Viable Paradise – Friday

… Until Hell Won’t Have It.


The day started with a collegium on Research led by DD who showed us how to become an expert on any subject in just two weeks.  Hint – it involves going to your Library *gasp*.  A whole lot of people offered advice, things that I’d never thought of before.  Even a simple thing like adding +diagram to a Google search can make a world of difference.

That was followed up by a lecture on The State of the Industry by PNH.  He started off with some sobering news, such as the fact that 50% of Americans never set foot in a bookstore in the span of a year.  I mean, seriously?  I knew that people didn’t read as much because of TV and the Internet, but half the country?  Damn.  He also went over how the publishing industry got to where it was today.  In all, it was quite interesting.

On the flip side, we can’t worry about what we can’t control.  Just write the best damned story we can and the rest will take care of itself.  As PNH said, “Luck is the residue of preparation.”

After lunch, we had our final collegium led by JMD.  It covered a variety of subjects, all covering how to get your story into print.  Every bit of it useful information.  I finally figured out how to craft a good query letter.  That’ll at least help me get my foot in the door.  Then my story can take it the rest of the way.

The rest of the day was time to kill until dinner, a mix of all the previous meals we had all week and a delicious chili-dog casserole made by Sean.  I couldn’t eat that, but God, did it smell good.  After dinner, we had to take the Viable Paradise Oath:

I vow to write, to finish what I write, to revise what I finish, to send it out (to paying markets) until Hell won’t have it, and to tell everyone that Viable Paradise is the Best! Workshop! Ever!

We were now Viable Paradise XIII alumni, part of a larger tribe of exclusive writers.  Teary farewells finished off the night.  George, Irina, Eric, Steve, Miranda, Leah, SG, and I spent hours sitting in Scalzi’s room, chatting about anything and everything.  Others drifted in and out throughout the night.  We didn’t leave until 2:30am.

VP XIII Alumni
Back Row – Jim MacDonald, Ferrett, Andrew, Sean, Eric, Matt (me), Steve, Lisa, George
3rd Row – John Scalzi, Bart, Darice, Robyn, Leah, Julia, Chia, Brent, Christian
2nd Row – Elizabeth Bear, Debra Doyle, Kat, Brandie, Lara, Miranda, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Laura Mixon
1st Row – Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Marion, Cath, Bo, Irina, Chris
Laying Down – Steven Gould

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