition at our workshop. (For instructions on how the game works, check out this blog post.)

A couple of interesting questions and answers from the Surreal Oracle:

Ruth: What’s your favorite orifice?
Sylvia: You really shouldn’t ask such a thing on a first date, ok?

Grayson: What would happen if GRRM found a small band of pygmies, all named Danyjon Targartron, camped in his back yard?
Jeff: The answer, as it is to most things, is hot chicks wearing styrofoam.

Steve: What’s the secret to a successful writing career?
Grayson: A bonfire will call the spirits, but you have to wear three pairs of underwear and shout “waha waha ooh” to get the bartenders to notice.

One of our evening writing sessions involved brainstorming a shared dystopian world that we all contributed story ideas to. I hope we’re able to follow through with it. I started my story (working title “Killing Twilight” and set in Forks, Washington) just after our first two members left us. Whether we will ever get around to doing the rest of the brainstorming, however, is another matter entirely. Now we are all back in our normal worlds, and there are many other things besides writing and writers clamoring for our attention.

But it was fun while it lasted. 🙂

The first rose of the year

Just to show you how weird the weather has been this year, when we were in the garden yesterday, I saw that the first rose had already bloomed:

Arthur Bell Rose
Arthur Bell in my garden

Once upon a day, I used to spend the first couple of weeks in May in North Carolina for a big three letter company, testing translations of computer programs. While there, one of the places I always visited was the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University. The roses there were invariably several weeks ahead of those in Germany:

Fair Bianca Rose in Duke Gardens
Fair Bianca at the Duke Gardens

By the time I got back from the Triangle, my own roses were just starting to bloom. This year, most of my rose bushes already have buds, and I’m sure several of those will be blooming by the end of April.

My progress is not quite as rosy. I continue to move forward on the translation, but not as quite as quickly as I would like, with all the socializing going on with my daughter here. I don’t see her every day anymore, though, so that’s important.

On the writing front, I’ve switched temporarily from editing Island of Glass to editing Recontact. Another Villa Diodati workshop is coming up beginning of May, and I want to hand in the first several chapters for critique. Before I do that, I need to address the comments I got from my lovely beta readers. Thanks again, you guys. 🙂

So while progress is slow, it’s there. I’m happy with that, given everything going on at the moment.

Hope everyone is getting off to a good start this round!

Consulting the Surreal Oracle, and another excerpt for #WIPpet Wednesdays

When I wrote up my report on the last Villa Diodati workshop a while ago, there was something I forgot, and that was to explain a little game we played called The Surreal Oracle. Ben Rosenbaum introduced the game at a workshop in southern France a couple years back, and we’ve been playing it off and on at Villa Diodati ever since. The rules are fairly simple. Each person writes down five random questions and five random answers on a piece of paper, like this:

The Surreal Oracle

Then you go around the circle and ask you neighbor the first question on your list, and he or she answers with their own first answer. To mix it up a bit, after you’ve finished a round, you can switch directions, or change places at the table, so it isn’t always the same people asking and answering. With a group of crazy writers, you can get some amazing answers out of the surreal oracle. Of course, most of the time, the questions and answers don’t fit, but enough of them do that whenever we play, I usually end up laughing so hard it hurts. Here are some of the questions and answers we had at the last workshop:

Ruth: How can you tell an ass from a donkey?
Jeff: How should I know? The sun was in my eyes and I was finding it difficult to grasp the shot glass.

Sylvia: What do you think is my most attractive feature?
Christian: That’s the worst pick-up line ever.

Jeremy: What advice would you give to your daughter?
Ruth: I think it should be Floris.

Floris: What is the best aspect of good foreplay?
Grayson: Slow torture will pretty much work every time.

Sylvia: How do you motivate yourself to write?
Jeff: All I remember is the cult leader, white smoke, and the speakers blasting ABBA.

I highly recommend the game, especially in a round of creative types. 🙂

On to the Nanowrimo front, I continue to make excellent ground on the new project and am now at 43,579 words for the month. At this rate, I might win it after all! I hope everyone else is doing great and happy with their progress.

So now that I have fulfilled my duty to my fellow workshoppers, and posted my Nanowrimo progress, I can continue on to Wednesday’s normal feature, WIPpet Wednesday! My math today (11-27) goes like this: 27-11=16. So I’m giving you 16 sentences from my still unnamed fugitive story:

She thought about buying a gun, but she hated the things, now even more than before, and she didn’t know how to use them anyway. She would just have to make sure that the bad guys didn’t catch up with her. She paid for the big ticket items with her credit card, stowed them in her station wagon (officially a crossover, but she still thought of it as a station wagon). She’d parked in the darkest corner of the the parking lot, and she used her screw drivers to steal a front license plate from a nearby car.
Then she returned to the store and bought food, pens, some basic medicines, a couple of spiral notebooks, and some books — in several consecutive runs through the cash register, paying with her debit card and asking for the limit of a hundred dollars cash back each time. She paid in cash for a wig, hair dye, and some large sunglasses.
When she was finished with her shopping spree, she stole a few more front license plates, this time from the employee parking lot, replacing them with a couple of the themed plates on a North Carolina background that she’d bought. She only hoped that would keep the owners from noticing the theft right away.
After she left the superstore, she drove south on Fayetteville Road and pulled into the parking lot of a nearby church. Luckily, urban planning in North Carolina was very nearly non-existent, and outside of the actual city centers, suburbs and shopping malls and industrial parks were like bird droppings on the landscape, usually with plenty of undeveloped fields and trees between the buildings.
In the deserted parking lot, Amber took off her own license plates and replaced the front with one proclaiming, “Hell was so full I came back.” Then she replaced the back with one of the stolen plates. She didn’t want to get rid of her own plates so close to home — although, when she thought about it, once they started going after her, they would be able to trace her easily enough to the superstore up-road.
Across the street from the church was a thickly wooded area. She jogged across the street and hid the license plates under some bushes not far from the road.
By the time she was done, it was almost midnight — which meant she could plunder her bank accounts one last time.

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. 🙂

Villa Diodati 11, Or: Why didn’t we get this organized earler???

VD11

The past (long) weekend, I was off in the Black Forest for another Villa Diodati workshop — the first one in over a year. The last workshop was in April 2012 in southern England. But with one thing and another (most of the anothers having to do with the fact that I’ve been too caught up in my indie career and haven’t been taking responsibility like a dictator should), we’ve missed two workshop dates. Until last year, the workshop met twice a year since its inception in 2007, at various places throughout Europe, organized each time by a different workshop member.

I will try to readjust my priorities so that won’t happen again. Meeting with crazy — er, helpful — fellow writers face to face is a wonderful thing, and the energy generated is amazing and stimulating and inspirational.

This time we met at Casa Cristina in Herrischried, about an hour from the Basel airport. The workshop began with multiple catastrophes. While I was still on the train to Basel, I got a call from Floris, the organizer this round — the flight he was on with two other workshop members had been canceled, as had Jeff’s flight from Nice. That amounted to two-thirds of the folks who were going to arrive on Friday.

At least the weather was absolutely unbelievable for Germany in late October, and I sat around in a park across the street from the Schopfheim train station until Jeff and Jeremy picked me up. Floris and Co. rented a car and drove down from Amsterdam, not arriving at Casa Cristina until after 9 pm.

The next morning, Christian joined us, and Sylvia went on a shopping spree — when their flight in Amsterdam was canceled, she hadn’t been able to claim her bag, since she was coming from England.

Normally we critique in the morning and do various writing exercises in the afternoon, but with all the complications this time around, we had to set the critique sessions in the afternoon. Given the amazing weather, we attempted to have it outside on the patio, but unfortunately, the wasps soon chased us back inside.

VD11

This year, we had two new members, Grayson Morris and Jeremy Sim, who provided both excellent stories and excellent critiques. I will be looking forward to reading more of their work in the future.

A bit of background: I originally organized the Villa Diodati workshop for expat writers of speculative fiction in Europe, since it’s difficult for us to find crit groups where we live. From the first workshop on, however, we also had non-native speakers who wrote in English. And when Stephen Gaskell joined our ranks, we had our first member who didn’t really need us, seeing as he has more immediate access to other writers writing in English. We’re obviously just too cool to resist. 🙂

First results with Pomodoro, and an excerpt from Island of Glass for #WIPpet Wednesday

Today I’ve been applying the Pomodoro technique for the first time to try and become more disciplined about the tasks on my to-do list, and I’m quite pleased with the results so far. Once I’ve been working with it longer, I will write a post on it in more detail, assuming it continues to work for me. 🙂

Most of what I’ve been doing today, however, has been the Big Translation Project. I don’t have much in the way of new material for A Wasted Land, although I’ve spent a lot of time on it in the last few days. But that was whipping the prologue and first chapter into shape for the next Villa Diodati workshop, coming up on October 18. (While writing this post, I just noticed that we are now mentioned in Wikipedia — how cool is that? *g*) This will be the first workshop in over a year. I am the ostensible workshop dictator, but recently I’ve been putting all my energy into my “indie career” (whatever that is), and I’ve gotten very lax about my dictator duties, meaning nothing happened for a long time. But earlier this year I appointed a Vice Dictator, and now we finally have another workshop scheduled. It will be fun to babble, er exchange critiques with a bunch of crazy writers again!

Anyway, since I don’t have any new scenes to offer for WIPpet Wednesday, I decided to offer the first 9 sentences (for Oct. 9) of Island of Glass — also a WIP, after all, if a lot farther along than A Wasted Land:

Chiara wiped her hands on her apron and lifted the goblet up to the light, inspecting her work critically. The fluted glass flared out like a lily beginning to bloom, and as hard as she tried, she could find no discoloring or bubbles. She breathed a sigh of relief; a nearly perfect piece. It would command a high price among the nobles of Venice and beyond.
The work of the Murano glassmakers was in great demand throughout the world. Their craftsmanship was the basis of their riches — and their curse. Out of fear they might reveal trade secrets, the laws of La Serenissima decreed that members of the glassmaking families of Murano were never to leave the islands of their lagoon. Murano glass was more precious than gold, after all. Anyone who knew the recipe of the alchemists could make gold, but only the artisans of Murano could make glass so fine, one could nearly touch one’s fingers together on either side; cristallo without an imperfection or blemish, clear as the sky, with a sparkle to rival that of diamonds.

For WIPpet Wednesday, those who want to participate post an excerpt from a current WIP that somehow relates to the date. The rest of the snippets can be found here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for creating the meme!

Author spotlight with me on OWW, the usefulness of writing workshops, and another ebook up

In the last post, I forgot to mention (because I forgot about it in the first place *g*), that the October newsletter of the Online Writing Workshop did their spotlight with yours truly. You can read it here.

I was a member of OWW for many years, and I’m sure I learned at least as much in that workshop as I did at Clarion West. My most successful short stories (in terms of award nominations), Looking Through Lace and Mars: A Traveler’s Guide, both went though OWW. Although I have to admit, the Mars story got some very strange critiques, but I was expecting that, since it’s a very strange story. My favorite was the comment that the story flatly didn’t work, because there were no characters. 🙂 Bingo!

But one of the wonderful things about participating in a workshop is learning how to take critique, learning to distinguish when it’s meaningful for your own vision of the story, and when you can just shrug and say — okay, obviously not my target reader. (If you think everyone who critiques your story is not your target audience, you might want to think again …) Or on yet another level, when you see that the critiques indicate you have a specific problem, but you realize you need to tackle it in a completely different way than your critters suggest. Learning to analyze the effectiveness of plot, characterization, setting, and description when writing critiques of others’ works is also very educational. All these things are important tools for a writer’s toolbox, and I think participating in a peer workshop is one of the best ways to learn them. I know there are a lot of authorities out there who claim participating in workshops is a waste of time and can even be harmful, since it will lead writers away from their own original voice. But what if a writer’s original voice tends to include a lot of head-hopping in terms of pov, or doesn’t sufficiently ground the reader in the setting? I know that’s the way I wrote before I went to Clarion West or started participating in OWW, and I don’t know how I would have developed a voice anyone would have cared to read for more than a few pages without those workshops.

These days, the only workshop I participate in regularly is Villa Diodati, the face-to-face workshop I founded for writers in Europe, which only meets twice a year. So obviously I seem to be of the opinion that with time and experience, workshops become less important for a writer. Nonetheless, I think it’s silly for published writers to warn those less experienced than themselves of the dangers of workshops, without admitting that a writer can learn a lot from the feedback of other writers. Yes, if I had taken the critique seriously that Mars: A Traveler’s Guide needed some characters, I would have turned it into a completely average story about a stranded space tourist. But I wouldn’t have been skilled enough to write a Nebula-award nominated short story without everything I learned from workshops — and by that time, I also knew which advice to take and which advice to toss.

I wasn’t really intending to get into a long essay about the usefulness of workshops. Call it my homage to OWW. 🙂

Anyway, I didn’t get a lot of writing done this week, but I do have the first completed goal to cross off my to-do list for the last quarter of the year: I got my short story, “Misty and the Magic Pumpkin Knife” uploaded to Amazon:


Once again, I wimped out on the description. This time, I just quoted the first paragraph of the story:

Misty Mankin hated Halloween. She hated ghosts and princesses and black and orange. Especially orange. She hated frozen pumpkin pie, the most common kind in Rolynka, Alaska. She hated witches and masks and what qualified as seasonal office parties near the Arctic Circle. She hated all the interruptions of her evening accompanied by screaming and giggling and variations from innocent to profane on the three words “trick or treat.”
She particularly hated the pumpkin knife — and the fact that it contained the ghost of her mother…

“Misty and the Magic Pumpkin Knife” is a short story of approximately 5,000 words (20 pages), a new installment in the series “Tales From Far Beyond North.”

Comments and suggestions welcome, as usual. Hope everyone had a great week!

Villa Diodati 10: On the joy of hanging out with other writers

Very late Wednesday, I got back from the most recent Villa Diodati workshop, a peer workshop for speculative fiction writers living all over Europe and writing in English.

Yet another dorky group shot

This time we met in Southern England at a “cottage” organized by Steve Gaskell, and I think it’s safe to say that it was one of the most productive workshops we have ever had. The first “exercise” we did after critiques and lunch on the first day was a two hour long writing challenge. In preparation, we sat around the generous kitchen table and each of us said what we intended to do during our writing time. It wasn’t a word sprint, although there were people whose goal was to get as many words as possible completed. I originally intended to do the same thing. But then Floris said his goal was to revise the story we critiqued in the morning and send it off during the course of the workshop. Now, in the last couple of years I have developed the very bad habit of 1) not getting my stories back out after they’ve come home, and 2) for the newer ones, not even doing the final revisions in the first place and never sending them out at all. So instead of jumping right back into Chameleon in a Mirror, I decided to change my goal and revise one of the stories I’d brought to a Villa Diodati workshop a couple of years before and send it out before the workshop was over, just like Floris.

Not only did I do that, the next day we also had a little submission party where we went around the table, described a story or two we needed to get back out into the market, and sent them out right there and then. I got four submissions done that way. Altogether, among the seven of us, we sent out a total of about thirty submissions and queries — and before the workshop was over, we had our first acceptance (not for me, unfortunately …)

In addition to the submissions, I completed over 5000 words on the new version of Chameleon in a Mirror. I also got excellent feedback from my fellow writers on the first chapter and synopsis, including some great ideas on how to make the main character’s goals more consistent.

It’s a good thing I got so much done during the workshop — my progress has come to a standstill since. This weekend, we’re babysitting the little ones while Son and Significant Other are off to Leipzig for a birthday party. Next week, my brother will also be visiting, so since I returned from Britain, I’ve been setting up the spare room as a children’s room / guest room. Originally we wanted to make it our bedroom and move lots of other stuff around, but goals change, as we know …

So right now, the granddaughters are sleeping next door, and I still haven’t gotten any more writing done since the workshop. But we had a lovely day in the garden, and the girls had a wonderful time digging in the dirt, climbing trees, and using heavy machinery. Today it was like summer in southern Germany, and I got the first color in my face. Might not be writing, but I’m a bit ahead of the game because of the workshop. 🙂

The first Villa Diodati was in the autumn of 2007, and we’ve been through a lot with each other since then, so much so, that it’s a bit like a secondary family. So thank you, my wonderful writer clan, for another inspiring workshop. Here’s to a couple more publications and awards to our collective names before we meet again.

More:

Aliette de Bodard’s Villa Diodati 10 Report

Floris Kleijne’s workshop report

Villa Diodati Workshop Report

I meant to write this report some time ago, but life around were was crazy after I got back from the workshop and a short trip to Alsace.

Maison Pfister in Colmar

A bit of background first: the Villa Diodati Workshop is our “local” speculative fiction workshop — local here meaning Europe. What draws us together is that we all write science fiction and fantasy in English, whether that is our native language or not. The original idea was that those of us writing in English in the midst of a culture speaking another language don’t have real access to face-to-face workshops. But we are so awesome that we’ve also attracted a couple of people who live in Britain and don’t have that excuse to hang out with us twice a year for a long weekend of writing and critiquing.

At the end of November, we met for the second time at Hanebecks Hof in the Black Forest, a big two story vacation rental with room for up to 11 people — and lots of space to hide out and write. The first evening, we had a discussion of ebooks and writing (which reminds me, I still haven’t shared the links to my John Locke posts with the other participants, which I hereby do: 1 2).

Hanebecks Hof

At the Villa Diodati workshop, we try to balance critiquing with exercises, writing discussions and brainstorming. Each participant brings only one story or novel chapter / synopsis, which leaves us time for other activities. We have critique sessions in the morning and writing-related stuff in the afternoon. This year, besides the discussion of ebooks and self-publishing, here are some of the things we did:
– we had a brainstorming session where we took turns picking the group mind regarding a story problem or something new we want to work on. I ran my unfinished convicts on Callisto story past the brilliant bunch and got a lot of great ideas as to how I might be able to create the necessary complications.
– we traded story prompts and did a word sprint, starting a new story based on the things we pulled from the bowl. I started a silly piece about the Prince of Redondo Beach who has the hots for the Wizard of California and doesn’t even notice that there’s a revolution going on …

Jeff and John working hard at VD9

And of course, as usual, we ate very well, much too well, with an overabundance of French deli meats and cheeses, bought by John on the way to the workshop. We trade off cooking each night, and this year we had boudin noir, Texas style bbq chicken by yours truly, pork tenderloin with mushroom sauce and spätzle — and so many spätzle left over, that I made Käsespätzle (the German version of macaroni and cheese) the next day from the leftovers and some of the tons of cheese that had been dragged across the border from France.

Once again, a very fun and productive workshop. Thanks to all the Villa Diodatians!

Participants of VD9

Since things have calmed down here after Villa Diodati and Stuttgart Turkey Day, I’ve been concentrating on getting Yseult ready to bring out as an ebook, so no new fiction for now. I’m hoping to have Yseult up before Christmas, and that is my single most pressing writing goal at the moment.

How Much Blog is Enough Blog? Or; how I doubled my fiction output in just one month!

I’ve been doing some reassessing (as well as a lot of fiction writing!), and both are part of the reason I haven’t been posting to my blog much lately. I’ve met tons of wonderful people through the blogosphere, but at some point I realized I was spending way too much time on this stuff, to the detriment of my fiction production. While I was reassessing, I read couple of posts that really struck a chord with me. In “Blog ennui and platforms built of bodies” Susan Bischoff summed up pretty much exactly the way I felt:

We’re all under so much pressure to publish content, any content, just to get it out there, on a regular basis, regardless of its quality. Okay, most of that’s pressure we put on ourselves because that’s what we do. But still, we’re not the freakin’ Borg and that idea’s coming from somewhere.

We’re going to commit to blogging three times a week. Doesn’t matter what we blog about. Doesn’t matter what our motivation is for typing the words on the screen, the important thing is just to get it out there and then go promote it. Do I know in my gut that this is a good post, that I wrote it for purpose, that I had something to offer? Screw that, doesn’t matter, promote that bitch and let’s get some numbers on that stats page. Because if we don’t, someone else will and we’ll be lost in the sea of social media noise. If we don’t stop moving we’ll die, DIE!!! and then this platform we’ve been struggling to build, body by b–er, I mean, plank by posty goodness plank of brilliance will be CRUSHED!

I had started feeling like I didn’t really have anything to say, but that’s no excuse: there’s this meme out there telling us if we don’t post at least twice a week, we’re committing social media suicide. I was spending so much time on writing posts and visiting other people’s sites and commenting and trying to be a good community member, it was getting hard to find the time to actually write fiction, which is what I supposedly do (when I’m not translating interfaces and computer manuals). Another thing was, after I started blogging twice a week, I didn’t see any real increase in ebook sales. Yes, my Twitter followers increased dramatically, from next-to-nothing to a little more than next-to-nothing. (For some reason, my number of Facebook “friends” is exploding, even though I don’t use Facebook much at all anymore. Go figure.) But sales? They just trickled along in the same leisurely way they had before.

So I stopped. I dived off the bridge and committed social media suicide. In the last month, I’ve only posted to my blog twice. And I’ve gotten about 36,000 words of fiction written. In the four weeks before that, my output was less than 16,000. Part of the increase in word count is of course due to the fun and games of Nanowrimo, but not all. I’m working on putting Writing First, and while I still get caught in the time trap of reading email when I should be writing, I tend to start writing earlier than I used to, as long as I remind myself of my new mantra: without fiction, platform is schmatform. And – SURPRISE! – when I spend more time on writing fiction, I get more words of fiction created.

A couple of other posts I would recommend in this context:

The Red Pen of Doom, “The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books”

Kait Nolan, “Social Media Ennui”

Kristen Lamb, “Beware the Social Media Snuggie–One Size Does NOT Fit All”

In other news, a Hungarian website put up an article talking about me and my novellas “Looking Through Lace” and “Beyond the Waters of the World,” as well as several other writers with free fiction up on the Internet. I can’t read it, but I still think it’s cool! One of these days, I’ll chase the thing through an online translator and get a chuckle at the results.

Another nice bit of recognition came from the new site for St Michael’s church in Harbledown near Cantebury, the church where the most likely candidate for the real Aphra Behn was baptized. They asked permission to link to my Aphra Behn page, and naturally I told them I would be honored.

I’m off to the next Villa Diodati workshop this week, so my fiction production will most likely drop off again, since I have to read a bunch of stories and write critiques. But at least after that I will have something to blog about — a workshop report. 🙂