Les Semaines

June 19, 2005

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


Clarion West 2005 (and the Write-A-Thon) Begins

As you may know, last year I participated in Clarion West's Write-a-thon. Thanks to the encouragement of some friends who supported me last year, I will be doing it again this year.

The Write-a-thon runs the six weeks of the Clarion West Writer's Workshop, June 20 through July 30, and the funds raised go to support the nonprofit organization that sponsors the workshop every summer.

Last year people signed up to sponsor me for anywhere from $1 to $25 for each of the six weeks, and I met my goal to revise a chapter of my novel each week. (I have just completed the total novel rewrite and will shortly be sending it out to prospective agents.)

I have already started a new novel, and have a whole 4,400 words begun. This year I pledge that I will write 3,000 a week, so at the end of the Write-a-thon the novel will be at least 22,400 words long.

Would you be willing to help urge me on? Any support, no matter how small, is welcome.

Please let me know if you're willing to add to the financial pressure to keep me writing. And if you can't, please still cheer me on.

You can find out more information about Clarion West and the Write-a-thon, and you can watch my weekly progress on the Clarion West forums in the Clarion West Lounge area, and if you sponsor me, I'll send you a weekly email message letting you know about my progress.

The Write-a-thon page will shortly have a PayPal button for the convenience of those of you with PayPal accounts.

Why you might possibly want to sponsor me:

  • you like me
  • you don't like me & want me to suffer the pains of producing words
  • you like Clarion West
  • you like reading (Clarion West has some damned impressive students & instructors)
  • if this novel ever gets published I'll thank you in the acknowledgements
  • you appreciate a good tax write-off (Clarion West is a 501(c)(3) and donations are tax deductible to the amount allowed by U.S. law, etc.).
Wish me luck. Thanks!

This has been a hectic week as we worked to get everything ready for the Clarion West Writing Workshop, in a new sorority location this summer that we've had to learn our way around. I was busy with lots of phone calls, emails, packing up, moving boxes from our office to the sorority house, greeting a bunch of the students as they arrived, mostly on Saturday, getting things ready for the instructor space, the classroom, the orientation packets, etc., etc.

A busy week.

I did have a lovely morning at the Fremont Fair with Tamar, though. We wandered through the craft booths and I found presents for various folk and we found a guitarist friend of Tamar's who was busking and I urged her on to sing a couple of songs with him and got to hear people passing admire her voice and their sound together, and best of all, I got to hear it.

I also got a little too much sun, and my face is very red.

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


Not much listening time.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Clare B. Dunkle's By These Ten Bones is the story of a girl in a well-evoked small isolated town in the northern Scottish Highlands sometime in the centuries before the use of iron was widespread for tools (the town does have a smith, though). The villagers are superstitious, and when a young man, a marvellous carver, arrives in town with his drunkard companion, strange things start happening. The first victim is the young man, so little do they know that this young man, whom Maddie is starting to love, is the cause. A wonderful evocation of this time and place and of young love between real people.

Greatly enjoyed Connie Willis's book of short stories, Fire Watch. She's a wonderful, evocative, smart writer.

M.A.C. Farrant's My Turquoise Years is a brief, amusing memoir set in Cordova Bay near Victoria, where I myself grew up, but 8 years previous to when I moved there. It was fun to recognize some of the sites of my childhood and the memoir itself was entertaining.

Pauline Fisk's Midnight Blue is a children's novel about a young girl raised by her angry grandmother who is beginning to live with her mother. When her grandmother moves in with them, she escapes in a balloon a neighbor has made, into a strange, alternate world, where she meets characters who look like but have such different lives from the people she left behind. But when a character who resembles her grandmother arrives, her idyllic life there is threatened. A good, quick read, though much is left unexplained and seemed rather more handwaving than magical.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Every once in a while something happens to make me feel visible as a writer again. This time it was literal. I was in the University Bookstore buying a promised birthday present and wandered over to the poetry section, just to check out what was new, and it occurred to me to see if my books were still in stock. No Grahams in the main poetry area except Jorie. Then I noticed a sign saying they had moved local poetry over to the anthology area. There, facing brightly out, was Blood Memory. When I went to pay for my purchases the bookseller who had written such a lovely thing about Spells for Clear Vision was there, and I commented how nice it was to see my book faced out. He said he couldn't imagine who might have arranged it that way and smiled.

In bad news, though, I was so busy that I didn't sit down and write a single day. Damn.

And I'm going to have to change that, as I am going to participate in the Write-a-thon this year (see above).

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Still on hiatus.

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

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2473 people have wandered through this week with me