As part of Clarion West‘s on-going series of one-day workshops, I attended the one titled “Writing the Other” taught by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. Their book with the same name is the first one mentioned any time the subject of writing the other comes up. The book, I have since learned, came out of the class they’ve been teaching for the last decade.
I hit 50K on the very last night of National Novel Writing Month. I’d started November off on vacation and then got sick. So a very slow start and then very slow progress due to raw exhaustion. I didn’t see the doctor until the day before Thanksgiving and got antibiotics. So over the course of the last week of November I wrote over 25,000 words. After that I feel like someone’s been beating me in my sleep.
For this year’s NaNoWriMo, I relied entirely on the crude outline I created in the one-day workshop I did with Mark Teppo through Clarion West‘s one-day workshop in early October. For a lot of reasons, mostly involving the build-up to November (including World Fantasy Con and AmberCon Northwest back to back), I didn’t get a blog post about my experience with his workshop. Since the novel came out of the work I did in his workshop, and it’s a great chance to see how that worked for me, I figured it was best to combine those two posts.
This weekend I attended the first of Clarion West’s one day writing workshops. This first one was titled “Alive in the World” and focused on the interaction between character and setting. It was taught by Molly Gloss, who I hadn’t heard of before, but others in the class were familiar with her work. I think this more a sign of how spotty my SF/F reading experience often is. I felt like the class was pretty good. I offer up my thoughts for you on the subject.
The last week has felt a little nuts. Here’s assorted updates and notes.
Work on writing last night got borked when I remembered that I wanted to go to the Buddhist Center, especially since someone I hadn’t seen in years was visiting from England. So I went out and got my dharma on.
Today has been spent at the Wayward, working on my synopsis for A Sunless Garden and doing a first round of polish for the excerpt. Since the girl has unexpected email access out in BFE, I will email my stuff off to her. Once I get some feedback and do a second wave of changes, I’ll probably start begging people to give it another round of looking.
Last couple days haven’t been super-productive for writing. Doctor appointments, theater tickets, band rehearsals, all have frittered away my time. Today is my one-year anniversary, and I’m holding that sacrosanct from writing.
It was awesome to see my short go up on Wily Writers this weekend. It’s a little weird having an audio version of my story up, but kinda neat.
No word yet from Crossed Genres. Based off of things said in their blog, I don’t think my story’s going to be accepted. Nothing definite. They haven’t actually said, “We picked stories and alerted authors,” and I just haven’t heard anything. But my confidence is waning.
Talked to the Powers That Be at work yesterday to find out what would be involved in taking a leave of absence this summer. The good news is that it’s doable. The bad news is that I cease accruing vacation/sick leave while I’m gone and, scarier still, after 30 calendar days of absence I lose insurance coverage. In theory, at 6 weeks, the workshop lasts about 42 days. Might be a day or two less if I get to subtract a weekend day off at the beginning because of the start time. But, yeah. Kinda scary. I’m still inclined to do it, but now I know there are other risks besides just not having a paycheck for six weeks.
I was reminded that I had one other short story that could be considered for a Clarion/Clarion West application: “A Ghost of Christmas Past,” from the Cobalt City Christmas anthology. I think it was off my radar because I never thought of it as a “stand alone” piece, but maybe I’m wrong. I would be open to opinions, especially if you aren’t familiar with the Cobalt City universe.
In the interest of trying to get some stuff going, I’m hoping to get feedback from folks.
A friend of mine brought to my attention this link:
This led me into a whole realm of learning about UCLA’s distance learning program for writers. The classes planetalyx talks about sound awesome, and a whole wealth of other classes of a similar bent also sounds awesome.