It was an excellent, amazing week. Maureen McHugh is rock’n’roll.
She said a lot of very great, very simple but not necessarily straightforward things… or rather, straightforward things I’ve never heard before, and somehow already heard before at the same time. She is bristlingly intelligent, wonderfully friendly. I some really good advice one-on-one, and lots of great thoughts in critique sessions.
Maureen did some wonderful exercises with us, including one which was directly useful to me in writing the story I handed in on Wednesday night. It was due tonight (Sunday, a long time later) but I drafted it —
100,000 10,000 words of it — in a couple of days and had it pretty much done. I’ve since discovered that the chirality of molecules isn’t the only thing that would have to be modified for the story to work, but I’ve got a pretty good explanation of why the modification that would make my story work would be necessary. If nobody in the class picks up on my MAJOR science blunder, then I’ll bring it up myself and see what the reaction to my fix is. It’s one of those stories I REALLY want to work, because the rest of the thing makes the science something I want to tweak so I don’t have to abandon it.
Anyway, I’m going to go try to call Lime, and then go to bed. Tomorrow will be a long day: I’ll have to try draft some of my next story then. I have a vague idea about a first line:
He always talks about his days in the House of Lords, but the first time I saw him, he was chained to the floor in the hold of the slave ship that brought us to Peking…
We’ll see what happens… and whether my research will actually pay off.
A couple of themes have emerged, and one of the ones that keeps coming up is the idea of a “Needs Killin'” story. It’s a Texan thing. I’m sure I’ll mention it again. I’m thinking the world needs a Needs Killin’ anthology.