It’s been a busy time. Yup, there’s been writing and revising, but there’s also been bicycling, as well as conferring, conversing, and otherwise hobnobbing with my fellow wizards. Here are a few pictures I grabbed around the times some of that was going on.
Azaleas and daffodils at Arboretum
I’ve been in training to ride the Bike MS Tour de Farms ride in DeKalb on June 27-28. The above shot was taken during an early training ride back in April. Thanks to BK and the kids for our Morton Arboretum membership. When you have a great place to ride, exercise provides inherent rewards!
Me, KT Bradford and others
Tempest Bradford visited in May, just before WisCon. I made her pose for silly tourist shots. Here’s one of our reflection in Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) in Millennium Park.
Lurie Garden in June
One of the nice things about being at the Palmer House for the Nebula Awards weekend is that you’re a block from places like Millennium Park and the Art Institute. Cookie and I escaped to Lurie Garden a couple of times for walks. Glorious!
Nebula Weekend Swag
They gave us stuff at the Nebulas just for showing up (and I bought a couple of things, too). Here’s what I brought home.
Home again – Sunset after Nebula Weekend
There was an improbably gorgeous sunset Sunday night, so I took a picture.
It’s starting to feel like fall. We didn’t have what you’d call a warm summer, but the last week of August reminded me what “dog days” used to feel like. K. Tempest Bradford was in town—I spent a lovely evening writing with her and others, and another at a dinner party Mary Robinette Kowal held in her honor. I’m not the only person who remarked to Tempest that she arrived just in time for the hottest, most uncomfortable days we’d had all summer. Luckily it cooled off toward the end of her visit.
Anyway, I have Tempest (and Michi and Jen) to thank for the discovery of Just Write Chicago, which really eased the dog days for me. Just Write Chicago is a Meetup group that exists solely to offer writers some companionship and commiseration on their lonely journeys. I’ve sampled both the Tuesday night and the Friday afternoon groups. The members are passionate about writing, and friendly to newbies—a winning combo, you ask me.
I’ll still write with my local peeps (aka the Naperville Region of National Novel Writing Month) in November, of course, and get together with them during several months (January-June,and then again in September) when they morph into The Writing Journey. But the Chicago group has so many members that write all year long that I’m almost assured of finding a group that’s meeting when it’s convenient for me to attend. With time set aside both for writing and socializing/problem solving at each session, Just Write Chicago is a fabulous discovery.
So, for you other writers who are reading this: how do you find encouragement along the way? Do you use actual or virtual writing groups for company and/or advice?
And…does anyone have any suggestions about finding or forming great critique groups? Please comment below, because I think that may be the next step…
I’m leaving in 3 days. The image above is a visual clue to my destination. If you click on the picture, there’s an audio clue as well.
I’m very excited. And nervous. I call this state “happrehensive” because I like to shove words together to make new ones. Maybe it’s the German part of my heritage.
Anyway, here’s what’s happening: I’m going to a writing workshop/retreat with some wonderful writers-as-instructors: David Anthony Durham, K. Tempest Bradford, Mary Robinette Kowal, Nisi Shawl, and Cynthia Ward. There are also some pretty impressive writers-as-fellow-workshoppers, but the list is really long so I won’t subject you to it. However, many of my fellow attendees have some rather impressive credits, so I’m hoping not to embarrass myself.
Next week you’ll probably mostly see photos in this space—some from my garden and some from vacation. Sis, some cousins and I went to California for a long weekend. It’s a thing we do.
There will be a workshop-related post later. Maybe more than one.
Public domain photograph of the Appalachian mountains by Ken Thomas.