And thus begins the journal of Viable Paradise…
I went to Viable Paradise to find out if I had what it took to become a writer.
The trip began at the ungodly hour of 4:30am. That’s when Steph dropped me off at the Dubuque airport to catch a 6am flight. In retrospect, I could have shown up at 5:55 and still made it. Yeah, Dubuque is that small of an airport. In any case, all my flights were uneventful. Arriving in Boston, I was met by Julia Rios who gave me a lift to Woods Hole where we caught a ferry to the island. Once again, uneventful except for some nice scenery.
When the ferry docked, we disembarked and found Steven Gould waiting for us. There were a couple of other students too (Leah and Lisa, I think, I was pretty tired). We all jumped in the van and were whisked away to our home for the next week – the Island Inn Resort. Checked in and headed up to the Staff Den to get our keys and were introduced to Bart, Kate, and Mac (of Absolute Write fame), then headed down to our rooms.
Nothing really started until later that evening, so I had time to get settled in and take a few photos. The Resort is a pretty nice place. VP took over most of Building G. I had a nice view out of my window and the main conference room was downstairs so that was easy to reach. The rooms – yeah, they were large and comfy.
Come evening, we all headed downstairs for the Meet and Greet. The staff was pretty cool – Bart, Mac, and Kate, all former VP Alumni and by god, they were fantastic throughout the week. Students came from all over the place. California, Texas, Oregon, Iowa, Northeast coast, Florida, the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. We were presented with our toys (more on that later) and Jim MacDonald informed us that we were all 100 pages behind in our reading.
Of course, we didn’t all rush to our rooms to start critiquing. Nope. We had ourselves a nice dinner, then sat around chatting for quite a while. During a conversation with John Scalzi, he asked our little group our guilty reading pleasures. I said “Heroes Die by Matthew Stover“. Instant high-five from Scalzi, and then about six other people. Wow. I was surrounded by people who liked Stover. I’ve never been near another person who liked Stover.
This was my type of crowd.
After a couple of games of Mafia and Thing, we all retired to our rooms. I was up until 1am critiquing the story for the next day. Little did I know, that was early. VP had just begun…