I have returned from Viable Paradise! I’m not going to try to describe it in detail, at least not anytime soon. I’m still in a stage of overwhelmedness (real word!), and I hardly know where to start. But in brief: I learned vast amounts of writing theory, practice, and tricks; I met two dozen fellow young authors, all of whom deserve to become the Next Big Thing; I got fantastic feedback on three of my pieces; I was fed and shepherded by the most wonderful staff imaginable; I learned and sung and hung out with masters of SFF; I received a very sweet gift from our predecessors; I drank lots of whiskey and all kinds of other troublesome beverages. I swore a most portentious oath, and also a least portentious oath. And, of course, I survived the Horror That Is Thursday.
Honestly, we more than survived the Horror. We mastered it, all twenty-four of us. And now we wield the dread power of the Lord of Jellyfish, Rider of the Steam Duck of the Apocalypse. Ia, ia.
And now I have 30+ more people to miss. But oh, what I have gained in return! As the saying goes: it was a bittersweet tapestry of life itself.