Chaos Attraction

Yakking About Writing

2006-12-07, 2:03 p.m.

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Hey, this will be an actual fun entry! Whee!

Anyhoo, I had writer's group last night.

Normally we have about 7 or 8 regulars in the group. Occasionally someone will join, come to a meeting once, then disappear, never to be heard from again. (What's especially fun are the people who submit stuff to critique and THEN don't show up. What the hell?) Since I joined I think there have been two other new people who showed up more than once, and they dropped out (one moved, one had personal issues). So it usually boils down to the core people.

Well, a ton of people have joined recently. I don't know if it's all because of NaNoWriMo (I did recognize two people from NaNo, huzzah!) or what. Admittedly, there was still a fair chunk of Flake Factor going on, with one guy coming and then disappearing before the meeting started, one person submitting work and then dropping out on the day of the meeting, and one who submitted stuff and then realized she had to leave the state. But that still boiled down to five new people staying through the whole meeting, and two of them submitted stuff AND SHOWED UP. Wow! And they all contributed and said interesting things! I'm hoping we'll get a good return rate in the future, they seemed like good people.

For the record, this group is not nearly as scary as you might think from the preceding paragraphs. Honest. Really.

Anyway, there was even more unusual excitement going on, when a fellow approached us, saying that someone had told him he should come over and talk to the writer's group. He was soon followed by two friends.

Who were these folks, you ask?

Brandon Sanderson, David Farland/Wolverton, and L.E. Modesitt, Jr., all on book tour. They came over and talked to us for like an hour. Which was fabulous- they all talked about how they'd gotten published, how their careers were going, stuff about publishers and agents. (Suffice it to say, I always was impressed by Tor, and that opinion has not been diminished any. If I wrote straight-on sci-fi/fantasy, I'd send to them first.) They were really great. And if I ever end up going on a book tour, I'm thinking bringing friends along is a good idea.

(To the authors, should any of y'all find this: hi, I was the one knitting through the entire meeting in Natomas. How's the book tour going?)

After they left to continue the tour, and we finished going through people's pieces, we had a discussion about procrastination. Another chick in the group and I were griping about how we never get anything done (in my case, I don't seem to get much done outside of NaNo), so we kinda wanted to discuss these things. Richard has actually offered us nagging services, which Ellen is taking advantage of and I think I will be doing in January.
Another group member, Dale, who does consulting with regards to resistance, said that people are less likely to work on something when they have it in their heads that they "should" be writing. (My apologies to Mur Lafferty.) People start regarding it as homework and thus something to rebel against. I can't argue with that at all. Dale said you should be trying to reframe it to "I WANT to be writing," not so much that it's a "should." Good points.

Oh, and on a silly bit of fluffy trivia: anyone who's been in a Borders of late has probably seen that they sell $5 miniature trees in funky colors. I got one last year- a screeching hot pink one. This year, ah...I've decided to collect an entire forest of 'em. Yes, I am a dork. I bought a ah, disco tree at the previous meeting and bought a blue tree at this one. I suspect I will buy another one (probably black, for Halloween or something) at the next meeting. And I got some pink disco balls to hang off the screaming pink tree.

Now I have five fake trees in all (two regular old green ones from childhood too). What can I say, decoration is my thing.

I haven't figured out where the hell I stashed most of the ornaments yet, but here's what the forest looks like so far:

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