I am a huge fan of Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is one of my fave regions in this country, and I love visiting. Seattle has a great literary and arts scene.
If you’re a writer-type of spec fic — which I am — Clarion West runs an awesome workshop. Here’s some skinny:
The mission of Clarion West is to provide a high quality educational opportunity for writers of speculative fiction at the start of their careers.
Speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, and slipstream) gives voice to those who explore societal and technological change along with deeper considerations of underlying archetypes of human experience. Clarion West brings new writers to the field of speculative fiction by providing a venue for a transformative experience in the form of a lengthy and intensive workshop focusing on literary quality, diversity of viewpoints, range of material, and other essential qualities.
source: Clarion West website
Clarion West is also doing a free readings series over the summer.
And because I also write mysteries, you MUST NOT leave Seattle without visiting the Seattle Mystery Bookshop. If you go, ask for Fran. She’ll hook you up with great recommendations and stories as well as local Seattle tips for food and drink. Tell her Andi sent you.
And, if you have time, see if you can catch a reading by Gina Ranalli, a horror/bizarro writer who’s one of my faves in the genre. She’s a local up there, and does events on occasion. Tell her Andi recommended you check out her books.
Oh, and because I’m a freaking music fanatic, stop in at the Experience Music Project museum, which blends creative innovation, technology, and pop culture/music. Awesome.
And yeah, if you’ve never been to Seattle, swing by the Pike Place Market and take a ride up into the Space Needle. TAKE YOUR CAMERA. The views from the Needle are freaking unbelievable. I was at the Pike Place Market a few years back and my shoulder was bugging me from god-knows-what and ta-da the Market had an acupuncturist available and he fixed me right up. Maybe take one of these awesome tours — ghost or true crime (the Pacific Northwest has an…um…interesting true crime history).
Anyway, you can find or see just about anything at the Market. The last time I was there, fellow author Joan Opyr and I managed to end up in a crowd of people intensely interested and sort of tailing after a lesbian BDSM lite couple through the market, dressed in full S/M vinyl regalia (and both looked like freakin’ models), one in red, one in black. One had a studded collar around her neck, the other held the leash. Serious stiletto heel boots. Our conversation went like this:
ME: “Those are great outfits. Seriously.”
JOAN: “I like how they match.”
ME: “The heels on those boots could do some serious damage if she stepped on somebody’s foot. They’re probably also good for squishing bugs in corners.”
JOAN: “Takes real skill to walk in those things. Or wield them like weapons.”
ME: “Takes real skill to dress in that. I’d be better off painting myself red than trying to get in there.”
JOAN: “I’d paint myself black and then we could go out clubbing with them.”
ME: “Cool. But in this town, nobody would notice.”
I freaking LOVE Seattle.
All rightie, happy writing, happy reading, and happy traveling!