Les Semaines

July 11, 2004

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal

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Third Week of Clarion West 2004

The weeks don't get any easier and time still stays difficult to find. John stayed till Tuesday morning, and Jim's niece Devin arrived on Thursday to look for a place to live here in Seattle.

This was Geoff Ryman's week, and was every bit as inspirational as Geoff's week was during my own Clarion West class. He talked about some really interesting things including his interpretation of The Wizard of Oz, how to revise novels (gosh, why would that be important to me now?), how to look at the world of the story, his theory about what science fiction should be doing right now. He gave a powerful reading from his novel-in-progress about Cambodia. It was a wonderful week. The students are still doing terrifically well, producing strong stories and keeping themselves pretty together. Impressive.

Tamar was away for the weekend, Devin got an apartment, I spent way too much time dealing with Clarion West things, stayed up too late, got up too early, spent much time in the car driving various people various places, I sat in the Clarion West classroom, I read Clarion West stories, I tried to hold meaningful conversations, I sat on the chesterfield trying to look like I might once again sometime in my life have two brain cells to rub together, and all in all had a Clarion-type time.

Jim Kelly and John Kessel are now here to team teach for week four.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

Still no new listening, but there's a new Fiery Furnaces due out this coming week. Whoo hoo!

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Last week I forgot to mention that I read Carol Emshwiller's The Mount. It's the story of a young man living in a future where aliens have taken over earth and are using humans as horses, and treat them like beloved pets or favoured slaves. The young man is proud of his lineage and being chosen as the mount for the future ruler of the aliens. His ambition is to race and gain fame through that. However, his father, a famous racer himself, has run away and rebelled, and then he comes for his son. A fascinating, multifaceted story.

Georgette Heyer's The Foundling was another of her really fun stories. This was about a young Duke who had been orphaned and ill in his youth and whose family and servants had thus become suffocatingly careful of him. He decides he is tired of this and wants to fins out what it's like to live life as a plain man, so he disappears, off on an errand to help a young relative out of a foolish fix. There he finds himself in quite a tangle, and meets with perhaps more adventures than he might have wished. Truly enjoyable. (See my March 18, 2001, July 8, 2001, July 29, 2002, September 14, 2003, and September 21, 2003, November 9, 2003 , and November 30, 2003 entries for comments on other Georgette Heyer novels.)

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

My Dear Clarion West Shadow Workshop Write-a-thon sponsors:

Sorry this is two days late (it gets worse every week!). Again, I wasn't late meeting my goal, but late reporting it, as we have had houseguests staying in my study. The novel is on my laptop, but my most useful access to email isn't.

The third week of the write-a-thon has ended, and I did work my way through Chapter 7. This is the first time I've been a little less than happy when finishing work on a chapter; when I got to the end I realized that it still needs some possibly major work, some re-thinking at least. I'm going to keep moving forward, because I think I'll know better what to do with it when I see more of the shape of this section. It's a part of the novel that I haven't looked at for a long time and I need to get a more clear idea of it. So forward I go! Ever onward. My main character has passed her first crisis and is trying to start over from there. She's not doing terrifically well, but luckily, she has friends.

This chapter is 33 pages in typescript. Interesting how all these recent chapters have been such similar lengths

Still having trouble getting started early in the week, but it might be better as we should have the house to ourselves through the end of the month and the end of the write-a-thon.

I've begun work on chapter 8.

Thanks again for your support.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

The Retrospective Journal is still on hiatus.

last week's old journal § next week's old journal

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2133 people have wandered through this week with me