Hey, Hi, Hello GUTGAAgians

This is my meet & greet intro for GUTGAA. If you don’t know what that means then either you aren’t in the writing biz or you need to follow this link.

Either way, Hi! I’m C. Stuart Hardwick. Welcome to my little sliver of the Internet. I grew up in South Dakota, and my writing springs from the intersection between the Wild West and the Space Age, the History of Earth and the dreams of mankind. After decades of technical writing, I turned seriously to fiction just a few years ago and write science fiction principally, but also historical tales and all sorts of other things. I won the Colonnade Writing Contest in December, and am pursuing a graduate certificate in writing from UC Berkeley.

Q: Where do you write?
A: Well, mostly Earth but…. No seriously, I write everywhere: the bus, coffee shop, back yard swing, standing up, sitting down, in a boat, with a goat. Well no…goats are annoying.

Q: Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
A: A cup of coffee. No, wait. The dog. Who gave the dog a cup of coffee?

Q: Favorite time to write?
A: When I’m awake. Seriously, I write whenever I have time, but different writing tasks require different circumstances. If I had to pick a favorite time, though, I would say “whenever the alternative is waiting on something.” Writing can turn an hour stuck on the bus and in traffic into a blessing.

Q: Drink of choice while writing?
A: Seriously? Actually, I drink mostly decaf, and to keep from tanning my insides, sometimes a nice flavored sparkling water. When I can get them, I like to nibble on cherries while I edit.

Q: When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
A: Music generally, and specific music. When writing sci-fi, I generally listen to Tangerine dream and Daft Punk. Recently I altered the tone of an entire short story in response to its resonance with a particular piece of jazz. Never, ever, anything with lyrics.

Q: What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
A: If I told you that, I’d have to kill you and write a scene about it. Usually, I start with scenes or characters. I write a few scenes and the story and the relationships emerge from that. Then I stop and plan out the story and start looking at structure and pacing and balance.

Q: What’s your most valuable writing tip?
A: Writing takes humility and arrogance, and maniacal patience. Have faith in your voice and vision, but make sure you learn continuously. Be prepared to wait indefinitely, but work aggressively toward your goals.

Fun facts:

* I’m left handed and have been known to paint with both hands simultaneously.

* In high-school, I wrote a computer program to train myself to touch type.

* I once worked with John Carmack–a couple of years before he wrote the video game Doom.

* I know how to juggle, and prefer clubs.

* I play piano a little better than I juggle.

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