|(Me with Fringe star Jasika Nicole at the Roswell |
At center stage in this odd dream was a military man tasked with carrying out the destruction of the giants, so that human interests in the valley could attend to claiming that last vestige of territory. I sensed the war being waged within this man -- what he and his forces were about to carry out was wrong. Just how wrong soon revealed itself as soon as the first shot was fired, with devastating results. Then I roused from sleep, the story but not the ending clear. I ambled down to my writing room and jotted down the bones of the idea, along with its title -- "Mandered", which had also come to me in the dream. I wasn't even sure 'mandered' was a word (turns out, it is -- an old world term meaning to command or summon). As 2015 ran into the fall and then late fall and I went on an end-of-the-year tear, writing twelve short stories over the course of fourteen days, I pulled out the note card for "Mandered" and wrote it fairly as the dream played out, hitting what seemed the perfect note for the ending -- after destroying the world, the military man would have to dream and help fix it. Once done, I judged this story as good, put the next draft onto the computer, edited it through three more drafts, and happily submitted it to the Roswell Awards in Short SF Writing. On April 7, five days after returning from my writing retreat to When Words Count in Vermont, I woke to learn that "Mandered" had won Honorable Mention in the prestigious award for excellence in short Science Fiction writing.
|(With Dee Wallace)|
I arrived in Hollywood super early and checked into the same hotel where I stayed during an eleven-day visit to the set covering the finale of Star Trek: Voyager for numerous national publications. The place was as decent as I recalled, the room beyond clean and inviting (if a tad outdated -- I thought I'd stepped into the funkadelic 1970s, given all the burnt orange and somber brown). Despite my exhaustion, I woke at six, L.A. time, showered, and spent a few hours writing on the oddly fabulous desk and bench in a corner of my room. Brunch with a writer friend at a Grub Restaurant, a visit to Xanadu, and then I returned to get ready for the event.
|(On stage at the awards ceremony, with a shining constellation of stars)|
Marianna Cooper to join me as my plus-one at the ceremony. I met Mari in 2013 at When Words Count and wanted to see her following her move to the land of sunshine. Bumper to bumper traffic made our reunion before the show brief, but we caught up on the cab ride to Amalfi's, and it is to my dear friend that I owe all of these wonderful photographs. We enjoyed the ceremony, and then Mari joined me on stage with the actors, and I remember thinking, exhausted and excited as I was, that every writer should know this level of recognition for their work. One of the judges told me that they were inundated with submissions, and that it truly was a job of separating wheat from chafe. "Thank you for being wheat," she said. I loved that.
I bid Mari goodnight, returned to my room, and crawled into bed. A few hours later, worried over missing my early flight home, I tore back the covers and gathered my few things.
|(The odd bench and desk in my hotel room -- I loved it!)|