Viable Paradise – Saturday

“Matt – I will always remember your name!  Now go write!”
-inscription inside of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi


The saddest day of the workshop. The day it all ends.

People started leaving early, some even the night before.  There was a small gathering in the Staff Den for a mixed breakfast and more teary farewells.  I got and gave plenty of hugs, a lot of handshakes.  “Zeus” (Scalzi) roused himself from sleep and said goodbye from the balcony.

Steven Gould drove George, Christian, Darice, Lisa, and I to the ferry which took us back to Woods Hole.  George left before the bus ride to the airport. I was the first one to get off at the airport.

I spent the next three hours sitting at the terminal in Boston/Logan waiting for my flight.  After a week of being surrounded by people, I was quite lonely.  I paid for Internet and watched people’s Twitter feeds as they boarded planes or the ferry or made their way home.  I had lunch in a bar, read a book, and didn’t talk to a soul.

Then I got on a flight (delayed when the President of the United States decided to hit Boston for a brief bit) and headed to Chicago.  Dinner was in another empty restaurant.  Then, at last, the short hop to Dubuque.

When my plane landed, Steph was waiting for me and I gave her a hell of a hug.  She was the one who pushed me to apply to VP and supported me every step of the way.  There wasn’t a chance I could have done it without her.  We drove to my parents house, spent the night, then headed home the next day to face reality.

Without a doubt, Viable Paradise has been a changing point in my life.  I learned a ton – about writing and about myself. I meet some awesome people.  They are now part of my VP tribe.  They are all damn talented and deserve all the success that comes their way (and it will, I’m sure of it).

I went to Viable Paradise to find out if I had what it took to become a writer.  I answered that question and one more:

Yes, I have what it takes to be a writer.

And this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.


4 thoughts on “Viable Paradise – Saturday

  1. This makes me so sad.

    My return home was punctuated by a visit to friends in Boston, and a bit of a rush between flights. I didn’t have time to be too sad until I was sick on Monday and home alone.

    The sense of loss then…

    We should all try to reunion for some writing. You know I am nearby, and if you ever want to get together and jam for writing, I am just down the road.

    You are a writer. It will be cool to finally see your Astro Boy story in print.



  2. Hey Matt, Thanks for putting this all together. My guy asked me why I hadn’t said much about VP on my blog, I told him I didn’t have to, and sent him here. I’ve read the whole thing, and I’m so glad I went.


  3. Thanks for the kind words 🙂

    I think we tripled the amount of information on VP out on the web with this class alone. We’re like the first real ‘blog’ class. My only disappointment was that I didn’t take more photographs.


  4. Yep, the lack of photos on my part is also appalling. I have a good excuse, though, as my wife had the camera most of the time.

    And your last line, whenever I repeat that internally since I made the same decision, I smile.


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