MAN!!!!!!! Today was the first priority date to sign up for classes, and every slot except for one filled up in English 318 section 3 (the one taught by Brandon Sanderson)!!!! MAN!!!!! I SO want to get this class!!!!!! My sister told me she’d try to hold it for me, but last I heard she had a hold on her account…and so did two other senior friends that I asked! Well, if I fail to make the date, I suppose I can try the add-drop card approach. And I’ve already emailed him (not just a fan email–I asked him if it would be alright if I worked on this novel in his class). Many of my friends in the writing group have taken his class, some multiple times, so I suppose that it’s possible…I don’t know. I’m stressing over it.
I’ve heard Sanderson interviewed on a couple of writing podcasts that I listen to. The most notable one, IMO, was Adventures in Sci Fi publishing. Apparently, he’s been doing a book tour out here in the West with Dave Wolverton (maybe that’s why he hasn’t responded to my email 🙂 )
He said a couple of interesting things on the podcast. The first thing was really frightening, actually (I forget if it was him or Dave Wolverton). One of the two of them said that the major publishers are so paranoid that they’re rejecting new authors who even have the support of big name reviewers. Apparently, a publisher in NY turned down a new sci fi novelist who had his draft reviewed by one of the big name book reviewers over there, as well as having other credentials. Ouch. As an amateur writer who only has vague, nebulous dreams about getting published…this is really scary. And, even though I’ve attempted to write a novel like five or six times, I have yet to succeed in even finishing a rough draft. So…I’ve got a lot of road ahead of me. And I have no idea how long it will take–decades, maybe. Yikes!
The other thing was about him and science fiction. Someone on the podcast asked him if he planned on writing science fiction, and he said that he just wasn’t well versed enough to participate in the conversation. That’s really interesting that he called it a “conversation.” Coming from one of the social sciences, it really struck a chord in me. Academia is like a conversation, and the important thing isn’t about being right so much as it is being relevant. You need to do a lit review and know what the debate is like, what the sides are on the issues–otherwise, either you’ll waste your time with research that’s already been done, or you’ll end up answering a question that nobody is asking.
So, what I took from that, is that I really need to read more sci fi, if I want to write it! Man, as if classes weren’t enough…but this is something I love, so it shouldn’t be hard. Maybe I should set some kind of goal, like one novel per month? I have no idea. But yeah, I want to write something that’s worthwhile, and possibly get it published eventually. Like, if I can…
UPDATE: ok, so in the time that it’s taken to write all of this (interspersed with interruptions, like driving my friends down to a disgustingly huge Halloween party at the Hollywood house and hanging out with some of my other friends), I just heard from my sister Kate! She was able to hold the class for me!!!!! YAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M IN!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!