Been doing stuff! This weekend I went to the Missouri State Sacred Harp Convention. Which basically was like this: (If the embedding doesn’t work, try clicking here)
All day for two days, with occasional breaks for coffee and/or lunch. Or as it’s referred to in singing circles, Dinner on the Grounds. Which, translated, means “a ginormous potluck round about noon with so much delicious food that you can’t possibly try even a taste of every different thing, plus a zillion cakes and pies.”
I also attended Career Day at the nearby high school, where I talked to kids who were interested in writing. There were only a few students interested in SF&F, and several who were mainly interested in poetry, which I couldn’t really help them with. There were lots of good questions about quite a range of issues, including some technical ones (how to handle transitions, dealing with being stuck in a particular place in a project, etc) that really needed more complex answers–I mean, transitions? The choices are essentially limitless and without seeing the piece in question I could only give general advice (try just cutting to where you want to be, plus watch how the writers you love handle the same sort of thing and try imitating it to see if it works for you), but hopefully I was able to help a bit.
But my takeaway was, there are, locally, a good number of smart, eager kids interested in writing. They were a pretty wide-ranging group, too–I saw three sessions of about twenty kids each and they seemed to be from a pretty wide range of backgrounds from what I could tell just seeing them for a half hour or so. I really enjoyed talking with them.