Well, I’ve been back from Odyssey a few days now and am finally getting my energy back. It was a crazy ride, and a long one, and it seemed fitting to take a few minutes to toast the experience.
Six weeks of in-depth writing craft. Three hours of lecture per day plus occasional afternoon sessions. Over 60 critiques of classmates’ stories – at about two hours of work per critique, if you’re fast. Hours and hours of sitting around the circle and talking about stories. Hours of writing on new stories, things you didn’t know you had in you. And time to spend with people who have the same passions you do – for speculative fiction, for story, for random facts and excellence on the page. Not to mention no air conditioning and little free time.
It took me literally five days getting home before I could sit still and watch a TV show without guilt that I should be doing critiques. Living at that pace for such a prolonged period changes something inside a person. It made me leaner, somehow, and more able to focus for long, concentrated periods. It made me realize, despite the fatigue and challenge, that I can do this.
There’s a point at which I wish I could bottle the experience and take it out in small doses as needed. Take a whiff of motivation and focus whenever I’m lagging. But, on the other hand, I enjoy air conditioning. I like the life I’ve built. And my friends from Odyssey are only an email away.
I’m also looking forward to getting back to writing longer projects, without feeling like I really ought to be doing another critique. 🙂
To my Odyssey peeps, and to Jeanne: thanks. A lot. You’ll be hearing from me.