Saturday (January 11th) was our kick-off meeting for the 2014 edition of the Journey. We met in the Lunch Room of the Naperville Municipal Center, a very nice space but with one fault–the wi-fi signals here are spotty. Fortunately, we had prepared for this contingency and had local copies of all presentations.
After our group’s normal round table discussion, Peter and I gave an overview of the Journey websites and how to use them. Peter, who is preparing a graduate course on Cloud and Virtualization Security, suggested we create a Technology Path; and many of those present agreed wholeheartedly, particularly after hearing about how Ann lost her 2013 novel from an attack of file encrypting ransomware.
Following that, Frank and I engaged in Story Wall exercises. These are short (envisioned to be 15-20 minutes long, but we took longer and went more in depth at this meeting), highly interactive sessions where an author gives an overview of their work and solicits specific feedback in known problem areas. Frank proclaimed his session extremely useful; I know that the members in my session, who gave me feedback on my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, gave me invaluable help in improving the story and its implementation, identifying gaps and proposing excellent ways to fix them. Roger and Diana volunteered to use the Story Wall in February; and Roger also volunteered to organize the February workshop.
We have several Paths planned for 2014, including an Editing Path that begins this coming week and at least three short story anthologies (encompassing horror, twisted westerns, and stories-related-to-cookbook-recipes).
Happy New Year, everyone!