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*waves* I’m Ellen. I’ve been a newspaper reporter, alumni magazine asst. editor, university PR staffer, small news service co-owner, massage therapist, nutrition education writer and a few other things.
Started doing NaNoWrimo in 2004, have written a bad draft nearly every year since, and a couple of scripts during Scriptfrenzy (excellent dialogue practice). Spent way too long revising bad NaNo mansucripts. For the last four years I’ve been part of Wordos, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy short-story critique group in Eugene, Oregon. Made my first (and only) short story sale in 2015. Currently revising my 2014? NaNo novel, a tolerable if convoluted Space Opera. (I’m apparently genetically incapable of single line stories). I’ve taken lots of classes and workshops; everything Eric Witchey teaches, a few Holly Lisle classes, many local workshops and writing conferences… shouldn’t have started naming teachers, there are too many…
No cruises for me, although I met Mr. Barnes briefly at Norwescon, I believe, after your reading and moving discussion of the whether it was “too late” to write what you wanted to write. I still think about that, because I still have those fears, and I deeply appreciate your sharing your own. Also watched Ms. Due handle the Sasquan Hugos ceremony with poise and grace — kudos, kudos, kudos.