Don’t get mad at me, I didn’t make up these quotes!
Odyssey Class of 1997
Back Row: Jeanne Cavelos (“I had an interesting morning. I fed Igmoe.”), Ethan Katz (“The Nude Captain Janeway Lighter”), Matthew P. Winn (“I quote the quotes”), Dan Fitzgerald (“No teacher I know would give me a gun”), Naomi Lebowitz (“Hmmm… interesting”), Elaine Isaak (towering above: “Eunoch”), Keith Demanche (“The Pregnant Flower”)
Front Row: Walter Williamson (“Syrup soaked sausage sliding down my throat”), Martha Adams (“I think what you’re trying to do is what [insert authors name here] did”), Dennis Meredith (“Cerulean”), Deirdre Saoirse-Savino (“If you’re going to end the universe, a novella is required”), Steve Laurent (“Hey! Get that guy! He’s got my pants!”), Troy Ehlers (“There’s only one solution I can think of. Please look into this light.”)
Not Pictured: Peter Almada (“Blecchy”), who had to leave before the picture was taken.
OK, OK, I got them from Matt!
COMMENTS FROM THE ODYSSEY CLASS OF 1997
The “Cerulean ’97 Odfellows”
Until Odyssey, I’d read many books about writing fiction, and thought I understood the fundamentals, but now I have an infinitely better grasp of the practice of these fundamentals and much more confidence that I can apply them methodically and intelligently to create professional fiction.
Odyssey made me more critical of my own writing and better able to learn the craft from published stories. The different views and critiques from Odyssey students proved themselves invaluable. I learned to look at my own writing through very different eyes. Each guest lecturer taught me new and different ways to improve my technique, style, and writing process. Jeanne and the guests gave me an incredible amount of insight into the writing and publishing fields. Odyssey gave me a sense of community—not only with the other students and lecturers, but with the entire writing world. Jeanne’s wide range of experiences as a writer and editor ensured that all of my strengths and weaknesses were explored and that all of my questions were answered. Odyssey is essential for any writer who plans to have a writing career. Odyssey was simultaneously the most enjoyable and most educational experience I’ve ever had.
Odyssey’s editor-run format has one primary advantage over Clarion’s author-run format: editors buy stories; authors don’t. Since both workshops try to help writers get published, I think Odyssey students will be more successful.
Daniel P. Fitzgerald
Jeanne’s experience as an author and an editor contributed greatly to the success of Odyssey’s second year. Her ability to distinguish between professional and non-professional behavior helped Odyssey run smoothly and effectively. Her interest and support in her students extends beyond the instructor-student relationship, forming interpersonal bonds with her group. The benefits of Odyssey extend far beyond the six-week course. The workshop never really ends. . . .
You get out more than you put in, and you’ll put in a lot.
I learned that I am a writer, that I can write—what more needs to be said?
An exciting six weeks! From the first day, it gave me energy to write and an enthusiasm to create strange new places and experiment. Working with the guests provided fantastic opportunities to learn about the writing life and gain insight into their various lecture topics. Jeanne is an enthusiastic teacher, willing to listen to students and answer all questions. This would be a great workshop for anyone who has the energy and ideas but needs support and guidance to put it all together. The class developed a real camaraderie and I believe I have formed some lasting writing relationships.
Lots of books outline the possibilities (and sometimes pitfalls) in writing fantasy and science fiction. How to accomplish those possibilities gets less discussion. I already knew a lot that ‘anybody knows,’ but now at Odyssey, I’ve filled in the blanks and I see what work I need to do to realize some of those possibilities.
Writing is not a job or vocation but a life-work. Jeanne and Odyssey have given me the tools with which to continue the process. The experience has been invaluable.
Odyssey is a whirlwind of ideas: cerulean cats, mothered parasites, test-pattern suits, eunuch heroes, even carnivorous plants and sexy flowers. It’s a mind-warp you just can’t miss. Learn from the Odyssey experience. It’s a moral imperative.
Walter supplied these pictures, but he was too chicken, uh… smart to caption them. So we had to.