It has been but a week since my dear husband has left me to join the crucible that is the Clarion Workshop. He’s been having a series of mind-blowing experiences, one a day nearly, and I’m so excited for him and a little afraid, like watching your child go off to college for the first time. That’s a weird metaphor, I know, but the whole thing awakens this mixture of pride and protectiveness; I’m sure he’s going to do great things, but he’ll need to confront failure in this really intense way to do so.
On my end, my solidarity project is going fairly well. Week 1 closed out with a fairly light 5200 words written out of 50,000, but I’m gathering a good head of steam to roll into week 2 with. I’m hoping to finish up the two short stories I’m working on presently and jump right into working on two more — one for publication in a private zine, the other a long-overdue commissioned story for a good friend of mine.
I’ve been thinking about writing a great deal more than I have in ages, of course — specifically, the cultivation of my voice and the shape of my first drafts. I think I might be one of those people who cough up lumps of clay right up front; they’re formless and runny, with a strange consistency that can be hard to work with. The real work will be in editing things into a lean shape, something with progression, a narrative that’s lean and leaning in towards its goal. It’s a good thing to know, precisely because it leaves me with less pressure to get things perfect the first time. I can allow myself to be messy and undisciplined during the raw act of creation; once I know the texture of the story I’m working with, I can figure out how best to shape it into something.
So far, I’ve raised nearly $150.00 for the Clarion Workshop — a very big THANK YOU to everyone who’s donated so far. I’m still $350 away from my goal, so I’ll be trying to figure out a way to drum up a bit more support without being too annoying about it. I’ve never been very strong with pushing for something I believe in, more than likely because of my upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness. My entire life has been a reaction away from bugging people to take an interest in things that are really important to me.
Still, if I can’t pass the hat around here — where can I? If you’d like to donate towards the Clarion Workshop and ensure this wonderful resource will remain in operation for future budding genre writers, consider heading over to my author’s page and making a donation. Every little bit helps! At present, I need only *7* people to pledge 1/1000th of a cent per word (or donate $50) to hit my goal.
Let’s sweeten the pot a little bit — if you’re one of those seven people, I’ll insert a character of your choice into one of my stories OR take suggestions for a story of anywhere from 1,000 – 5,000 words. I could use a little practice banging out a quick story, or finding ways to fit new characters or ideas in interesting ways. If you’re willing to be experimental with me, it’d be a really fun exercise!
At the Writing Desk this week, I’ll try to have my review of Citizen Kane up on Wednesday and another Clarion snippet up on Friday. Time permitting, I’ll talk a little bit about the premieres of True Blood, The Last Ship and/or The Leftovers as well. In the meantime, write well and write hard this week.