This story, man.
See, I grew up in a bayside community in Maryland. A little bay. Not the big Chesapeake. But even little bays feel huge when you’re little yourself.
We’d throw crab cages off the end of the dock and see bobbing milk jugs along the edges of the bay that marked where others had done the same. Old Bay is a staple where I’m from, practically an appetizer. Blue crabs adorn art pieces, sports team jerseys, and fill plenty of bellies, some people using crabbing to offset grocery costs.
Thing is though, I’m not a fan of crab. Not a fan of Old Bay, and the joke that I’m not Marylander enough to be a Marylander occurred more than a few times in my youth. I would crack crab legs open for my younger siblings, but I would never eat it myself.
So I thought, why not use that difference in me, play with the crabs who aren’t too fond of this fondness that Marylanders have for them.
I set this story in a bayside community, with a young girl investigating strange occurrences, partially to tap into my own history, partially to capture that sense of feeling off in one’s own skin, in one’s own home.
And then things turned creepy quite quickly.
You can find this issue with my story, “How Many Crab Pots Does it Take to Destroy a Neighborhood?, on Amazon or on Perpetual Motion Publishing’s site.
One day during each week we were taught by a guest rather than Jeanne. These guests included: J. G. Faherty, Brandon Sanderson, Eric James Stone, E.C. Ambrose, Barbara Ashford, and Scott H. Andrews. Each of them taught a class on a different subject, from horror and world-building, to plot and publishing. They would all have Q&A sessions, and a few of them would stay for our Salon & Games after our group thank yous.
There were also a few guests who came for a very limited time. These included people such as Carrie Vaughn, James Joseph Adams, & Sheila Williams. They each did a Q&A session with us and some of them then did private critiques with a few people. Sheila Williams was kind enough to give me some advice on how to be a shy, socially anxious person within the industry as she’s also dealt with similar struggles and that was incredibly helpful and inspiring.
A few of these guests also did critiques with us. Brandon Sanderson did an in-class one for me, while E.C. Ambrose and Scott H. Andrews did private ones. Some of the guests were kinder and gentler than others, and some of them were more than willing to support us in our journeys, which was beyond kind of them :)
As a part of our thank you to each of our guests, Jeanne and Amy showed a past Odyssey t-shirt that represented something similar to what they would be getting once our year’s came in. This was actually what they were sent: our 2020 aptly named Viscerally Vexing since it can stand for both the crazy year we’ve all been having and the words we struggled over during Odyssey.
I think the best part of the having the varied guests drop-in virtually for us was to really shine a spotlight on how different people’s opinions are, how subjective the magazine and novel world is, and how our own specific writing voice has a home, we just have to discover where that is.
<3 Marie C.
Posted in Odyssey Workshop
Tagged critique, fantasy, flash, horror, lecture, novel, odyssey, reading, sci-fi, science-fiction, short story, workshop, writing