Clarion, Clarion West, Odyssey, plain silliness, Writing Workshops

Playing the Waiting Game Again

MP900341439The Clarions application deadlines are over, and now the waiting for results is driving the applicants (like me) a bit crazy. Or crazier, as the case may be. (Odyssey doesn’t give their results until later, so that isn’t hanging over my head the same way as the Clarions are right now.) It’s the worry that is always in the back of my mind: will I get in? When will I hear? And oh, do I fear acceptance or rejection more?

Like I said on one of the CW forums, with non-writers, it’s like trying to ignore the dancing elephant in your living room because only you can see it. I look out my window at all the snow that fell today (yes, snow, despite the forecast calling for 52F tomorrow, there’s over an inch of snow melting off the ground right now!!! Oh, wait, now I’m veering into a parenthetical weather-rant. Sorry.) and I think about Clarion. I open the fridge to see what’s for dinner tonight and I think about Clarion. It seems like some strange form of OCD (Clarion). And I’ve just about concluded that there’s no hope for me this year, no way that I’ll be accepted…and yet, I can’t quite bring myself to make other plans yet, either. *sigh*

So, that’s been my week. Worry. And, oh yeah. I managed to get to my writing this week. After the last 2.5 weeks being complete wash-outs, writing wise, I was ready to kick butt and take names! And I did. I started, completed and submitted to the Shock Totem Flash Fiction contest, and I finished two other stories started before/during the move. Woo-hoo! This feels so awesome! Good distraction, too.

So now I get to go look in the Clarion and see what’s for Clarion. (My poor hubby!)

Clarion, Clarion West, Odyssey, Writing Workshops

Feeling Fresh and Light!

fresh+light.jpgYay! Not only are my Christmas cards made, signed, addressed and mailed, but today I also finished my applications to Clarion and Clarion West!!! The relief is falling off my shoulders in waves, and my toes are twinkling and floating, light as air. Odyssey’s application has been mailed off for a few days, but that was easier in a way — the application was available online long before December, so I printed it off and worked on it, off and on, until it was done.

These applications being done mean only one thing: the unending anticipation, and dread, of the wait. I’ve got no ‘sure thing’ going here, only my hope and my best writing to date. The CW forums are quiet, with only a few peeps from the choir of potential applicants, so there’s no wringing metaphorical hands with others in the same boat yet. Still, I’m feeling optimistic right now. Hopeful.

If you’re finding me from the forums, feel free to say hello! And whether you’re applying or not, keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?

Clarion West, Nature, Write-a-Thon

CW Write-a-thon: Day One, Update One

It’s the first day of the Clarion West Write-a-thon! Yay! (To everyone at Clarion West right now, good luck. And congrats on Day One.)

2012 Clarion West Write-a-thon

I’ve already written today, 1,000 words on my novella “Fireseed.” And I’ll do more this evening, too. That puts me at just over 12,000 words total.

Today’s writing got me through a crucial point in the narrative, when my protagonist finally takes the bull by the horns and gives her life a shake and restart. I’ve been waiting for this bit for quite awhile, and I’m pleased by how it went. Now the tone of the story changes, and I think — I hope — that it’ll get easier for me to write. Not bad for Day One, huh?

To all who’ve sponsored me so far, thank you. I appreciate your votes of confidence. And remember, it’s not too late to sponsor me, or any other CW Write-a-thon author. Just click here and go to the person’s name you want to sponsor. It’s that easy!

In other news, I’m holding my breath: walking this morning the dog and I came across a baby raccoon right at the edge of the path. It exploded from the leaves into a tiny ball of growl and back-arching menace, all of 8 inches tall, as we passed. (Unfortunately, there was no way for me to get near it, no way for me to help it. Captured raccoons are routinely put down, and it’s being abandoned and awake during the day most likely means it’s sick and almost dead. I couldn’t find a place to take it in, and I still feel terrible about walking away. Sigh.) A short while later, we say a wild turkey strutting down the path, refilling its crop with gravel until we showed up. It was my first close-up view of a wild turkey.

For those of you who’ve read here often, you know that it’s beginning to seem like whenever I see a really cool bit of wildlife, I get rejections. These were definitely in the “really cool wildlife” category, so now I wait. So far, nothing. Could this be the one that proves the superstition wrong? I hope so!

Clarion West, Nature, Write-a-Thon

Write-a-Thon Update

2012 Clarion West Write-a-thon

Okay, I know that it hasn’t begun yet, but still–I’m excited! My Clarion West Write-a-Thon page is live now (yay!) and I’ve gotten a couple of sponsors (double yay!). The novella I’m starting with as my first W-a-T goal is well-underway, with close to 8,000 words written. But…I know that at least 2,000 of them will be cut in the end. Or sooner, more like the next draft. Editing needs to wait, though, until the darn first draft is done. Which it’s not.

I haven’t had this much trouble sticking with writing, and not editing too early, for a long time. I’m sure this has to do with the length. A novella is 15,000-40,000 words, whereas short stories are usually 2,000-7,500 words long. Most of mine slip in between 3,000-5,000, with an occasional piece going to 6,000 words. I understand the structure at this length, more or less. I know when to begin finishing up, when to write “The End.”

But this novella length is blindsiding me. I don’t have a good feel for where I am, even though the story is more plotted than is normal for me. I figured the extra plotting would keep me on track, and it has helped. Who knows where I’d be without the bare-bones “outline” to guide me? Lost at sea, most likely, instead of spinning downstream at the mouth of the river. Sigh.

Well, I’ve got ten days yet until the Write-a-Thon begins. With any luck, by then I’ll have found my oars and be paddling upstream once more.

Wildlife Update:
Today we saw another garter snake slithering across the path right before us. It’s amazing how smoothly snakes move when going so fast! And earlier, a tiny motion just off the trail caught my eye (but not, thankfully, the dog’s!). I turned to see a doe twitch her ears, then her tail. She saw me seeing her and made a silent leap over a downed tree. Behind her moved a tiny form–a very small fawn, still spotted, which was unable to leap the tree. It stood there, perplexed. I ghosted away so we wouldn’t disturb them further.

Clarion West, Writing

Clarion West Write-a-thon

2012 Clarion West Write-a-thonAs you may know, I applied to but did not make the cut for Clarion and Clarion West this year. Still, I met some wonderful people on the forums (some of whom are attending CW), and I have hopes for next year.

This year, though, I’m helping out by participating in the Clarion West Ninth Annual Write-a-Thon. What that means is that during the six weeks that Clarion West is in session, I’ll be ‘virtually’ writing beside this year’s eighteen participants. I’m asking for people (family, friends, you!) to sponsor me, in order to raise funds for Clarion West. You can sign up here to sponsor me, or another writer.* (All the registered writers are listed alphabetically by first name. Click on the name to see a writing sample, goals, and to donate in that writer’s name.) All donations are tax-deductible, so go ahead and be a little crazy! It’ll certainly motivate me to write, write, write knowing that people are behind me in this.

My goals are fairly straight-forward, especially since this is my first year doing this, but still a stretch for me. I want to finish the novella I’m working on (which doesn’t seem to want me to finish it; it’s fighting me every word, every comma of the way), and then to write a story a week for the remainder of the Write-a-Thon, just as if I was at Clarion West (well, not quite…I’m dreaming here, obviously). Daily writing is a given during this time. And I plan to comment weekly here on my blog, letting everyone know how I’m progressing. The more people sponsor me, the more I know folks are interested in seeing me succeed, the more likely I’ll be to feel the need to prove them right–to write every day, to meet my goals.

Don’t think you have to sponsor a huge amount, either. You can donate a flat amount, or so much per week, or whatever you like. $1 per week is just $6, and honestly that’s fine with me–and with CW. If you’re a writer, consider registering at either Clarion West or Clarion UCSD for the Write-a-Thon in order to help next year’s writers’ dreams come true (and further your writing progress at the same time!). If you really can’t donate, just leave comments here, offering your support and encouragement.