So, the Bathroom Monologues have been a little quiet lately, and they’ll be a little quieter next week. I’ve got a fresh Bathroom Monologue for Tuesday, and a Friday Flash ready for the following Friday, but otherwise, I may be off the internet entirely.
Where am I going? Viable Paradise.
No, it’s not a cult. It sounds like a cult. When I first heard Moses Siregar III mention it, I thought he was saying “Bible Paradise,” which made the reverence sound even more cult-like.
|Okay, that slogan is slight cult-ish too.|
But it’s actually an intense weeklong workshop with several of the leading editors and authors in American Fantasy and Science Fiction. Of particular excitement for me are Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, two lead editors from Tor, and novelists Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear. Lynch is coming in straight off a press tour for Republic of Thieves, which I imagine will be a whirlwind.
I’ve seen a few peers surprised or even angry that I applied to a workshop. I’ve hesitated to write about this, but, what the hell. It’s as though they thought they were about as good as me, and they jumped into self-publishing thinking they were good enough to go immediately, and I’m offending them by taking more pains for craft. It’s a weird position to be in, and I’ve yet to deal well with one of these arguments. Responding to being yelled at by neither a) deflecting nor b) turning belligerent is one of those abilities I certainly need to hone. I have, perhaps, too strong a desire to engage.
The truth is that I push myself very hard in my writing, am enormously self-critical, read as much as I can, and never feel like I do enough. This year my health failed enough that I could no longer keep up my writing schedule, which is a big part of why the Bathroom Monologues are no longer daily. And there are small presses that would take my novels at this point, but I want to run them through a real crucible. There are many things to get out of Viable Paradise, and for a year now this has been the planned precipice. I’m returning to hard subs and publishing plans as soon as I leave.
Friends Theresa Bazelli and Brent Bowen are both graduates of VP and have glowing words for it. Whatever it says about me, I’m most looking forward to critiquing my fellow students’ work, to helping others toward perfecting their craft. That’s a unity I cherish in prose communities.
Yet I’m not excited, as I don’t get excited about many important things. I get excited about dumb things, like going to Pacific Rim with a friend, or an ice cream break at the end of a diet week. The wait for VP feels like learning to walk again, and going to college, and having surgery. God willing it’ll be more fun than surgery, but my head is just in Wait Mode until the minute things actually happen and demand response.
What it will all amount to for you, my beloved faithful readers, is a series of novels that will be worth your time. I will not waste your time.