I’m extremely pleased to get in because some part of my brain was sure that the April Fool’s Prank was totally going to jinx me out of going. I’m relieved my superstitions didn’t play out. And super excited to be going to space camp. I mean, big telescopes! Real astronomers!
When I was in… (Mom? What grade was I in when I did Dr. Danby’s astronomy class?) Anyway, one summer my mom got me into an astronomy camp taught at the local college. I was definitely one of the younger students, but it wasn’t a college level course. I remember that she would drive me out to Meredith College so that we could stand in a field and look at the stars and planets through the telescopes. I loved it, and not just because I got to stay up past my bedtime.
My dad helped me make a planetarium out of a refrigerator box for my science fair project. We kept it for ages after that and it was one of my favorite things.
So getting to got to a NASA-funded workshop is really a childhood dream come true. I can’t wait.
The recording is of a live show — all the sound effects, all the dialogue, everything happen live in front of an audience with no stopping for mistakes. I hope you’ll understand that I’m quite proud of working with WRW.
Incidentally, this is the show I was working on when I got the idea for “Death Comes but Twice.”
Finally, we got our futon. Whew. We also picked up a gorgeous bookcase from the early 1900s. The folks that sold us the futon said, “Need anything else?” And we said, “Bookcases?”
Behold, for reasons that are unclear to me, they wanted to get rid of this glassfront bookcase which had belonged to the husband’s grandparents. It’s beautiful! I am baffled but was very, very happy to buy it from them. Naturally, it was not a dimension that we had planned on having in the apartment, but so pretty that we went into make-it-fit mode. Actually, I think this will be better all around. So, what we are doing is using it as a divider in the living room and giving Rob a micro-office there.
Clearly, painting is still happening, but I hated the color I put up on the wall behind the lamp. It’s a purple that does not play well with anything else in the room. It is not at all the color that the photo makes it appear.
I am taking over the entire room that we had set aside as an office. Though my workbench was supposed to be temporary, it’s becoming pretty clear that I will always need something like it. I made this floorplan when we were moving out, to figure out what furniture would fit. It’s been very handy so far. Like when we were trying to decide if we could, in fact, make the bookcase fit. So far, we only have one piece that we don’t have a good home for. It’s a Japanese kimono rack, which is normally a lovely piece, but the right spot hasn’t presented itself yet.
I need to reorganize the office, which we are already starting to call the “workshop” but that will probably wait until Coraline is finished.
WRW is happy to prove the cynics wrong and present four of our original audio experiments free of charge to the listening public. All are from writers who have participated in our Writerâ€™s On the Air Workshop. lt broadcasts on Stage and Studio with Dmae Roberts on our local station, KBOO 90.7 FM in Portland Oregon. I am very proud of all these pieces and I think they show the ever restless range of audio expression that makes â€œworkshopâ€ more than just a slogan or idle phraseology. We continue to experiment and explore the storytelling possibilties of the audio medium and welcome you on our voyage of discovery.
For unknown reasons, all of the electrical outlets in the workshop stopped working. I need my power tools. Argh. I did what hand work I could, but had to wrap up around four o’clock because I just ran out of things I could do.
Round two of fiberglassing the bear went much better. The glass on thmpts in the morning after he left so the fumes would have a chance to dissapate. This is way I was not going to do the fiberglass work at the workshop.
Today I did the last of the fiberglassing for an audience of three. The three boys that live in my building and the next were fascinated by the crazy American crouching on the front porch with a toxic brew. If I hadn’t been racing the set time on the resin, I would have grabbed my camera and asked them to take process shots. This particular resin has a work time of about fifteen minutes. So I have to get as much glass laid as possible before the resin starts kicking.
After it cured, I pulled the clay out. In places like the snout, I had to use a spoon to scrape the pieces out. This is the point where you are desperately hoping that there’s not some mistake in the fiberglass, because you are destroying the sculpture. I was a little nervous as I was pulling the clay out, because the fiberglass made some alarming pop noises. If the fiberglass was brittle, it woud mean that I had put too much of the hardener in the resin. Fortunately, it turned out to be a leaf that had blown under the head (I was working outside, remember) and been fiberglassed to the back of the skull. Whew.
The fiberglass is translucent, but I’ll still have to cut the pupils of the bear out in order for the performer to see. Currently, I’m planning to use either scrim or sunglass lenses to cover the opening. I’ll have to see which looks better with the fur.
And here is a picture of me holding the bear head on. I don’t have the lower jaw installed here, although it’s fiberglassed, but you can see the proportions of the bear. I’ll take it in to the studio tomorrow for the next step in its construction.
I’m teaching a workshop at Orycon on reading aloud. How does this text sound as a blurb?
You may be a good writer, but reading aloud is a separate skill. In this workshop, learn to make your words sound as great out loud as they do on the page. Using both demonstration and audience participation, we will explore voicing, narration and pacing. Come with one paragraph of your own work; sample text will also be provided.
I also need a snappy title. Here are some random candidates, not all of which are from me.
How to Give a Reading without Wetting Yourself
The Science of Readings
Remember to Breathe
On Friday, lightning struck the server that hosts my website and email. Their surge protectors failed and my site went up in smoke. It finally came back up, and I’m reloading things, but I don’t know how long it will take. Some things will just be lost.
Unfortunately, Willamette Radio Workshop’s site was on the same server. It will take awhile to get both sites restored.
The older blog entries, I’m afraid, are just gone.
According to Sue, owner of Lessons Learned, the folks she was pitching to really liked the concept. Which means my popups and cards were successful. She has to go out of town this week, so we won’t start working on it until Monday and the pilot workshop is a week from Friday. Yoicks.
I went to the WRW Writers’ On-the-air Workshop again last night, but need to get my hiney in gear and finish my script. It won’t be one of the ones worked on this time round, but it’s nice to have a deadline to work toward.
I spent today working on maintanence again. Apparently my sanding and varnishing skills, honed from puppet-making and home-repair, are highly valued at the Spirit because they’ve asked me to come back tomorrow to do some additional detailing. La.
In the evening, Rob and I biked down to Sam and Cindy’s (Hi Sam) for the Willamette Radio’s Writer’s On-the-Air Workshop. It was the first session, and I spent a lot of time transcribing the session for the folks who were attending via internet. It was fun and a little disorienting.
The workshop performances of Arabian Nights continue to go well. I’m happy with the twist that I added to the design last night and I showed my rough sketches to the gang. They all seem to like them. We’ll see if it works as I start to get into the nitty gritty details.
Mom and Dad have headed for home. I didn’t get to see them off because I had to get up super early to go to the first workshop performance of Arabian Nights. It went well, but is making us rethink a number of things. I’m going to spend this evening doing some serious work on the set.
(Tor Books – July 14 2020) Mary Robinette Kowal continues her Hugo and Nebula award-winning Lady Astronaut series, following The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, with The Relentless Moon. The Earth is coming to the boiling point as the climate disaster of the Meteor strike becomes more and more clear, but the political situation is already overheated. Riots and […]