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Two things make this upcoming Monday special: it marks the beginning of the Clarion (San Diego) Write-a-thon, and my one year anniversary of attending the Clarion Workshop. Clarion was a significant event in my life. One way I can give back is by participating in the write-a-thon and raising money to help the program that helped me. For six weeks, we learned to write better (but still shitty!) first drafts. I wrote three new stories at Clarion, and revised two previously written ones.

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We reached two long-awaited milestones in our household this week. The last maintenance payment to my ex-wife, month 30 of 30, was mailed off. This represented a sizable portion of my income. It’s been a wild, dramatic ride that is now officially over. No more living in fear that I’m going to get a call from my lawyer and have to shuttle back to Illinois on short notice for an ‘emergency’ hearing or stressing out about what I say on the Internet because it will (and it did) find it’s way back to my ex and used against me in wildly out-of-context ways.

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Death comes to us all, eventually. It’s a topic that artists have explored, he said tongue-in-cheek, to death. Daredevils and thrill seekers challenge it, doctors work to postpone it, and we all live with the fact that it is inevitable and can take us or someone we love at any moment. Robert Heinlein, one of my earliest influences, lead off his The Past Through Tomorrow collection with Life-Line, about a machine that predicts how long a person will live.

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I was reading Ferret’s blog this morning, as I often do, and I saw a familiar name mentioned: Amy Sundberg. I’ve realized over the last year that I have much in common with Amy, who I had the pleasure to meet at World Fantasy last year. Her posts on Ambiversion and the awesomeness of being an introvert kind of clued me in but her latest one about being less wishy-washy really hits home.

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Diversity is something often on my mind. I’ve been thrilled to see translated Science Fiction becoming available in bookstores recently. It’s easy to forget that we — the white, english speakers of the world — aren’t the only ones with fantastic imaginations. My Clarion instructors Jeff and Ann VanderMeer have an almost encyclopedia-like knowledge of foreign fiction. They recently spent some time in Finland, meeting with many of the Finnish SF/F community.

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The package of mail from the states that I’ve been anxiously waiting for arrived today. I now have the last of the paperwork I need to continue with my permanent residence application, my Square reader, so I can accept credit card payments, and the sealed letter from the Illinois DMV so I can get my Ontario drivers license. We drive to the nearest driving center with the sealed letter in hand.

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My dear friend and fellow Inkpunk Christie Yant recently wrote about the dos and don’ts of your online presence and it inspired me to do a heavy overhaul of my own website. I haven’t been happy with it for a while. It pulled in things like images from flickr, recently played music from Last.fm, and didn’t show enough real content.

This new theme suites me, I think.

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I didn’t reach my original estimate of 5,000 words but this draft is done. Project: Motown Blues (tentative) New words written: 811 Reason for stopping: End of story No matter how much I outline and plan, these stories tend to take on a life of their own once I get started. The voice fluctuates until it finds its pace and pitch. Tangents emerge, sidetrack, and must be wrestled into submission. I like what this is shaping up to be.

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I missed a couple days of writing last week, which included a day spent trying to get fingerprints taken for immigration and ended up with an appointment one week out. Who knew that fingerprint technology had advanced beyond ink pads? One set for Ontario, and a set each for the FBI and State of Illinois to request my records. The saga, she continues. My Illinois driving records have been received by Mom and will soon be on their way here.

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[](1) Up until a year ago, I’d only seen a few episodes of Doctor Who — mostly season 1. I was interested by what I saw but I prefer to watch shows sequentially, even though the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey nature of the show makes viewing out of order just as enjoyable. Then Season 5 came along and I made a point of watching it from the beginning. I was hooked within the first episode.

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