Let's start with the happy stuff. I had the best crit ever this week. My little flash fiction works and the feedback was just what you want to hear. A few things to fix up and then it's out there to where it has to compete with the rest of the hordes. It's one of those times when I wrote without effort because I was in the zone and the joy of that experience is still lingering. And this makes the fact that it worked and people liked it even more exciting.
On to other things:
Everything is winding down now and we're starting to get organised to go home. You know the sort of thing - confirming flight bookings, working out just how much to post home (and trying not to think about the cost), presents, packing, cleaning out the fridge. The convenors have been worried that we might be in a state of denial, I think, but much as we would like it to be otherwise we do know that come Saturday this amazing experience will come to an end. As a result, although we're looking forward to seeing family and friends, we're all feeling a bit down at the same time because this is something we can never experience again.
We're going to miss the type of bizarre conversation that only a group of speculative fiction writers can have. An example: last night we were sitting in our living area doing our crits. They are done individually without discussion but when we've written them down we sometimes have a general chat about things we might not have understood and so on. So three of us were going over a sex scene in one of the stories and how it fitted into the story structure when the fourth person in the room looked up from her crit and asked, "Are ship's doors made of metal or steel?" This had absolutely no connection to the stories any of us were critting or anything else but after a couple of puzzled looks we answered the question, she went back to her crit and we went on with our original discussion.
We will miss being able to wander into someone else's flat and sitting down to crit or chat with them. We will miss feeling free to bounce ideas, however weird, off 16 other minds. We will miss the hysterical laughter when an idea goes gonzo. We will miss each other.
We are trying to make arrangements to meet up or stay in contact in the future because we trust each other, both as writers and individuals, and we don't want to lose this.
So forgive us a few tears and hugs (or may be a lot) on Saturday morning and weave them in among the many happy memories.