Am I really home again? Viable Paradise already feels like it might have been just a very good dream. I've woken smiling, but my head is still heavy and full of the dreaming.
I left the workshop genuinely sad to say goodbye. The staff were amazing! They took such good care of us. If you were ever hungry, or needed someone to chat with at midnight, there was always someone around. The instructors were all so happy to be there, and their enthusiasm was infectious (they really want us to succeed). I think they had just as much fun as the students (and got just as little sleep). The other students were also all very talented, and I have no doubt that many of them will be published soon.
I went with really only one goal in mind: to come out of the workshop energized about writing again. I got that and more. Writing can be a pretty lonely thing, but even before the workshop began, it was clear there's a large community around Viable Paradise. I'm happy to now have 23 new writing friends who have similar goals and dreams. I wanted to find out what my grammatical bad habits were, and I did. I didn't expect to find out my strengths but I learned those too (trust me I was surprised). I now have a toolkit full of techniques to improve my writing.
One of the best things about the workshop was that for a week we were all taken seriously as writers. Not aspiring writers, but writers. There were no crazy or baffled looks. We had permission to do what we loved without apology or question, and that was very good for the soul.
If you're serious about writing fantasy or science fiction, I'd definitely recommend this workshop. The schedule is tough, but not impossible. We operated on a lack of sleep. There were very stressful moments. You'll get your work critiqued by fellow students and instructors which is not always an easy thing. But if you want to learn, you will learn. You will also have fun! There was music making in the evenings. We watched glowing jellyfish and gazed at stars in the clear dark sky. We were given a cure for scurvy, and debated the proper use of plot tomatoes.
My brain is stuffed full and it will take a while to decompress it all. If you have any questions on the details of the workshop I'd be happy to answer them.
To my VP peeps... I also miss everyone already! I didn't get so say goodbye to you all, but I'd rather we keep in touch :)
Now... to reclaim a little bit of the sleep deficit. XOXO