Hello, writing world! How are you? I've been away for so long! It's been months since I blogged, and even longer since I've worked on my manuscript. But I have THE BEST excuse: Derek and I bought a house! We've been here for three weeks now. It's a long time to not be writing, but it seems short given how much work we've done to this place. We've hung artwork, painted walls, installed appliances, and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.
Writing has not been out of my mind completely. After I went to Big Sur in December, upon the suggestion of another writer I met there, I joined SCBWI (the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). I'm so glad I did because I got invited to a workshop that took place near my new house. I attended said workshop on Sunday. The track I took was led by author Malinda Lo, who I was thrilled to meet. The topic was diversity in world-building, something in which I am profoundly interested because in my writing, I try to build the kind of gender-equitable world in which I wish I lived. The workshop was full of other friendly writers and it was so much fun to be surrounded by people who shared my passion for writing and science fiction.
Malinda Lo started by dismantling a lot of the assumptions that people make when they're building a world, like heteronormativity (the idea that the only normal sexual orientation is straight) and that female characters can't be their own agents. But honestly, the biggest thing I learned from the workshop was that I already know a lot about world-building just from my own experience. That's not to say I'm not glad I went. It was good for me to go and socialize with other writers, and it was a good confidence boost. I felt like an intermediate aspiring author instead of a beginner.