Monday, May 13, 2013

Idle Hands/Devil's Workshop ...

Methodist Youth Camp

So the floor guys are here and there is much grinding and sawing and hammering and nails being prized out going on. 

Had our first glitch before the guy got here–the material that was supposed to be ready to pick up, having been ordered a month ago? Wasn't there ...

And, of course, the floor behind the washer is rotted out because there is a leaking drain pipe in the wall. Want a plumber in a hurry? Good luck with that. Tomorrow, earliest, and four down the list to find that one. And maybe the foundation there needs to be replaced.

This week-to-ten-day project and we're all done? Not gonna happen. Not that I ever expected it to, but ...

I could put on headphones and try to get some real work done, amidst the unhappy-because-we-are-doing-this-stuff dogs who will be behind the baby gate with me. Or hiding out back, but I think the stress level might be a tad high for meaningful work.

First, it'll be the floor guys. Then the rug guys. Then the kitchen counter-top guys. Oh, and the plumber. The week ahead will be busy, musical furniture as this-and-that goes into the garage or down the hall and then back to make room for the-0ther. We did our first round of that this morning, moving stuff around. 'Tis but a scratch on the surface ...

So, other than jumping up and down and tearing out my hair, what to do ... ? 

Recently, I did a post about The Duck of Darkness, and I mentioned the first (and only) Silverlake Writers Workshop, (a shorter and less complex version of Milford/Clarion,) at which I was an attendee, back in 1978.

Its been thirty-five years and I haven't kept track of all the other folks who were there. Some of them I still know, some I've seen book stuff on since, but I thought it might be amusing to do a "Whatever happened to ... ?" post. For my own edification, mostly, but if you want to read over my shoulder ...

Most of us were at about the same level of success, having sold a few stories each; Reaves was, as I recall, the only attendee who had sold and published a novel, with a second one about to hit the racks.

Here's the list of players as I recall in no particular order. A few notes about each one, as accurate as I can make 'em:

Pat Murphy won Nebula Awards for her second novel The Falling Woman (1986) and a novelette, "Rachel in Love," that same year. She quit fiction writing for a couple decades, and worked at a San Francisco museum, The Exploritorium, where, among other things, she wrote non-fiction. She and Karen Joy Fowler co-founded the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, which was sometimes, as I recall, funded by bake sales. She has a black belt in kenpo, and lives in San Francisco.

George Guthridge has since written five novels and more than seventy short stories, including collaborations on a couple of short pieces for Asimov's and F&SF with Yours Truly. He's been nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula, and with Janet Berliner, won the Stoker Award for their novel, Children of the Dusk. After a real estate crash in which he lost a whole bunch of property, he moved to Gambell, Alaska, where he taught high school and coached students to academic championships in national competitions. Eventually he become a college professor at a university in Anchorage.

Glenn Chang, who had a Ph.D in physics, wrote short stories for various collections in the 1980s, including a novella for Robert Silverberg's collection, The Edge of Space.

Avon Swofford wrote short stories for various anthologies in the 1980's and went to work for The Monitor Institute, a business/philanthropy consulting firm. She has a black belt in some martial art, and lives in the California bay area.

Cherie Wilkerson wrote for animated kidvid in the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, and contributed short stories to various SF, fantasy, and horror anthologies. She has done comic book work on  a Nightwing/Speedy story with Marv Wolfman. Since 1996, she has been a freelance copy editor. 

Raymond Embrak moved into hardboiled noir mysteries, and now lists himself as an independent self-published author, with a number of novels available.

Evelyn Sharenov writes mostly non-fiction these days, and has had material published in anthologies and The New York Times. Retired as a mental health nurse, she worked with psychiatric patients, and posted a blog for Psychology Today. She is a poet, editor, writer, plays classical piano, and lives with her husband near Portland, Oregon.

Susan C. Petrey (1945-1980) was a Portland, Oregon short story writer. One of her workshopped pieces, "Spidersong," which was roundly panned at the Silverlake Workshop, won the Locus poll for Best Short Story, 1981; and got Sue nominations for the Hugo Award and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She wrote but nine stories, most of which were published after her death from an accidental drug overdose in 1980; the annual Orycon scholarship to Clarion is named for her. 

Richard Kadrey has written dozens of short stories and and eight novels, including the popular Sandman Slim series, and his Wired cover story "Carbon Copy," was made into a TV movie, After Amy,  in 2001, 
starring Bridget Fonda. At the time of the Silverlake Workshop, he was still a student of martial arts–we even did a little light sparring, as I recall.

Richard Kearns (1951-2012) was a Clarion grad, (as were several other of the Silverlake crew) and wrote short stories, poetry, and was nominated for the Nebula Award. He taught journalism, worked as a writer, reporter, graphic designer, and desktop publishing consultant. He contracted the AIDS virus in 1987, became an activist for medical marijuana, taught Quigong, and was a certified group exercise teacher. 

Michael Reaves is a long-time animation writer, having written hundreds of episodes for dozens of television shows, winning an Emmy for Batman: The Animated Series. He has written novels, short stories, live-action TV, movies scripts, not a few of which were in collaboration with Yours Truly. He developed Parkinson's Disease in his forties, and blogs about it here.

Arthur Byron Cover was an early Clarion grad who went on to write a bunch of short fiction, tie-in books, original novels, and animation for television. He and his wife Lydia, also a writer, opened and ran the well-known Los Angeles bookstore, Dangerous Visions, eventually closing the brick-and-board version in favor of an online store, which he manages today. 

Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) needs no introduction to F&SF readers. He's included here because he was a teacher and mentor to several of the Silverlake crew, and at the time of the conference, was living in the same small apartment complex as Michael Reaves; he was part of the attendee flow to and from the camp. 

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