Odyssey Class of 2004

“Blood, Sweat, and Entrails”

Back Row: Greg Wachausen, Brian Rappatta, Michael Ashley, Bill Aksel Kuehl, Chad Edwards, Jeff Lyman, George R. R. Martin, Jonathan Ezarik, Andrea Kail
Center Row: Abby Goldsmith, Mary DeMarco, Marcia Richards, Jeanne Cavelos, Laurie Dunstan
Front Row: Amy Tibbetts, Kelly Moore, Julia Liberman, Tracy Berg

Michael Ashley

You will go six weeks without television, spouse, or contact with the outside world, but you’ll love it. Odyssey would be better than sex, if sex were writing awful fiction and convincing yourself it’s brilliant.

Tracy J. Berg

I went in thinking I knew a lot about writing, but Odyssey took all the knowledge available and helped me to see how it worked together, how each part of the story should work with other parts to make a good story great. I can’t think of one thing in my life that has done so much to make me a better writer.

Mary C. DeMarco

Laurie Dunstan

Chad Edwards

Odyssey nurtured and disciplined the writer within, setting me on a path I feel better equipped to tread.

Jonathan Ezarik

Abby Goldsmith

I’ve been writing short stories for two years, with no pro sales. I’m leaving this workshop with a certainty that I will be able to make sales to pro magazines, and eventually sell novels. Some things about the publishing industry that I suspected have been confirmed or debunked, and I learned unexpected tips about writing and publishing.

Andrea Kail

Before I came to Odyssey, I was stumbling around in the dark, writing by instinct and making a lot of bad choices. But the Odyssey experience and Jeanne have given me the tools I need to follow my good instincts, ignore the bad ones, and make the choices that lead to good stories. Thanks, Jeanne.

William Aksel Kuehl

I feel that I have learned more about point of view, voice, and tone than I had from years of reading. I also learned to evaluate a finished story by asking what the theme is and if it is well expressed.

Julia Burns Liberman

Jeffrey Lyman

I had a great time. I now know why my stories work or don’t work, and how to fix them. Plus, I met a lot of great people.

Marcia Richards

Kelly Moore

Odyssey really helped me hone my inner editor. By the end of the six weeks, I could evaluate my work much more objectively than before I attended Odyssey. I know this will shave years off the time it takes me to publish.

Brian Rappatta

Think you’re a great writer? Hah! Come to Odyssey and you’ll be promptly disabused of any egomaniacal notions. Jeanne will systematically and carefully destroy your preconceptions of your own ability, and at the same time will show you just how far you have to go. But best of all, she’ll show you how to get there.

Amy Tibbetts

I’d never met any other fantasy writers before coming here and meeting the other students and guest authors. It was great! I’d never have known what I was doing wrong in my own writing if I hadn’t come to Odyssey.

Greg Wachausen

What can I say about Odyssey that hasn’t been said before? I learned more at my six weeks at Odyssey than I did in all my years of being a wanna-be writer. If you’re serious about writing, apply to Odyssey: it will pull you out of that stagnant pond of amateurs and kick you in the right direction.

Memorable Quotes from the Class of 2004

“Read, Odyssey people, read and keep on reading.”
—Ellen Kushner

“Did he shoot himself or did he have an orgasm?”
—Laurie Dunstan

“I like the idea of a man executing children.”
—Jonathan Ezarik

“Oh, crap. Elves.”
—Brian Rappatta

“I can’t decide if the fair maiden is Jason or Eleanor.”
—Michael Ashley

“A pretty well-done example of a kind of story I don’t like.”
—George R. R. Martin

“The other story’s about this much more sympathetic guy, who just wants a little excrement in his life.”
—M. C. DeMarco

“You have two climaxes and you recapitulate them both.”
—Jeanne Cavelos

“You have a zombie getting it with a chainsaw. This is your time to shine.”
—Greg Wachausen

“I think you need more porn.”
—Kelly Moore

“Medieval rednecks.”
—Julia Liberman

“It’s terrific cookie dough, and I can tell it’s going to be a terrific cookie.”
—Ellen Kushner

“Cripples automatically have depth to their characters.”
—Amy Tibbetts

“I wasn’t sure aobut the glowing prostitutes.”
—Marcia Richards

“Stories are too big and too complicated to hold in my mind.”
—Barry B. Longyear

“A walking tour of sexual perversion across the world.”
—Andrea Kail

“Catapult hazardous waste into open pit.”
—Jeffrey Lyman

“There were no funny teacups in your story.”
—Tracy Berg

“I’m still iffy about the gang rape.”
—Abby Goldsmith

Michael Ashley: “There’s a lot that would have to happen before people would start snapping kids’ necks.”
Chad Edwards: “At least we hope.”

“Toasting the gnome.”
—M. C. DeMarco

“It’s not like he’s holding a severed head and carrying it around the office.”
—Greg Wachausen

“When you’re trying to pretend that you’re the author of the film, there’s nothing more embarrassing than the actual author of the film.”
—George R. R. Martin

“Stoning elves was a premise I could really get behind.”
—Brian Rappatta

“I wanted to know the story behind the finger.”
—Kelly Moore

“If he went to Elk hell, I want to see him.”
—M. C. DeMarco

“You’ve got this chick who looks like cousin Itt with a furry butt and a tail and red fingernails, and she’s stripping for a living.”
—Michael Ashley

“Where does the snake woman keep her flute?”
—Jonathan Ezarik

“The tongue bothered me. Maybe a little bit of tongue would be okay.”
—M. C. DeMarco

“Gratuitous sequelizing.”
—Brian Rappatta

“I didn’t feel it was a waste of my time.”
—Jonathan Ezarik

“I wish he was my emperor. I would swear fealty to him.”
—Amy Tibbetts

“Vaguely Frenchy.”
—George R. R. Martin

“I don’t think you can explain why a celibate telepath has to be a high-school chemistry teacher.”
—M. C. DeMarco

“I like sociopaths.”
—Marcia Richards

“He was born a vegetable, and he grew up a vegetable. Probably just put him out with the trash.”
—Greg Wachausen