I'm probably not going to get much of anything that's related to writing done this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to that.
Last night I attended this month's Writers Wednesday at Capital Ale House. These things are great, and if you're local to or visiting the Richmond area, I highly recommend you join us. Here is the web site info on it, but the short version: it's low-key, and it's free. Show up and I guarantee somebody will shake your hand and ask what you write. Somebody else will ask what you'd like to drink, and if you enjoy a good (but not free) brew then you're really in the right place. Their beer menu is longer and far more interesting than some peoples' novels, and there's always something new. The group, you'll find, consists of all sorts of writers, too; there are poets, business writers, fiction of all genre and age range, and non-fiction writers to chat with and share ideas. Just--go.
Anyway, as I was saying before my commercial rudely interrupted me, I was standing there last night innocently sipping on a beer and blam! Suddenly we were hit by a discussion on writing processes. Turns out, if you weren't already aware, that the writing process is very different for different writers. That's even down to the formatting. One of the writers there--a successful and relatively prolific one--explained that he couldn't write anything but single-spaced text, which prompted me to explain that I much prefer double-spaced writing, thus sparking one of the calmest (and shortest) debates in which I've participated in a while. But in the end, before we moved off to discussing--um, I think it was screenplay length and format that was next--we made it clear that even in a small group were people with very, very different writing habits.
Another thing I learned last night is that a site exists that gives away story ideas. Hah, a virtual Schenectady! (See http://theotherstephenkingonwriting.blogspot.com/2011/03/protesting-in-schenectady.html for the rest of the joke) A quick Google search this morning clued me in that there are actually several such sites out there. Try it yourself: Google "free story ideas" and see what you get. Wow, right?
So tying all this back to topic, I tend to get my ideas not from a fictitious factory in a town in NY, nor from a web site, nor from some of the places other writers have mentioned, but mostly from taking a little time to look around and think. Being in an environment that promotes fantasy or sci fi type of thinking helps, which, in turn (see, I did get back to it) is why I'm really quite excited for this weekend.
So no, I won't be doing much writing. Instead, I'm working at Ravencon. For those who don't wish to clicky the linky, it's a three-day fantasy/sci-fi convention held right here in Richmond, actually just a few miles from my place. It won't be my first convention, nor the first one I've worked for, but it'll be the first fantasy/sci fi convention I've helped run. I'm looking forward to working it, and meeting lots of new people, and the inspiration the event will inevitably bring me.
And yes, of course I'll take pictures.