My mason bees are all hatching and it’s quite entertaining to sit out on the porch and watch the tiny perfect new bees encountering the world for the first time. When they reach the sunlight they stop and preen themselves like cats. Grocery deliveries have become a source of great excitement, and I am currently on Fall of year 2 in Stardew Valley. The move to Portland is on hold for at least a couple of weeks while we figure out where the world is going.
While existence has become more circumscribed for many, my life has, weirdly enough, become a bit more social as a result of recent events. I’ve been doing daily co-working sessions, at least one, sometimes two, each day, for a group that includes a bunch of friends and family, current and former students, mentees, and Patreon supporters as well as trying out some different things like videocalls where we all log on and clean our workspaces at the same time while chatting or Netflix Party.
I wrote a piece for Medium on how to run a successful and productive co-working session, and I cannot recommend them highly enough, although I know that mileage will wildly vary, according to people’s process. If you miss coffeeshop writing or working in an office, though, this may be a reasonable substitute. Remember there are scholarships for the Discord server.
I’ve also been doing some consulting for people turning their material into online versions. If you’re undergoing this process, here’s Things to Consider When Converting Your Live Class Into an Online Version. I also turned in book three of the Tabat series, hurray hurray!
Coming up this weekend:
- Get Weird! How to Make Your Fiction Original, Compelling, and Deeply Weird with Evan J. Peterson Saturday, April 11, 2020, 9:30-11:30 am Pacific Time. Taking cues from classic stories as well as contemporary literature, film, and pop culture, workshop leader Evan J. Peterson teaches you the ways to make your writing original, compelling, and deeply Weird. From witchcraft to spirits to unnameable entities, you’ll learn what makes a story unsettle audiences and stick with them for years.
- Writing Interactive Fiction with Kate Heartfield, Saturday, April 11, 2020, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific time. If you’ve ever found yourself choosing between possible endings or plot twists, why not try a storytelling format that lets you explore them all? Games and interactive fiction invite the reader to join in the storytelling process, and invite the writer to consider multiple facets of agency, characterization, pacing and plot. Learn some fundamental principles and techniques for interactive formats, or just gain a new perspective on ways to develop your non-interactive prose.
- The Writer’s Guide to Handselling Books (Social Isolation Edition) with Michael R. Underwood, Sunday, April 12, 2020, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time. Author and publishing professional Michael R. Underwood shares lessons from a decade of hand-selling books to readers, booksellers, and sales reps. Learn how to put your work into a market context, showcase what makes it special, and connect with readers when selling at conventions. There’s no one way to sell any book, so this class will help you learn to find several different ways to pitch each project for greater success. In this edition, we’ll talk about how to sell books while practicing social isolation via virtual events and social media.
- Fearless Writing: Learning Not to Hold Back with Evan J. Peterson, Sunday, April 12, 2020, 1:00-3:00 pm Pacific Time. What are you afraid to write about? In this class, we create the supportive space to write the things we haven’t yet. We will discover what fears hold us back from writing about the topics and experiences we want to, in the forms and styles we want to. We will move past these fears and write fresh, honest, compelling work. We will practice sharing our writing with one another to dispel the fears of judgment and replace them with encouragement and strength. This class welcomes those writing in all genres and levels of experience and confidence.
Remember that there are Plunkett scholarships for classes; even if you’re strapped for cash, these classes are available. If you’ve enjoyed Rambo Academy classes in the past, please spread word of the school!