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Connnie Willis Fantastic Fction Workshop and Reading

Connie Willis headlined February's Fantastic Fiction Workshop Series with grace, wit, and skill.  I've heard Connie discuss writing in relationship to student manuscripts being critiqued many times during the Clarion West workshops she's taught, but I've never had the good fortune to hear her compress her thoughts about any one aspect of the craft of writing into one long session.  It sunk in and I got it, I really got it.

Connie is the Queen of In Between. In between beginnings and endings that is. She chose to focus on the middle of stories or novels and provided a number of tools to help move the plot forward in surprising ways.  She used hilarious examples from films and reminded us that the basic techniques for writing good science fiction are no different from those of other kinds of literature.  She talked about character and plot as being inseparable, and illustrated this point with many clear examples.   Connie closed the day with a great handout on science fiction tropes that we discussed before calling it a wrap.  Several people who were in the workshop have posted their notes online, so I won't go into anymore detail here other than to say that the day provided us all with new tools for our writer's toolbox and plenty of rich inspiration.  Did I remember to say how much fun it was to spend a day writing and talking about writing with Connie Willis and the great group of writers in attendance?  It was fun, folks, really fun.  We laughed as we learned and it was indeed a fun day!

On Monday, Connie was interviewed by Nancy Pearl of Book Lust and More Book Lust  fame.  You know Nancy;  she's the former Seattle Librarian who was the head of the Washington Center for the Book and the only Librarian with her very own Deluxe Librarian Action Figure. http://www.mcphee.com/items/11548.html  Some of you may have heard Nancy's radio show on NPR  http://www.kuow.org/programs/thebeat_books.asp, but this interview was for her TV show.  It turns out that Nancy is a fan of Connie's work and the two had a great time during the interview.  See photo below.

Connie's Monday night reading at the Fantastic Fiction Salon at Richard Hugo House was highly entertainig.  She read from the novel she's been hard at work on the last few years, "All Clear,"  and I can't wait to read the whole thing!

More later...


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Not bad at all
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