“We need stories. Stories help us make sense of the world.” – Stephanie, the amazing Sunday lunch speaker at Willamette Writers Convention this year.
So I’ve been traveling. Not the simple A to B traveling—no, that would be far too simple. I’ve been traveling between cities for awhile now, short stops with big things happening. First San Diego Comic Con with panels and signings (oh my!), then home for a day or two, then Willamette Writers Convention where I taught a class on POV. Then, of course, a stop with my aunt and uncle, and now in St. Louis for the annual writers retreat I do with my Odyssey folks, the Even Odders. It’s been a whirlwind, to say the least. But some cool stuff sticks out in my mind.
The dinosaurs at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry—the museum had both bones and life-sized moving models that roared and had feathers. Yes, feathers on a dinosaur. Because science and why the hell not.
Thai food for lunch with my uncle, and another Thai lunch with writer friends. Apparently Thai is big in Portland. Also, happy conversations.
Brainstorming sessions galore with writer friends of every stripe. Thrillers and science fiction and writing ideas all alike. Solving creative problems—and I have many.
A kid with a boat in the OMSI boat-building interactive area. He’s going to be an engineer someday, you can tell.
Teaching my first big class to a large audience at Willamette. Got a lot of great feedback and wonderful questions asked of me. Will be doing that again.
Staying up way too late at night getting my handouts done.
Sitting in the exit seat on the airplane with extra legroom reading an Agatha Christie novel.
Sitting in front of a line of people there to get my book at San Diego Comic Con. Blown away to find a fan came out specifically to ask me a question about the series. I’m a real person! I have fans. I must giggle now.
Standing in line to see the Mythbusters’s panel, and finding they were exactly the same in person as they were on TV. A ton of fun in all accounts.
Emailing with my editor from the airport on public WiFi—so totally not a thing in Atlanta.
Meeting so many cool industry people at Willamette, and finding them incredibly helpful and kind. So kind.
Fighting jet lag as a constant companion. Having no solid idea what time it is.
Calls to Sam at strange hours because of the time change.
Talking to writer friends about crazy projects while eating amazing food we cooked ourselves. Wondering what ideas will make it past the chrysalis to the full-blown adult stage. Feeding them good research while I chip away at more creative problems with the help of friends.
Critiquing other writers’ works. Giving feedback.
Sleeping. Thinking and reading. More sleeping. Petting my aunt and uncle’s cats. Riding on airplane after airplane, and sleeping some more.
Typing on the computer, words and more words, and more words. Because being a writer is writing, in the end. Words and more words.
Our lives are diffuse, but our stories are finite. It’s the details we choose to tell ourselves and the meaning that makes the story. For me, today, that’s St. Louis and friends. Tomorrow—or next week, or whenever the story turns—it will be Atlanta and everyday life. At least until DragonCon.
In the meantime, I do need to get my words written.