I’ll be going Story-wonking

May 6, 2011

I mentioned that I won a free admission to a Storywonk writing workshop about discovering your voice. The first class is going to be on Sunday afternoon.

I’m looking forward to it, but also… curious as far as what this is going to be like. I’ve never really done a writing class online like this, unless you count the college extention elective I took while I was at York University, and I imagine that was different, partly because everything online was so different back then.

Which reminds me – when I started those two summer courses online, my parent’s house was still on a limited-hours dial-up internet package from AOL canada, and I remember asking somebody if the powerpoint video-type lectures (for the business class, not the writing one?) could be saved on the PC and played back when the computer was offline. Turns out no, they couldn’t. It was probably something along the lines of streaming video, which I didn’t even know the word for back in 1998. And so, because of that class, we found another ISP that offered unlimited dial-up.

But yeah, I don’t know much about what this class will be like, aside from the blurb about the subject matter, and:

  1. I’ll get emails with links to take me to each class.
  2. There are live class sessions on Sunday afternoon, though I can access the recording later if I can’t make it then.
  3. There’s some kind of a discussion forum.
  4. I’m supposed to ‘bring’ either a one-sentence idea for a story I want to write, or a novel that I think is missing layers and depth.

I’m considering ‘bringing’ the current draft of the Long Way Home, because it does sort of fit the bill there.

Wish me luck, and I’ll report back sometime next week.


Toronto

April 23, 2011

T is for…

Well, I’ve already dedicated H to my true hometown of Hamilton, but Toronto is sort of a half-adopted hometown, a place that’s also very dear to my heart. I didn’t really pay it that much attention for the first eighteen years plus of my life, except for a place to occasionally go to ride up the CN tower or see a baseball game or get government records, and really I suppose I was really ignorant of the benefits of living so close to such an amazing city. But then, I was young.

I moved to Toronto, to the suburban wilds of North York at least, for university, in the fall of 1995, and spent four years at York University, commuting back home to crash at my parent’s place every other weekend or so. (For some reason I still have dreams about finding my way across the big city on the TTC and looking for a new room to rent in Toronto.) I spent the first year, including the summer, in residence, and then spent the regular school term in rental places found on the housing board and summers back in Hamilton.

After seven months spent trying to find a job with only a bachelor’s degree and no work experience, during the consolidation days of the Y2K scare, I ended up going back to school in Toronto, taking the applied IT course at the Herzing institute in the Eaton center, and commuting into the city and back every day from Hamilton on GO transit – which would have been much more stressful, except that regular classes only lasted for four hours a day when I wasn’t doing teaching assistance or tutoring or grading for the school, so a lot of the time I could head back to Hamilton early. It was really a worthwhile experience, rounding out my university education with some more marketable skills, and also giving me a few useful connections, including the referral that led me to the job that I’m in now, (indirectly.)

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Infinite Horizons

April 11, 2011

I is for…

Infinite Horizons was the name of a little website I put up years ago for some of my original science fiction writing. It started back when I was at York University, because I couldn’t think of much else to do with the website space I got as a computer science student.

It stayed with YorkU CS for a while, until my accounts got closed after I graduated, and then I used a couple of different free web hosts for the next two years. In the spring of 2001, when I moved into my own place and got cable internet, I put Infinite Horizons up on my ISP web space, but never gave out the link to it anywhere, so it’s just kind of an archive mirror on the dark web now.

The one complete project on Infinite Horizons was “Voyage: Triton”, which I finished before putting the site up, during my freshman year at York. All of the rest of the writing up there was related to the Star Patrol universe – a chapter and a half of a first novel, and a lot of other little snippets and unresolved drabbles. A lot of them were written in the summer of 1998, when I was taking an adult extension course in Creative Writing as an elective, where the curriculum was big on writing stream of consciousness, so when I was doing a class exercise I’d just start on one of the story ideas that I had running around in my head, and never really finish it. That was the same course that started my career in Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction.

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