November 28th, 2006

Don't bother with

An Open Letter to

I'm a very active opponent of the current administration. I'm very active in my Bayview/Hunters Point community. I grew up poor and in minority neighborhoods, and I'm interested in all efforts to improve the situation for minorities, oppressed and frankly everyone other than the rich.

However, after subscribing to your list I've seen nothing other than undocumented claims, insults and catcalls. I'm seeing no activity against the administration other than heckling from the sidelines, of which there is far too much.

You can't change anything by hurling insults from the sidelines. Mixing undocumented claims with direct quotes and documented facts makes it impossible for me to take your publication seriously.
conventions, party

Writer? where?

So at LosCon this last weekend (sorry for the late update) I went to a workship named "Spontaneous Writing". I figured it would be "you have 5 minutes to write about ..." kind of exercises, which I have always thought were fun. Well... not so much.

It turns out that the description in the book was wrong. The workshop was an opportunity for writers to read one page of a story, and to get comments, encouragement and criticism from members of the Fictionados, an LA group who do Clarion-style peer review of each others stories.

I got there early, and overhead the problem. It looked like only one person had a story. Well, what the hell -- so I took a story that had been floating in my brain for about a year and tossed it down on paper ... er, my laptop. Thankfully, so did a lot of other people.

I, myself, was blown away by how many people jumped to the task and how good so many of the entries were. It was inspiring to see how much people could pull out of their heads so fast. Wow.

My story got really, really good reviews. Good enough reviews that it shocked me, though I have to admit I totally cheated. Most of the criticisms of the other stories were around the way the writer tried to describe the character or the circumstance. I cheated -- my character was a mystery, their motives were a mystery and the character was incoherent. How do you avoid common writers' mistakes? DUCK!!! :-)

I also had an advantage -- I had more public speaking experience than most, and my piece was written in a manner that timing and delivery really matter. So that helped. I tried to repeat it later in the lobby with overhead music, and I totally flubbed it there.

But anyway, some of the Fictionados are pushing me to publish it. Half want me to finish it, the other half want me to submit it as Flash Fiction. Which, hell, I didn't even know existed until they brought it to my attention. So we'll see. I'm heartily amused and I hope to limit my involvement in this enough to keep it enjoyable :-)