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If there's anybody out there who hasn't seen MIRACLE OF MORGANS CREEK, they should leave this chat room and go watch it immediately. You've mentioned time slippage a couple of times, and one of the things I love about time travel is how you deal with the paradoxes. I like writing books by myself and not having to deal with test audiences in Pasadena deciding how my novels should end. People who like Buster Keaton and people who like Charlie Chaplin? Writer's workshops can also be dangerous if you are sensitive and easily squashed. What I'd really love to teach sometime is plotting. And didn't know it till years later when he was X-rayed for something else.
All those writers in the fifties played all those paradox games like "All You Zombies" and Charles Harness's "Child By Chronos" till it's hard to come up with anything new, but really interesting. Hollywood chews you up and spits you out, even if you are a Nobel Prize winner, plus you start drinking. JF: Yeah, but then there was Leigh Brackett, but I guess she was singular in getting her way. Harlan says that if you can't take the heat, you should get out of the kitchen, but I don't agree. Most writing manuals say something vague like, "You must have a rising action," or "Plot is character," and let it go at that. Ellen Datlow: I believe there are some online writing courses. he did all his own stunts, and my husband, who was a gymnast, really is impressed because he knows just how hard they are. Thanks for the opportunity for us to virtually meet you, and thanks for all the great fiction.
There's also a liberal dash of Sayers & Christie-like puzzles in the book. This, for all the young folk, was the first winter of WWII when Hitler was raining bombs on London and people were sleeping in the tube stations and muddling through. I wrote about it in "Fire Watch" and "Jack" and in , with Coventry Cathedral being burned down, but I'm not done. Loss has always been a very important theme in my work (although I always worry about writers talking about the themes in their work--remember that Mark Twain thought was his best work--but anyway, loss is the really irrevocable thing in the universe. When I'm asked to list the ten best SF novels, I always have trouble coming up with ten, but I can list dozens and dozens of short stories that I think are classics that will live forever. Aquin" and Ward Moore's "Lot" and Kit Reed's "Songs of War" and on and on and on...My favorite thing about history, as witness TSNOTD, is how so much of it seems to turn on a dime, how many things would never have happened if somebody hadn't been at the wrong place at the wrong time. CW: I really admire Leigh Brackett, both for her SF and her movies. I think if you're sensitive and easily squashed, you will probably make a pretty good writer. I still have lots of trouble with criticism, even if the person is a jerk and clearly doesn't know what he's talking about. There are definitely a few workshops including one on AOL (Marilee does it still exist? I don't know if she was in your Clarion groups or not, Connie. JF: Again, what's the novel you're working on now, Connie? The CALIFORNIAN tried to send an ice message to the TITANIC and was told by the wireless operator, who was sending the assorted ship to shore greetings and passengers' messages, "Shut up, shut up, I am working Cape Race."JF: Ah, once again the time lag worked beautifully.