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Still swamped with work and Clarion preparation, but I couldn’t help sharing this little ditty I just slapped together. In the speculative fiction genre, the fen are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the readers, who read fiction, and the writers, who tell lies for a living. These are their stories. Why yes, we do watch lots and lots of Law & Order. Why do you ask?

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I’ve been sent word that I can publicly announce the news I’ve been sitting on since last week: I have been accepted into the 2010 Clarion Workshop.

More later, after the celebration has ended.

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Believe it or not, I’m still a little under the weather. I’m beginning to suspect I had the hamthrax. Five weeks out and I’m just now starting to feel like myself again. All it really means is that I’m sleeping way more than usual, drinking a gallon of water a day, and a bit behind in my correspondence. So better late than never, I’m happy to announce that I’ve applied to Clarion and Clarion West.

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February is coming to a close and I’m scrambling like mad. Clarion closes to applications on March 1st. One application story is done. I have a second one more or less ready, but I’m debating a last minute replacement. I’m putting the grind wheel and polish to my as yet untitled story for the Scheherazade’s Facade anthology, due February 28th. It’s shaping up into something that makes me happy. I pushed myself when writing this and for that reason I’m also considering using it as my second Clarion story.

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My mom had reconstructive ankle surgery to correct some of long-term damage caused by polio so I spent the last few weeks with her, doing laundry and cooking and whatnot. I also took the opportunity to wear down my annual deductible and get a few lingering medical issues looked at. And while in Illinois, I picked up a rather nasty flu that has wiped me out completely. Most of the effects of the flu are gone, knock on wood.

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Not only is Kyle Cassidy a heck of a photographer, writer and teacher, he is also one hell of a nice guy. I had a lucky chance to meet and learn a few photography skills some months back. He learned that I was also a writer and offered to send me one of his extra fountain pens. I very nearly squeed. I’ve been interested in fountain pens for as long as I can remember.

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Week 4 ended on a bit of a downer. I’d been doing well, writing a bit each day but the streak came to an end. I drafted two short stories and three flash fiction. I started a fourth but it wasn’t ready to be told. Instead of forcing it, I skipped a day. Somewhere along the way, I caught a nice little cold/flu, was diagnosed with some vitamin deficiencies (insert scurvy joke here, matey) and started a few new prescribed drugs.

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From time to time I talk about things of an extremely personal nature. Talking is cathartic and healthier than the alternative. Herein I ramble about depression, anxiety, and other foibles.

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Another kind of successful week — 3,237 new words, bringing the years total to 10,404. I’m still struggling with revisions. I got critiques back on two of my stories this week. The crits were brutally honest, the way I like them, and resonated with things I’d been trying to figure out myself. One thing I’m uncovering is that I don’t read critically enough. Having a third party point out an issue is great.

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Well no, because I’m not ready to talk about that just yet. Hershel posted his list of stuff he can’t live without the other day and it got me to thinking. I’ve learned a lot about myself and materialism over the past two years. I found that I don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. Not that I’m a monk or anything but I’ve come to understand the “less is more” mentality.

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