Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Question about Boot Camp for alumni...

   
Author Topic: Question about Boot Camp for alumni...
LibbieMistretta
Member
Member # 3496

 - posted      Profile for LibbieMistretta   Email LibbieMistretta         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 

I have a dilemma. I'm trying to decide whether I should even apply this year, or wait until next year, or what. Let me explain, and then I'd love advice from you folks, especially if you've attended Boot Camp in the past.

I'm a wedding photographer, which means I work a LOT of weekends, especially in the summer. My summer weekends are usually planned by the end of February or March, in fact, and I'm locked into working on dates I've committed to by a contract. Late last year, I contacted Mr. Card's assistant (who is fantastic and helpful), explained my work situation, and asked if I could get some "advance warning" on Boot Camp dates so that I could avoid booking anything for any of those days. She and Mr. Card were very accommodating and informed me of the Boot Camp dates before they were officially announced so that I could plan my work around the event, just in case I managed to survive the application process and was accepted.

Then a wonderful, extremely good disaster struck.

The employee of a very large, very active reception site asked to book me for her wedding - on August 18th (the last day of Boot Camp). The owner of said reception site personally recommended me and has been sending a LOT of referrals my way since November. I've booked about 40% of my 2007 business from her recommendations alone. I really didn't want to let her down, because accepting her employee's wedding would make me El Supremo Hero #1 and would surely result in bazillions of future referrals, possibly for years and years to come. So I took a couple of days to think it over, and accepted the job.

I then wrote to Kathleen again (Mr. Card's assistant, of course) and made myself a pest YET AGAIN and asked if it would be considered unacceptable if I left a day early, understanding that I'd still pay full tuition, IF I even got in! She asked Mr. Card and said that it would be up to me, but that I'd be missing out on a whole day of the workshop which obviously would be kind of lame.

So I'm kind of stuck between two options: Try to get in, and if I am accepted, leave on the afternoon of the 17th, fly back to Seattle, and shoot my wedding on the 18th. Or don't apply at all, because if I have to fly back late at night from Utah, I won't be shooting my best anyway.

Most of you are probably thinking, "So what? Just don't book any weddings over Boot Camp for next year and go then." That has occurred to me, too, except that I will presumably still be working as a wedding photographer next year (I certainly hope I will be, anyway) and I'll still be faced with the same problem - not knowing when Boot Camp will be held until it's potentially too late to continue putting off bookings for the summer of 2008. Then I'll have to either cave to bridezilla pressures and book it up, or face not working at all for most of the summer. I can't refuse all early bookings for a ninety-day timespan during the busiest part of the year. Or I can't for too long, anyway....

So now that you know the history of the problem, here is the actual problem:

I really don't want to ask again when the Boot Camp dates will be before they're officially announced. That's tacky and sort of presumptuous, and I felt pretty uncomfortable doing it the first time. So I'm worried that basically I'll never have another chance to attend Boot Camp, other than possibly 2007 (and I'll have to leave early anyway).

So, for those of you who are alumni of the Boot Camps of yesteryear, would it be worth it to try to apply this year? Would I be selling myself short by not attending the full thing? I know I'll obviously be missing out on some important stuff if get in and I cut it short by a day...but will I be making a major mistake, in your estimation? I'm not asking you guys to make my decision for me - I'm just asking for opinions.

If the general consensus is that I'd be missing out on a very important part of the experience, I'll take my chances on next year and just hope that I can put off summer bookings until the dates are announced.

Thanks!!


Posts: 61 | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RMatthewWare
Member
Member # 4831

 - posted      Profile for RMatthewWare   Email RMatthewWare         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My opinion: if boot camp is important to you, do the whole thing. Otherwise, let someone else that cares enough for writing to make the sacrifice have the spot. I understand you have a career as a photographer, but you should be able to miss one wedding if you really want to be a writer.

Matt


Posts: 657 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've often wondered what goes on at such things, but have only limited desire to go to one myself. Besides, my life right now falls into making a living and barely having time to write around the time I have to spend at making a living. In the days where I had free time, I couldn't afford to go to these things.

Go, if you can manage it. Even if it doesn't help your writing---but chances are it probably will---it could be a learning experience.

Actually, I've often wondered what goes on the Boot Camp fora (forums?) that exist here but that are locked out to us muggles. Particularly the 2004 one, and why it's so active so long after the event...


Posts: 8276 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rommel Fenrir Wolf II
Member
Member # 4199

 - posted      Profile for Rommel Fenrir Wolf II   Email Rommel Fenrir Wolf II         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cant be harder than Basic Combat Training and AIT in one
That wqas the best 14 weeks of my life.
Rommel Fenrir Wolf II

Posts: 856 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alethea Kontis
Member
Member # 3748

 - posted      Profile for Alethea Kontis   Email Alethea Kontis         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Apply for Boot Camp. If you get accepted, miss the last day if you have to. Your brain will be full enough of stuff to think of by then, and you can always have someone take notes for you.

Why does the 2004 group never shut up?
I know...but if I tell you I might have to assassinate you.


Posts: 110 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rickfisher
Member
Member # 1214

 - posted      Profile for rickfisher   Email rickfisher         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's far better to miss the last day than to miss out altogether. On the other hand, I would really have hated to have missed the last day, myself; it's not just a tidying-up. Furthermore, I don't think Kathleen or Scott would be offended by your asking for the dates early again next year. They're nice people. (I'm assuming that this year's disaster is really something unlikely to be repeated; there's no point in asking year after year and then never applying.)

One thing to keep in mind: this year it will be in Utah, next year it will probably be in VA. Does that make a difference?

[This message has been edited by rickfisher (edited February 19, 2007).]


Posts: 932 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Spaceman
New Member
Member # 9240

 - posted      Profile for Spaceman           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would attend and leave early. You'll miss part of it, but you'll experience most of it. In my opinion, I think it's better to have it cut a day short than not go at all. Much better.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why does the 2004 group never shut up?
I know...but if I tell you I might have to assassinate you.

Okay, but it better be worth it...


Posts: 8276 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
franc li
Member
Member # 3850

 - posted      Profile for franc li   Email franc li         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was going to apply last year but then I broke five ribs in a freak (!) playground accident. I really just need to take a picture of the object I fell on and post it one day. Hmm. I guess those dates are something I could possibly work around.

Well, the advice has been all over the spectrum so I'll just say "search your feelings."

[This message has been edited by franc li (edited February 20, 2007).]


Posts: 366 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LibbieMistretta
Member
Member # 3496

 - posted      Profile for LibbieMistretta   Email LibbieMistretta         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the input, everybody.

RMatthewWare said: "I understand you have a career as a photographer, but you should be able to miss one wedding if you really want to be a writer."

Normally, I'd agree with you...but it's such a delicate situation, with this being the employee and friend of somebody who's in a position to send dozens of jobs my way for years to come. She's also in the position of telling people specifically NOT to work with me if I let her down. It's a precarious thing. And I would feel a bit guilty if I got in, left early, and "took" the spot from somebody who could stay for the whole time. Plus, I just plain WANT to stay for the whole thing if I possibly can.

Alethea Kontis - good idea, having somebody take notes. I may try that out.

rickfisher - this year's disaster is *extremely* unlikely to happen again. I'll be firmly on the good side of this lady by then, and established enough that I will be able to afford to turn down other potential referral sources even IF something similar happens again. Utah vs. Virginia makes no difference to me, except that I do have family in Orem that I haven't seen in years...but I'd hardly get a chance to visit with them anyhow if I was at the workshop all week!

franc li - definitely want to see pictures. And thanks - I'll continue to think about it. I guess I still have a little more time to decide.

Right now, I'm inclined to wait for next year and just cross my fingers REALLY, REALLY HARD and hope that the dates are announced by January '08-ish. I can stave off summer inquiries until then and still avoid starving myself and going bankrupt all year.

Thanks again, everybody. It has given me much to think about while I exterminate fleas from my apartment all afternoon.


Posts: 61 | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Survivor
Member
Member # 213

 - posted      Profile for Survivor   Email Survivor         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why not make the application, and decide exactly what to do later?
Posts: 8322 | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
franc li
Member
Member # 3850

 - posted      Profile for franc li   Email franc li         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, go ahead and book the gig knowing that you will miss at least the last day of boot camp. Then you apply to boot camp. If you get in, then decide if you want to go and miss a day or not go at all.

In the meantime we'll all pray for you that the wedding is cancelled :P

Did you address the probability that next year's boot camp is probably going to be held in Virginia?

When is the deadline for Boot Camp application? Seems like it was April 1 last time.

[This message has been edited by franc li (edited February 21, 2007).]


Posts: 366 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LibbieMistretta
Member
Member # 3496

 - posted      Profile for LibbieMistretta   Email LibbieMistretta         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, the wedding is already booked, so I'll be doing it regardless. I wouldn't have booked ANY wedding during Boot Camp, but of course something I absolutely can't turn down just WOULD come up for the Boot Camp weekend. My stupid luck.

I will probably not apply at this point - the more I think about missing a day, the less appealing it becomes. I really want to get the full experience, and I doubt past alumni get to apply twice, so there's not much hope that I could do it again if I opt in and miss a day this year. Probably best to let it go this year and just hope like the dickens that I can put off booking anything for 2008 until they announce the Boot Camp dates.

Thanks for your help, guys!


Posts: 61 | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Christine
Member
Member # 1646

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know a lot of people have disagreed with this, but I think you've done the right thing. Boot camp isn't exactly cheap. It is worth every penny, mind, but you don't want to miss any of it to get your full money's worth. Maybe next year you will be so in demand that people will schedule their weddings around you. Or at any rate, hopefully telling someone that you are booked on certain dates won't be as damaging next year.

It is a terrific experience, though. I hope you get the opportunity someday.


Posts: 3567 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LibbieMistretta
Member
Member # 3496

 - posted      Profile for LibbieMistretta   Email LibbieMistretta         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Christine! I'm sure it won't be as damaging next year to turn clients down. Or at least...I hope!
Posts: 61 | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Survivor
Member
Member # 213

 - posted      Profile for Survivor   Email Survivor         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why not pick a likely week or two to keep free, then chalk it up to fate (and a vacation) if those turn out not to encompass Boot Camp? Do that for a few years, you're pretty likely to get a hit, and without sacrificing all bookings for the season.
Posts: 8322 | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
priscillabgoo
Member
Member # 4777

 - posted      Profile for priscillabgoo   Email priscillabgoo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Libbie,
When I was working freelance, I found that something always came up. You never know what's going to happen. Rather than letting your decisions hang on maybes, let them hinge on definites. You have this wedding and it's more of a priority. That's fine. But there's nothing to say there won't be something equally imperative next year or the year after that or the year after than. You do know you have the rest of the time for boot camp free this year. Apply and see what happens.
Nicole

Posts: 63 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Spaceman
New Member
Member # 9240

 - posted      Profile for Spaceman           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's why I'd go this year even if I had to miss the last day. Your writing will improve, you will take it to the next level.

Is that something you are willing to put off another year? That is the real question you need to answer.


Posts: 2 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2