Doyle&Macdonald
a journal for works in progress
Recent Entries 
13th-Feb-2014 03:26 pm - Doyle's Boskone Sked
ColumbiaMilitant

What (and How) to Read to Kids
Saturday 10:00 – 10:50

Reading aloud can be a memorable bonding experience — and big fun — for both adult and child. What genre stories work well when told to pre-readers? To 6-year olds? To 8-year-olds? We’ll discuss book selection and vocal presentation tips for both novice and experienced read-out-louders.

Bruce Coville (M), Bill Roper, Stacey Friedberg, Debra Doyle

Finish It! Completing Your Work
Saturday 11:00 – 11:50

Here you are with two half-completed novels, a handful of unfinished short stories, and a pile of great ideas gathering dust. Then there’s work, life, family, and cons. How do you maintain momentum with so many distractions? Panelists share their experiences as well as strategies to help keep you on track toward finishing the projects that only end when the manuscript is sent out!

Jeanne Cavelos (M), Jeffrey A. Carver, Felicitas Ivey, Fran Wilde , Debra Doyle

The Evolution of a Hero
Saturday 14:00 – 14:50

Heroes aren’t born. They’re made through a combination of choices and circumstances that mold them both internally as well as externally into someone powerful enough to represent a challenge to the story’s antagonist. Has the once well-defined transition from zero to hero changed with the introduction of modern social structures? What about modern female characters who chafe against preconceived notions of who a hero is, what it means to be a hero, and how a hero is made? Are there differences between the growth of a hero for men and women? And what does this all mean for the antagonist?

Jeffrey A. Carver (M), Jennifer Pelland, Craig Shaw Gardner, Debra Doyle, Greer Gilman

What Is Storytelling For?
Saturday 15:00 – 15:50

Why tell stories? What is the purpose of narrative fiction in culture? Are the world and characters a massive counterfactual conditional and the narrative an extended consequence … i.e., if things were thus, then this might happen? Or are we just telling lies?

Debra Doyle (M), Jo Walton, Ada Palmer, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Michael Swanwick

Autographing
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald & Darrell Schweitzer
Sunday 11:00 – 11:50

Reading
Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald
Sunday 13:30 – 13:55

From Browncoats to Red Shirts
Sunday 14:00 – 14:50

“Millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.” SF can be cavalier about the death of away-team expendables or the faceless multitudes of Alderaan. But lately, storytellers are starting to finish off our favorites. Cheap, hateful trick — or welcome return to reality? What are the benefits (and dangers) of a story where no one, not even your best-loved character, is ever truly safe?

Steven Popkes (M), Walter H. Hunt, Melinda Snodgrass, Debra Doyle

10th-Jun-2013 03:50 pm - Five More Days
VP Icon
Until applications close for this year’s Viable Paradise. The ferry to the island pulls away from the dock at midnight on June 15 — if you’re thinking of applying and don’t have your application in by then, you’ll have to wait until next year.

(You can submit your application by e-mail in .RTF format, with hardcopy to follow, so you can’t get away with telling yourself that there isn’t time for the envelope to get there.)
2nd-May-2013 12:34 pm - A New Story!
ColumbiaMilitant
Macdonald and I have a short story out on-line today, in both text and podcast form: "The Clockwork Trollop," over at this month's Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Those of you who were at the Arisia before last may recall hearing an early draft at our reading. It's been polished quite a bit since then.
14th-Feb-2013 11:24 am - Macdonald's Boskone Schedule
Mariner
Saturday 11:00 - 11:50, Military Motifs in SF, Harbor I ( Westin)

Saturday 12:00 - 13:00, Kaffeeklatsche, Galleria-Kaffeeklatsch 1 ( Westin)

Saturday 14:00 - 15:00, Safety & Security - Now and in the Future, Harbor I ( Westin)

Saturday 16:00 - 16:50, What If--What's Left?, Burroughs ( Westin)
Younger fans take it for granted that TVs are big and flat (or tiny and totable), computing is ubiquitous, female astronauts travel in reusable spacecraft, and humans long ago swung down from the trees and walked on the moon. Which big "what ifs?" are left to explore? How can science fiction challenge readers who have grown up in an SF world?

Saturday 17:30 - 17:55, Reading, Lewis ( Westin)

Sunday 11:00 - 12:00, Autographing, Galleria-Autographing ( Westin)

Sunday 12:00 - 12:50, How Cons Have Changed, Carlton ( Westin)
13th-Feb-2013 11:45 pm - Doyle's Boskone Schedule
ColumbiaMilitant
Friday 20:00 - 20:50, Mythology in Science Fiction, Burroughs ( Westin)
How have myths and fables from our past affected SF writers' development of fictitious off-world or future-world mythology? Are most of their myth systems just the old stuff dressed up with different names, or is anybody coming up with anything truly new? Does a mere hint of myth make an SF story a fantasy?

Saturday 12:00 - 13:00, Kaffeeklatsche, Galleria-Kaffeeklatsch 1 ( Westin)
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald

Saturday 16:00 - 16:50, The Two Sides of Gollum, Harbor I ( Westin)
Gollum is unique: there's nobody quite like him in fantasy (or is there?) And in many ways, he is the true tragic here of the Lord of the Rings, evoking at times anger, contempt, and pity from the readers. The panel looks at the character of Gollum (whether Stinker or Slinker) and how he fits into Tolkien's world and Tolkien's story.

Saturday 17:30 - 17:55, Reading, Lewis ( Westin)
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald

Sunday 11:00 - 12:00, Autographing, Galleria-Autographing ( Westin)
Debra Doyle, S. C. Butler, James D. Macdonald

Sunday 12:00 - 12:50, Futurespeak: the Evolution of English and More, Griffin ( Westin)
Will English still be the world's most widely used language 50, 100, or 500 years from now? How might it sound or be written differently then? Which writers are ut klude to tomorotalk?
14th-Dec-2012 11:58 pm - A Seasonal Opportunity
ColumbiaMilitant
Or, what I posted today on my editorial-services blog:

In honor of the midwinter holiday of your choice — or the summer solstice, if you happen to live in the Southern Hemisphere — Dr. Doyle’s Editorial and Critique Service (i. e., me) is offering a special seasonal opportunity:

Now you can give your writerly friend, relative, or significant other an editorial-services gift certificate. Purchase it now on their behalf at the usual rate, and I’ll enter it on my scheduling spreadsheet as a paid-for job, date TBD. I’ll even supply a printable PDF gift certificate suitable for putting into an envelope and sticking in somebody’s Christmas stocking.
29th-Nov-2012 09:22 pm - Sale Ho!
ColumbiaMilitant
We've sent back in the contract, so it's official: Himself and I have sold a short story, "The Clockwork Trollop", to Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Nobody ever gets rich off of short stories, but BCS pays professional rates, so we'll be getting at least a serious grocery-store expedition's worth.

No word yet on when it'll appear.
12th-Jul-2012 11:52 pm - Our Readercon Sked
ColumbiaMilitant
Doyle's Panels
Saturday July 14
10:00 AM E Autographs.
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald, Rick Wilber.

Sunday July 15
10:00 AM VT Reading. Debra Doyle. Debra Doyle reads a work in progress.

1:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Debra Doyle, John Langan, James D. Macdonald.

2:00 PM F When All You Have Is a Hammer, Get a Sonic Screwdriver . Debra Doyle, Lila Garrott, Glenn Grant, Graham Sleight (leader), Jo Walton. In an SF Signal podcast episode discussing Readercon 22, Jeff Patterson suggested that our traditional critical vocabulary may be ill-suited or inadequate for discussing space opera or hard SF. Is this true of hard SF in specific, or is there a broader problem of adapting mainstream critical vocabulary, largely evolved to discuss realistic fiction, to the particular problems of SF or fantasy? What are the specific aspects of the fantastic that seem to require special critical tools? Are certain critical terms borrowed from the fan or writer's workshop communities, like "worldbuilding," useful ways of extending our critical vocabularies?

Macdonald's Panels
Saturday July 14
10:00 AM E Autographs. Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald, Rick Wilber.

Sunday July 15
10:30 AM VT Reading. James D. Macdonald. James D. Macdonald reads from Emergency Magical Services: First Response (a work in progress).

12:00 PM G Paranormal Plagues. John Benson, Richard Bowes, Alaya Dawn Johnson, James D. Macdonald (leader), Alison Sinclair. Some paranormal novels portray vampirism, lycanthropy, and even zombification as infectious diseases that work in ways directly opposite to real-world diseases, such as making the infected person physically stronger and longer-lived. The idea of a disease we can choose to have and choose to share is also compelling. Yet these paranormal diseases are rarely explored in comparison to real-world ones (other than in the innumerable vampires-and-AIDS stories of the 1990s). Is disease just a narrative convenience, or does it relate to real-world medical issues such as the (overhyped) evolution of multiple-drug-resistant bacteria and the persistent incurability of illnesses like HIV, cancer, and influenza that we were supposed to have beaten by now?

1:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Debra Doyle, John Langan, James D. Macdonald.
20th-May-2012 09:19 am - A Little Bird Tells Me...
VP Icon
...that this year would be a very good year to apply to the Viable Paradise Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop on Martha's Vineyard.

The deadline for applications is 15 June, but the instructors are reading MSS right now as they come in. (Notifications of acceptances all go out in a bunch at the end, but the selection process goes a lot more smoothly if we don't have to read the whole stack in 48 hours or so after the gates are closed.)

Good things about Viable Paradise (aside from lighthouses and weather-permitting jellyfish viewing and early morning walks along the beach): you'll have eight instructors, all in the same week, for 24 students; it's a one-week workshop (because while a month or six weeks can be prohibitively hard for a lot of people to get free, even folks with day jobs can usually hack and slash at their schedules enough to cut loose a single week); and the folks at VP don't just work with short story submissions -- we like working with novels, too.
28th-Apr-2012 11:48 am - Signal Boost--A Kitty in Need
ColumbiaMilitant
A short break from matters book and writing related:

If you're reading this and live in Brooklyn (or Manhattan, or the greater NYC area), and know anything about helping/rescuing stray and injured cats, then you need to go here and read this.

Short version: pnh and tnh have an injured cat on their back steps with an apparent broken leg. They're feeding it and sheltering it in place (they can't take it inside because of severe cat allergies, plus a hamster-in-residence) while trying to find someone, or some organization, with a vehicle and a cat-carrier who can come pick it up and take it to proper care (and not to someplace which will merely euthanize the poor thing.)

Hell, if I lived near enough -- as opposed to six hours and two tanks of gas away -- I'd take the cat. But the best I can do right now is a signal boost.

ETA: [info]pnh reports that the situation has been successfully resolved.
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