June 22nd, 2008

spring

Clarion West Write-a-thon

Good luck to all the new Clarion West students, who start tomorrow. You'll have a good time, and the amount you'll get out of the workshop will be, in my experience, proportionate to the amount of effort and attention you're willing to put in. 

In the hope that this will be helpful, a concept I found useful was the idea that I was there to try new things, and so it was -good- to fail at a few, because it showed I was working outside my comfort zone.  Thus a terrible, terrible attempt at screwball comedy was born, and someday I'll get around to re-writing that and taking out the zeppelins (but not the muffin-making robot).

I'm working on my first Write-a-Thon story this morning, nudging sentences together and looking at them.  I get to be as modernist and self-reflexive and drunk on language with this one as I want, according to the anthology guidelines, and so I am having Fun with a Capital F.  Here's an excerpt.  I know it's currently too over-wrought, but at some point I'll take a detailing file and remove some of the adjectival excess.

Listen to things spoken in the rain. Words that hover like icy helicopter blades between the raindrops, the ones you can almost / sometimes/ always hear.  Splats of roseate conversation plunging like besotted bumblebees to the sunken garden grass, drop-drumming on ancient fort lumber, crumbling on St. Joseph's island.
  • Current Mood
    artistic artistic
earth

Mapping Software

I am contemplating buying some of the mapping software here because 1) I'd like to map out the city I'm writing in and 2) I've got a game module to write.  My questions are:

1) Has anyone used mapping software of this kind? Is there one you would recommend over this?

2) Who has provided maps with their books? How did you generate them and what was your motivation in doing so? Were they useful or not worth the effort?  Would you do it again? How would you do it differently?