tcastleb: (Cowboy)
( Jul. 18th, 2007 07:49 pm)
Trying to remember what we chatted about yesterday . . . nope, sorry, *poof* gone.

But we did celebrate [profile] kelly_yoyo's big 4-0 yesterday. [profile] baddolly and I went to the store and got cakes and ice cream and decorations and a card and it all turned out spiffy. See?







Today was, um, sheesh. Walter talked about Aliens (the Other) and magic (which is an unnatural force used by humans. Not the right words but close.) And, oh, Connie chatted about where to get ideas. Generally, it was a bunch of elements from various places coming together.

Then it was back down the mountain to Taos for the last of the manuscripts (thank goodness) and we stopped for a bit to let Bjorn shop. See? He got lots of nifty pottery and a super cool rug.



And there's this funky metal gorilla in town I just had to get a picture of. I just thought he was cool.



Now I'm multitasking--blogging, reading stories, watching China Town, and chatting online with the weekly SHU folks. Ha ha ha.

I don't want to go home. Not at all. I just miss my kitties.
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tcastleb: (Cowboy)
( Jul. 15th, 2007 07:02 pm)
Ahhh. Nice relaxing day. Didn't have to go anywhere. Just read through some stories (still have to crit three of them and finish the other crit) and hung out, and in the afternoon went to check out the nature trail. Have to come up with a wrap-up paragraph for my synopsis assignment, but that's about it.

Oh, before that, [profile] birdhousefrog found one of the neat moths and put him on the lamp to save him for me. Cool, huh?



Then I took my flute and went for a walk on the nature trail along the river for a little ways. I saw a deer bounding away too quick for my camera. Anyway. Here's some nifty pictures.

Columbines! Seeing these actually made me a little homesick for Colorado, since columbines are the state flower and I could see them on the rare times I actually went to the mountains.



Here's my flute, Trail's Friend, out in nature as it should be. It's the coolest thing--it's actually in tune with the river. I swear. The flute sounded really, really good alongside the Rio Hondo.



And along the trail they had some old chairs from the ski lift. This is a cool view.



On the way back, I saw signs for trail riding, and then some horses ambling along. I was bummed; I would have totally gone for a horseback ride had I known. Cowboy hat and all.



And, last, but not least, that little blue spot is [profile] birdhousefrog up on the hill chatting on her cell phone as I came up the driveway back to the lodge.

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tcastleb: (Cowboy)
( Jul. 14th, 2007 10:49 pm)
So. Weekend. Yaaay!

Just turned in my second submission. I think I'm tired of tweaking it, so it's time it went so I can see what happens. Now I have four stories to crit and an outline to turn in and a one-on-one with Walter tomorrow night.

[profile] birdhousefrog made blueberry pancakes for breakfast. There will be a repeat performance in the morning.

George R.R. Martin came up today, and we had a lecture from him about why people read books, which was fun. Then we hung out a bit and then headed down the mountain for dinner at the Apple something restaurant. Mmmmm. Sangria. And, oh, there were these barbecue duck quesadillas (leftovers!) and baked brie with almonds and chips and guac. Mmmmmm. Walter will have pics up at a later date.

There were also reports of a chipmunk after the green chile chees bagels. He stopped by our place to visit and stuck his head in a couple times, but I couldn't point my camera fast enough.

Ummm. So. Pics. (Did I mention I had some Sangria? Wheeee!)

All of us and George! (That's me over on the left in the hat)



Snap-happy Kelly and Annie ([profile] kelly_yoyo and [profile] baddolly)



Dorothy ([profile] dawtheminstrel) down below just before dinner



Oz ([profile] birdhousefrog) during our snap-fest



George looking up his grim statistics.

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tcastleb: (Cowboy)
( Jul. 13th, 2007 10:44 pm)
Lessee . . . more talk on dramatic irony today (mostly that it's something the audience knows and the character doesn't, which can include things like impersonation) and a chat about synopses/outlines (mostly, that synopses are tools to sell the book, outlines are more for private use, keep them entertaining and hooky, and keep them succinct) and a chat on rights (keep the foreign, read well, question things you don't like, and your agent should be able to handle it.)

Then, since we didn't have catered food tonight, me, [profile] birdhousefrog and Kim entertained folks at our place, and Grillmaster Kyle reprised his role from Clarion and cooked us up some very good food.

And now we're all frantically trying to come up with something to turn in for next week. I know what I'm turning in--more Orossy--but the scene I'm working with is giving me heck because the events aren't told in the right order and I can't figure out what the right order is. Arrrgggh. Or, I could stop fussing, and hope the circle comes up with some good ideas. :>) Mostly, there's two climactic moments, and then it calms down a lot, meaning I'm not raising the stakes enough (though I'm trying!)

Yeah. This is the difference between Taos and SHU--here we keep hearing things over and over and over while at SHU we go to class, but don't discuss them or the techniques much more than "I liked/disliked that module because ____" Plus, there's a smaller, more cohesive group of people here.

Anyway. A few of my favorite pics for today.

Plotting a novel using index cards for plot points.



Plotting the novel using index cards--two long hours later.



Dinner! Yes, those are brownies out of a box. I am the queen of making brownies out of a box.



Grillmaster Kyle (Thanks Kyle!)



Rainbow! It's been raining every afternoon/evening.



Looks like something's on fire, but it's not, I promise. Just the sunset.



And here's Oz ([profile] birdhousefrog) sitting in the corner because she's been bad, eating too much chocolate and blaming it on her roommates . . .

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tcastleb: (Orossy)
( Jul. 11th, 2007 06:56 pm)
This is my horoscope today:

"People may be a bit critical of you today, dear Aries, and you would do well to hear what they have to say. Be receptive of feedback from others so that you may establish a healthy ego. It's important to keep your sense of humility in check. You yourself might find that you are feeling rather critical as you see people moving like sloth, compared to your lightening quick mind. Be patient with others."

Ha ha ha. Yes, fitting, because my story was up today. Good crits all around, generally very positive and very helpful. Stuff I agree with and can work on.

Still slightly frustrating, because I still have plot problems. Damn plot. -bashes head against wall- Or, rather, it's not necessarily the plot, but the execution of the ideas, or something along that line. Arrrgggh.

One crit to do tonight, since, thank goodness, I have the other three done,

And then it's off to figure out what to turn in for next week. . .

And I think I still haven't gotten used to the altitude. I'm still tired, and I've been drinking lots of water, I swear.
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tcastleb: (Default)
( Jul. 10th, 2007 07:15 pm)
It feels like it, anyway.

The two big things I learned today: Take out all the unnecessary stuff, and then one necessary thing to leave the reader wondering about it. "Deleted Affair," I think, was the plot, um, device? that was on Walter's long list of plot devices.

And then Connie talked about reversals, so now, it feels like I'm going to go out into the big wide world and look at people and events and movies and think, "Oh! That's a reversal! So's that! And that!"

Hence the reason we're watching Casablanca tonight.

I think one of the things that impresses me so far is the strength of the critiques. It helps that we're all advanced writers, so we can ignore basic stuff like, "Hey, this comma's not necessary, or this sentence is awkward," and focus on big-picture things. The sessions are long--10-4:30 today with a 20 minute break for lunch and 5 minutes between crits and lectures.

So, yeah. Brain is full.

And it rained today. Not only rained, but hailed. See?





And this is what we're doing now. Movie night! (This is actually from last night, but its the same idea.)

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