Why is it I seem to get good news on really crappy days?
Anyways, on to the good news. So today was my meeting with Karl Schroeder, the current Writer in Residence for the Merrill Collection in Toronto. When I got onto the bus in St. Catharines the weather looked fine, but on our way to Toronto we hit a solid wall of water, which stopped before we hit Toronto and then picked up again as soon as I got off the bus.
Note to self: Check the friggin weather report next time I'm travelling more than a few kilometers.
So, wet, cold, and let's face it, nervous, I arrived at the Merrill Collection. Thankfully I had time to wring myself out and dry off before my meeting. Heck, I was over 2 hours early thanks to the bus schedule so I took my time getting there. Yeah it was cold and miserable out, but I saw something happening on a side street so I had to investigate. Turned out to be some kind of science festival, since a bunch of U of T students were setup outside in booths. One kiosk/tent invited you to submit names for a new pair of supercomputers. I submitted Bender and Fry. Wouldn't it be great to have a supercomputer named after a drunken violent robot?
Another booth asked the question "How Unique Are You?" According to the assessment of 9 of my traits, less than 1 in 1000 people are like me. This is a scientific fact. I have a certificate to prove it. :)
Anyways, so after that I did reach the Merrill Collection with over an hour to spare. I ended up perusing the Pulp display/sale that was on in the basement. Some interesting stuff down there, and I'm glad I didn't have any cash on me or I would've been tempted to pick something up. But that is immaterial to the reason I was there, so on to the good stuff.
My meeting was at 1:00 PM, and Karl and I headed to a back office to speak. To sum things up, I'm doing well. My mechanics, such as dialogue, are good, and from what emerged in our discussion the way I'm doing things will work in the long run and I should just keep plugging away. He even said I "sound like a writer" which has to be one of the best statements about me I have ever heard. I do need to work on characterization, and there were a few other quibbles about the story. Part of that is that Karl is a hard science fiction author, while I am, hmmm... let's say my scientific background is not as extensive as his. Still though, while the story wasn't perfect what needs to be fixed isn't Earth shattering, nor will it require the entire story be nuked and paved. Another nice comment I got was that I'm writing complete stories, and that my structure is good. All in all it was a very encouraging experience, and Karl gave me his email address and asked that I keep in touch and let him know when I finally do get published.
The main thing to take away for this, is that I may actually be able to pull this whole writing thing off. Huh, who woulda thunk it?