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Seriously...For the Curious

If you were really wondering what the heck this OzCon is and who got the nod, here is your answer.

Once upon a time, a writer had the idea that he wanted to start a workshop for writers who weren't beginners, but weren't seasoned pros, either. That man was Walter Jon Williams (livejournal feed is wjwblogspot). He had the idea that he would teach this as a two week workshop ably assisted by Connie Willis. He gathered a group on a mountain in New Mexico so he wouldn't have to drive very far and so the group would be out of breath for the first week with no choice but to listen.

The group bonded. Groups do. But this turned out to be a special group. They worked hard in the crit circle, they paid attention in lectures and applied what they learned during movie screenings. They talked and they wrote and they cooked and they had a great time in a very special location.

And, btw, he's doing it again this year with the fabulous KELLY LINK. The website is http://www.taostoolbox.com. Make sure you read the endorsements.

So, since this group became rather sentimental about breaking up and because one of them, tcastleb, was graduating from Seton Hill in January, yours truly offered to host a reunion party at that time. And someone dubbed it OzCon. When the time came, a fair number were still able to make the trek to Walkabout Farm to see the famous chicken, meet the one and only WeatherDude and sample life in what used to be the countryside of Virginia, nestled against the border of Maryland and West Virginia.

I'd like to host another OzCon someday. And I'd like some non-Taos Toolbox writers to come and stay, too. But you can't be afraid of the crit circle. We don't go that easy, though blood-letting is verboten.

Frog Out


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
I'm still sorting through why that group of people feels so special to me. It was a fairly small group, I guess, and we spent nearly all our waking hours talking seriously to one another about writing for two weeks. I heard each person crit 16 other people with care and attention, and I read and critted two long samples of their writing.

They were grown ups with some experience and wisdom. There was no blood-letting as you say, but they'd tell you truly where you needed to work because they believed you were serious too and could take it.

Is it just the extended time in a serious, somewhat stressful situation?
Jan. 15th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
"Is it just the extended time in a serious, somewhat stressful situation?"

No. It was the group, it was Walter and Connie, it was the care he took in putting it together, it was the attitude that everyone brought to it. Even the one person (who shall be nameless) that didn't seem to be there to network with other writers ended up networking with other writers, despite him/herself. People were open or became open. The ones that started open-minded and open-hearted opened up the others who were less so. We were different in so many ways. But I truly thought there was a lot of respect for what each person was trying to do, even if it wasn't your personal cup of tea.
Jan. 15th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
You are right. It was a great group of people who responded to the open-minded and respectful atmosphere that Walter and Connie created.

It was sooo bloody intense that I can't imagine having been able to go on longer, but I still wish we'd had more time.
Jan. 15th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)

One did wonder...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )