Saturday, August 24, 2013

Salisbury writer's forum

Today I went to my second writing conference. Lots of good thoughts, but I'm tired and headachy, and I've worn heel far too long today. So, here are a few highlights from my notes.

There is no big secret to getting published. Work hard at your craft.

Each project brings new challenges. Some lessons learned will be helpful; others might hold your writing back. Learn when to rewrite and when to leave it alone for a while.

A memory file (the mind) needs frequent updates. That's why some of us write.

Successful writers have at least one of the following:
  --A spouse who earns a lot of money. Allows freedom to devote oneself to writing.
  --Personal ability to not feel responsible for other people.
  --The capacity to generate a revenue stream from writing related activities (speaking, involvement in conferences and workshops, etc.).
  --Good enough to get out of Australian market.

First page reading by editors/agents showed how subjective liking someone's work is. None of the submissions were universally liked, though basically if one person hated it, everyone hated it. There is a basic level of good writing, but beyond that it's subjective. I really wish I'd submitted something, but oh well--next year.

Lots more, but mostly it was just fun to hang out with a bunch of other writers.

Friday, August 23, 2013


A few nights ago my husband and I watched Oblivion. Visually it's a stunning. The genesis of the movie in a graphic novel is obvious.


I'm enough of a scientist that I have a hard time shutting off the analytic/logical part of my brain. While I can kind of ignore little logic holes in fantasy by pretending there are just different physics (to a degree, in any case) I'm very critical of science fiction. Thus, my not so impressedness with Beth Revis' "Across the Universe."

Oblivion falls short for me in the logic. Not that I can totally remember everything, but there were enough little things--claiming Chicago sits on bedrock; no explanation of the aliens stealing Earth's water when there are other more water-rich planets in our solar system; Tom Cruise's magic impregnation of his wife who was an astronaut and thus almost certainly on birth control; the convenient way in which the plot drives when the probes get shot, rather than there being, I don't know, a spot on them that has to be hit--enough little things that bugged me just enough that I couldn't quite turn off the science brain.