Archive for September, 2013

Writing “Read Me Up”

what fates imposeEvery time my mother comes for a visit, I get a story out of it. After her father’s funeral, I wrote “Family Business” (published in Weird Tales Magazine).  After she returned from a visit to the Maroons’ capital, I wrote “Steppin’ Razor” (due out in Asimov’s SF in February).  And after a brief visit to the States to reminisce, I wrote “Read Me Up” (What Fates Impose).

When we were growing up, me and my siblings didn’t pay much attention to my mother’s stories.  She told us endless duppy (ghost) stories.  There was a duppy for every occasion or hardship.  We took the oral tradition of our family for granted, after all, we grew up in the age of television, videogames, and the internet.

Now my mother’s stories are gold.  As a writer, I’ve been trying to collect those stories.  My mother loves this turn of events as it means I not only pay attention when she speaks, but I whip out a pen to take notes as she does it.  The stories are a way for me to connect with my family, to make sense of our rituals, and our history.

I am truly fascinated by the obeah practitioners in our family.  A couple of aunts, my grandfather, and all the stories associated with them.  That’s the other thing about my family:  there’s always a story and somewhere in the story is the truth.

That’s at the heart of “Read Me Up.”  Available in the What Fates Impose anthology.

More Upcoming Classes and Workshops

I have a few more classes coming up through the Writers Center of Indiana.  Here are the details:

Saturday, September 21, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $48 non-members, $33 members, $28 student/teacher/senior members

INTRODUCTION TO SPECULATIVE FICTION

Here’s the thing:  you know speculative fiction when you see it, even if you’re unfamiliar with all of the insider jargon used to describe its many subgenres.  The big three are Horror, Fantasy (high, urban, historical), and Science Fiction (hard, cyberpunk, steampunk).  So if the story takes place in a far off land or an alternate version of an existing one; whether it is extrapolating science into futuristic technologies with its impact on society or conjuring new forms of magic, speculative fiction is the genre of possibility.

In this course you will learn about the special needs of these genres, such as world-building.  This is all with a view toward submission and publication, so we will explore the marketplace, discussing where and how to submit your work.

Saturday, October 5, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $48 non-members, $33 members, $28 student/teacher/senior members

ADVENTURES IN SPECULATIVE FICTION PUBLISHING

So you’ve gotten your spec fic novel finished, what do you do next?  In Adventures in Speculative Fiction, we examine the business of writing.  We have an eye toward submission and publication, so we will explore the marketplace, discussing where and how to submit your work, and developing your writer’s platform.  And we will share real world anecdotes of what it means to be a writer.

Saturday, December 7, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $48 non-members, $33 members, $28 student/teacher/senior members

CHARACTERIZATION THROUGH DIALOGUE

Characters are at the heart of stories and dialogue helps define characters and drive story.  In this workshop you’ll learn to develop characters, consider word choice, and define their voice through dialogue.  The workshop will present essential tips to improve dialogue and explore how to write dialogue that rings true, deepens character, creates tension, and more.