A signed copy of Song of the Ovulum.
Scrawled, "To Jake, Bryan Davis".
All of them describe, but do not encompass, the One Year Adventure Novel Workshop. It has been one of the most epic things I have ever done. Undoubtedly.
And how to describe such epic things? Epicness is hard to describe. Very hard. But I shall attempt it. It shall be very lengthy. So, if you want a summary; I have provided it above. If not, try to make your way through this muddle.
The highlights of the first day (which includes the evening before the first day):
First, I met the one and only EaglesWings. We (my entire Clan) had her and her mom over for supper, which composed of steak and rice.
I arrived the next morning just in time to see Mrs. S (one of the key people at the workshop) being herself. Afterwards, Mr. S (also known as Daniel Schwabauer) lectured two lectures; he spoke first about Great Characters, using examples of Cyrano de Bergerac, Peter Pan, and Scrooge, I believe.
The second lecture spoke about common story mistakes writers make in their stories. I won't go in-depth, but these were very helpful. :) I took many notes. *nodnod*
Afterward, Mr. and Mrs. S acted out how NOT to critique and be critiqued. Which was absolutely hilarious.
And then, lunch.
The thing that made my stomach churn.
Actually, it went quite well. I was glad for the critiques. :)
And then, break time commenced.
After free time and supper, the OYANers packed back into the lecture hall for a surprise: which turned out to be a bagpipes fellow who played some absolutely fantastic stuff. Cue much clapping!
After that, a man named Mark Wilson came and gave a session called "The Lord of the Lord of the Rings", talking about how The Lord of the Rings was embedded with morals contrary to modern belief, and how it can apply to writing. Great session, it was. :)
Afterward, the free time was labeled "Meet other OYANers who want to change and/or annoy the world with their words."
The Second Day:
Mrs. S was herself, for thirty minutes. And she gave away stuff. O_o
And then, Mark Wilson again gave a lecture, this time about how storytelling impacts the world. And I really liked this one as well. :)
After a short break, there was another lecture (this one by a judge in the OYAN novel contest) that talked about contest mistakes and how to avoid them.
After, lunch, and then critique groups. I gave them my worst chapter to endure. O_o
After this, there was scheduled a Doctor Who party-ish thing, which Eagles and I both went to, neither of us having ever watched Doctor Who. So, I did, for the first time.
It was...strange. And the fact that they watched two different episodes with two different Doctors made things confusing. >_>
The last two sessions of the night were very good as well; Mr. S talked about the four layers of truth in fiction, and how to communicate it; Mark Wilson talked about the need for community in writers. We're not Lone Rangers. ;)
As for the time afterward, the OYANers were supposed to "Hang out. Play Games. Plot the destruction of the galactic empire."
Mrs. S was herself again.
Bryan Davis came to the Workshop to speak. He gave us, in two sessions a crash-course in revision and advanced revision; from passive voice to foreshadowing to intimate point of view. This was probably the most helpful part of the Workshop: I'm planning to do a Bryan Davis Revision soon. ;)
In critique groups afterward, we came up with the epic idea of Lauffter Control. Defacing our name-tags, we hid the words "Lauffter Control" from view; and a plan to secure a banana was made.
After supper, Bryan Davis gave a fantastic "lecture" (better suited by the word speech) about writing for God and having a passion in writing. It was amazing. I cannot sum it up in mere words.
And after? The Greenleaf Improv Team came to the Workshop and made us throw up our hands in laughter. (Inside joke. We had one of them "throw up their hands"...literally...)
The Last Day:
Mrs. S was herself, but only for 15 minutes.
After a lecture or two, a performance by some talented peoples, the critique group plot came to fruition. And, chapter eleven of The War Horn was received very well, and they liked it. :) And, Eagles' epilogue was bittersweet.
In the closing session, Mr. S addressed the topic he called, "Ack! Where do I go from here?" He did quite a good job. :) And, some intrepid OYANers made an entire skit with the phrases like "His eyes were glued to the ceiling" and "he couldn't take his eyes off her" and "he threw up his arms", etc. Complete with sound effects and a frantic person trying to grab the eyes off the ceiling...
After this, Eagles and I had a picture taken with Mr. and Mrs. S.
And then, as the schedule said, all OYANers packed as much last-minute fun they could into three hours. It included a knighting, the pouring of Coke on one's head, capture-the-flag-ninja, lightning, and final goodbyes.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that I slept very little the entire week?
And now the OYAN Workshop is over. It was epic, and the words I have spoken will never sum it up. Post-Workshop depression has been cued for shipment.
BUT. It was taped. >:) I suspect they'll be making a DVD of the Workshop.
So, that was my week. My first conference/Workshop thingy.
If you've made it through this post, congratulations. Hopefully, I've made you want to be there. And if you weren't there and have never heard of OYAN, go and buy it. And those of you reading this and were there...perhaps I've made you want to do it all over again.
Farewell, all, and hopefully I can get a writing related post up here sometime. If I'm not eaten by tarantulas first...