The #BuffyRewatch is feeling Selfless @tordotcom.

slayerI’m up to “Selfless” on the Buffy rewatch. Anya! I love her so. Here’s the essay.

At least one person in the comment threads has already called this the best episode of season 7. I’d say that’s “Chosen,” because I loved how the series closed. But then there’s “Storyteller, too.

Still, Anya! So complicated, so smart, and so darned strange!

Since we are now supposed to be living in a land of snow, I have been uncharacteristically keen to have some. And we have, but it hasn’t been very visually impressive. It falls, it slushes, it goes away. There have been a few good holiday trees though, especially in the financial district. I thought this one, for example, was pretty nice:

Shiny LED trees in a Toronto park. Still no snow.

Slayers are so helpful on the #BuffyRewatch

slayerThis week’s rewatch covers the episode “Help,” which is the one where a young teen predicts her death, and Buffy tries to stop it.

Today is the last really full week of work for my Novel One students at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. They’ll walk out with a first chapter, an outline, and a plan for moving forward with their projects. Starting next month, I’ll be teaching “Creating Universes, Building Worlds,” which is the speculative fiction course with a focus on short stories. There are still some slots for students in this one; if you have any questions, let me know.

In terms of one-on-one mentorships, I will not be taking new students for at least the first couple of months of 2014. I could be persuaded to run a waiting list, so if you are interesting in this and we haven’t talked before, reach out.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, if you happened to celebrate it last week.

Willow heads homeward on the #BuffyRewatch on @tordotcom

slayerThis week’s essay is Willow’s homecoming episode: “Same Time, Same Place.”

If you’re local and want a chance to connect, I’ll be appearing at SF Contario this weekend. My tentative panel schedule:

Gardenview Sun. 2:00 PM Writing as an Evolving Process

Writing as an Evolving Process: As with any other art, writing requires practice, and a writer’s skill can improve over time. Writers discuss the things they have learned as they have evolved and ways in which they have gained a new level of expertise. How can you tell when you’re improving? How can you judge your own progress as a writer?

Solarium Sat. 11:00 AM Great First Lines

Great First Lines: “Call me Ishmael”, “’It was the day my grandmother exploded”, “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel”; There is nothing like an unforgettable first line for hooking a reader in. What are your favorites? Can you force a good first line, or do they just happen?

Courtyard Sun. 1:00 PM The Heroine`s Quest

The Heroine’s Quest: How do three letters change the way we view the sword-bearer? Should there be different rules, spells, or goals for the female adventurer?

Xander is Heroic! Hey, #Buffyrewatch, that’s not news…

slayerI have reached the end of Season 6 on the Buffy Rewatch, so this week’s write-up is all about Evil Veiny Willow versus her friends.

I am a few weeks ahead of these essays, which means I’ve just watched the third ep of S7, “Same Time, Same Place.” This means I’ve got something like 18 episodes left: eighteen weeks, which seems at once a very long and a very short period of time.

People have asked over at Tor, so I should say it here too: I have no plans to jump into an Angel rewatch, or to do the comic seasons that follow “Chosen.” In some ways I do find the idea appealing, but I didn’t love Angel enough to do it justice, and the people who regularly read and comment on the column have convinced me I’ll be happier with Buffy, as a story which I’ve consumed and loved, if I stay far far away from Seasons 7 and 8.

Feel free to go there and have a go at changing my mind–you’ve got four months! But if you know me, you probably also know that once I make a decision I cling to it like something very clingy. A barnacle?

We got Entropy all over the #BuffyRewatch @tordotcom

slayerThis week’s BtVS essay is on “Entropy,” which–in case you’ve forgotten–is the one where Anya and Spike get drunk together and things happen. Sad, spoilery and not too difficult to understand stuff.

I’ll be on the road this weekend, so I may pop in on the comments thread very sparingly.

I am several weeks ahead of these essays in terms of viewing, so right now I’m watching the very last episodes of S6. For all that the general woe of this season doesn’t work for me, I do love the rampage at the end, and its resolution.