Return of the brain

I spent last weekend (wow, was it only a week ago?) getting my writerly self thoroughly Mixmastered by Dean Wesley Smith. I think my brain finally decided to rejoin the living yesterday.


Dean and Kristine Kathryn Rusch teach amazing workshops for pro writers. I’ve been traveling to the Oregon coast several times a year for *mumblemumble* years getting a seriously intense, one-of-a-kind education in both the craft and business of making a living as a pro fiction writer. Last weekend was no exception.

Want to know what it’s like?

We hit the ground running Friday evening with the first session at 7:00. Dean’s method is to throw you off the deep end, then help you learn how to swim to shore on your own. (Works great; I always learn more from my failures than my easy successes.) In keeping with the deep end approach, Dean assigned homework due at the 10:00 a.m. Saturday session. That little assignment (read 22,000 words of fiction and then write stuff) kept me up until 3:30 in the morning Friday night.

Saturday we had three workshop sessions: 10:00, 2:30, and 8:00, with projects assigned at the end of each session due the beginning of the next. More reading; more writing. By Saturday evening, I began to wonder if the single ream of paper I’d brought with me would be enough.

Saturday evening’s session went til 11:30 (lots of business discussions in this one), with more projects due on Sunday morning at 10:00. I was up until nearly 4:00 in the morning getting my stuff done, and I still had to pack so I could be out of my room before the Sunday morning session.

Did I mention I ate meals in my room just so I could get my work done? If it wasn’t for Kip at the The Anchor Inn (where the workshop was held), I would have eaten all my meals by myself. No one can resist a Kip breakfast.

By the time the workshop ended at noon-thirty on Sunday, I was in a serious “fire bad, tree pretty” place. (Yes, that’s a random Buffy reference.) I still had a day and a half of driving to do to get home, but you know what? I’d do it all over again. In a heartbeat. Dean packed so much learning into those two days, I feel like I’ve made a major leap forward in my craft, not to mention my business.

Popcorn kittens, guys. Popcorn kittens.

3 thoughts on “Return of the brain

  1. Great sum up. I, too, was in “fire bad, tree pretty” mode by the end. That workshop was a killer. I had about a 2 second panic in the middle of Sat where I thought about sneaking to my car and fleeing. Thank god that passed 😛

    Annie B

  2. Oh, Annie…. It’s been so long, but you brought back such fond, fond memories. It does take forever for our brains to rejoin the living. So much information, so much learning. Love it.


  3. Hey, Annie (aka fellow OWN’r):

    Right on! This is exactly what it’s like. It’s a pity I can’t ever find the right words to tell other writers how great these workshops are. Other writers tell me about workshops they attend with all sorts of people who have nowhere near K&D’s experience or business savy.

    I guess unless you’ve been to a K&D workshop you just can’t understand. It’s kind of like people who don’t have kids will never understand what it’s like to raise a child.

    Take care and hopefully we’ll see you in the not too distant furture. BTW drop by my website any time and say hi. I’d love to hear your views on some of my blogs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s