And here we are! Brand new graduates! Survivalists! Word-Wizards!
I wanted to say a few things/memories about everyone, maybe show you how they’re people and not just faces :)
TOP ROW (Lf-Rt):
Jeanne – our fearless, ingenious leader. Ever insisting that a character’s uppance is coming. Always giving us one-on-one encouragement. Never allowing us to wallow in despair. A taskmaster. But a kind one, who sees and acknowledges our development and progress.
Adam – Out of all of us, he was the one who liked to move around, his background changing to another part of his house now and then. He had a huge amount of energy during a Conan reading! That could not be forgotten for the rest of the workshop as people would tap him to read passages of passion. I’m pretty sure he’s a borderlands fan and he’s been giving us all marketing tips as that’s part of his background.
Ola – My virtual roommate! We got to talk before the workshop started and would chat in private messages (but only during casual conversation time, of course). She lives in New York City, is incredibly organized and super driven. She commemorates aspects of her experiences in script tattoos on her wrist (that I thought were bracelets at first) and I find that to be an amazing way to keep those experiences alive. [She has also started a brand-new pro-paying magazine called khōréō magazine that has a focus on elevating stories of immigrants and those affected by diaspora, so be sure to give it a check!]
Libby – You must only breathe the word philosophy into your microphone, turn around three times and raise your arms in supplication to the dragon-knight and you shall summon her! She’s a triplet, has worked with inmates, and knows how to lead a conversation. She’s one of the most confident of our group and during our last game of the workshop she was the only one to guess my ‘journey words’ :)
SECOND ROW (Lf-Rt)
Ashley – And here we have one of the two people who accomplished every single journal entry during our time in Odyssey! She’s a self-proclaimed completionist and whatever you decide to do with her, well, she’s probably going to get it done before you XD Which is interesting because she also likes unsolved mysteries. Given what she’s working on as her novel atm, I suspect she might have a career solving fantastical murders with her words. [Which I am incredibly excited over!]
Francesca – One of our two super young writers, showing some of us older folks up! She’s an epic fantasy lover, takes a lot on herself, and was our other Odyssian who completed every single journal entry. She coined our workshop phrase and most everyone claimed to be “viscerally vexed” at some point during the six weeks.
ME! – My hair is usually greener than that! I also have a muuuuch cooler background when you talk to me because my Wizard of Oz books are back there, plus a map of Mirkwood and some nice fake plant foliage to offset a few of my favorite series. And, if you get me at the right angle, you’ll see Koga from Inuyasha scowling down at you ;)
Jessica – She was our other youngest writer, obviously far more passionate than most of us at the same age :) She’s been to Russia, was one of the quietest people during lecture (I was another…), and is working on a few YA books so she can start subbing.
THIRD ROW (Lf-Rt)
Scott – Our resident pun master! He always had one ready during his critique time for each story and motivated a lot of us behind the scenes. Sent the nicest “nasty-grams” when someone was late with a critique (it only happened twice!!) He’s a Dr. fan, had a post-it note wall and we were all thankful for the extra work he put in as the student worker.
Maurice – He had a virtual background that I totally thought was real in the beginning of the workshop. His sci-fi/horror film, Chimera, won numerous awards, so that should tell you a little something about his stories ;) Living in India, he was one of the people who had to struggle the most with the time differences and I have to give him a vast amount of kudos for his endurance and will.
Marc – He has two corgis living with him and rehabilitates others, one of his corgis working soothing magic on the temporary friends. He’s a stickler for a bunch of science and historical elements so he’s a great person to ask for help in that regard! Also, space crystals! [He was also the person who went before me every critique (because alphabet) and thus I suspect I will always get a small spike of anxiety whenever he speaks because I’ll think it must be my turn next XD]
Helena – Our Le Guin fan! She lived in the states during Odyssey but is from China and had to return at the end of the workshop. She and I did a lunch with Jeanne together where we talked about our TRUE favorite characters from Lord of the Rings. [We also banded together in our apathy toward Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, but we did that away from the others who might have flayed us! Lol]
LAST ROW (Lf-Rt)
Alex – Our passionate animal activist who had a cheerful sunny background that left him in shadow. He was the only one of us with a walking desk (a fact that took me a week to realize as I thought he was swaying in his seat) and I thought he tended toward thematic writing of issues close to his chest, but discovered he’s more of a horror writer than any of us ever realized.
Matt – As our Englishman living in Ireland, we would often demur to him some of the more accent-needed lecture passages so we’d have more of an experience. (Or not be embarrassed at mangling French pronunciations…) He does a lot of world-building in his stories, which is one of my favorite things ever.
Vikram – Another New Yorker, he brings a lot of his heritage into his stories in a welcoming way for those of us unfamiliar. Softer-spoken, with a clear, concise way of speaking, he also has experience doing podcasts, which didn’t surprise me at all.
Rona – Our MIT Odyssian has a lot of passion for other people and acts as a champion for equality and acceptance. She’s a fast talker, with a lot to say, and when she writes, she brings some serious chops in terms of dealing with heavy thematic elements. She’s also got a YA book coming out, so be sure to check for that!
And that’s all of us! :)
<3 Marie C.