It should be no surprise to anyone who knows me that the Clarion Writers Workshop is a thing near and dear to me. Attending the six-week workshop in 2010 was a milestone in my writing career. The annual write-a-thon, where writers commit to writing goals and ask friends, family,and strangers to pledge money to go towards funding the workshop.
Saying “please give money” is something I do on very rare occasion, but this is something worthwhile.
I may burst with glee. Tomorrow is Nikola Tesla day. Today, the Mad Scientist Journal published my secret history of Tesla, “Man Out of Time“. I even have word that someone on Facebook commented that they thought the story was a “great idea to run a game/one-shot on”. Katie Nyborg did the fabulous illustration for the interior.
How much does this mean to me? Well, Tesla is my hero more so than any other historical figure ever.
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Total Avg 582 171 309 473 91 783 2,409 344 A little bit of a rocky week, especially Friday. Ideally, I’d like to average 1,000 words/day. That’d be awesome. Life creeps up, with unavoidable things like responsibility and sleep but I have a secret that I’ll share with you.
The Clarion Write-a-thon began yesterday. I got some decent writing time in, despite a late start to the day and having to confront a would-be pervert attempting to flash his private bits at my favorite writing spot. I expect the first several days of writing to go slow as I revise the first chapter of the novel, trying to set the right tone and pace. The 25k words I wrote during last year’s Nanowrimo are, I realize, mostly outline but do span the length of the novel.
The Clarion Write-a-thon starts on June 24th, running parallel to the six week workshop I attended in 2010. While this summers workshop students toil away in San Diego, I’ll be one of many writers helping to raise awareness and solicit donations to a cause we believe in.
What is a write-a-thon, anyway? It’s just like a walk-a-thon. But instead of walking, we’re writing, and instead of making pledges per mile, we’re making pledges per word, chapter, or story.
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.
Via Jim Kelly, by way of Tim Pratt, and because I am desperately avoiding the writing I need to do tonight, here are a few things I learned (or confirmed) while at Clarion.
I write stories about the human condition. It’s the people that interest me, their struggles that move me, and their pain that moves my pen. So, I guess that explains my fascination with people-watching. Find what works for and stick with it.
It’s a good feeling to put the word END after the last paragraph of a manuscript. This story was born week five of Clarion but I couldn’t make it work then. A little bit of time away and with four days of sporadic effort, it’s a story. Rough around the edges like any first draft but I expect those will be caught when I sent it to beta readers later this week.
By Internet speeds, it’s been years since Clarion ended and not just a month. And the neglectful blogger I’ve been, it was six weeks before that since I last posted anything resembling an update. It’s time I said something, don’t you think? Well yes, but not exactly what you might expect.
Eighteen people met as strangers in late June, in San Diego, and became a family. Along the way, aunts and uncles and cousins, and a grandfather or two, who guided us through the Clarion process.
This will be my last communique for six weeks. Despite some weather delays in Chicago, I made it to San Diego and am ensconced on the UCSD campus. I’m as prepared as I can be for a very intense experience and that means throwing myself into it completely. No blogging, no LiveJournal or Facebook, nor Twitter. I will be in the dark until my return, so keep the joint in good shape until I’m back.