I was honored to be named Santa Cruz County’s Artist of the Year for 2006, which puts me in the exalted company of such artists as James Houston, Morton Marcus, Tandy Beale, George Barati, Adrienne Rich, and Frans Lanting. For my public performance, I thought it would be appropriate, not just to talk about writing, but actually to write. In public. In real time. And then talk about how this writer goes from idea to finished story.
The project began with Writer’s Improv, a live, two-hour session where I sat with my laptop and wrote around a series prompts I’d been given, while the audience, both in person and online, watched the words as they appeared on my own screen. Later, I finished the story and gave it to Dana Stabenow for an anthology she was compiling called Unusual Suspects. When it was published, in late 2008, I posted the first portions that I’d done at the Improv, and added a detailed commentary of the changes and additions I’d made.