Les Semaines

July 31, 2005

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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Sixth Week of Clarion West 2005

A fun busy difficult wonderful exhausting week. Michael Swanwick is a challenge and a delight, and he can do the impossible -- get a sixth week Clarion West class onto its feet awake and laughing again. Most impressive, and I truly enjoyed his company, even if I did nearly kill him on the way to dinner Friday night when the setting sun was hitting the streetlight in a way that made me think I had a left turn arrow when I didn't, putting Michael in the path of a black car (which luckily stopped, and I stopped, and all was okay, including Michael). I'm so very glad I didn't kill him, as besides liking him and wanting to read more and more stories from him, it would be hard to live down being the one to have killed him.

This week I worried about students, I attacked Michael Swanwick with a marshmallow gun. I heard him read two wonderful stories and watched him make a pickle-end glow with light. I watched the students push themselves beyond their limits and pack up and leave.

The students survived it all, and wrote their hearts out and bonded and argued and laughed and now have gone their ways back to their homes and their real lives to try to figure out how to go on from here. It's not an easy thing; it has taken me years to figure out, but I feel like I finally am starting to know.

I finished my write-a-thon challenge, producing 20,000 words in six weeks, which while not particularly impressive in and of itself is at least 15,000 more words than I would have written without it. And 20,000 more words than I would have written had Clarion West not made me friends with Karen and we started writing together.

On Thursday a group of the students had a henna artist over, so I added my name to the queue and this is what I have now:

 

my hennaed handMy hennaed hand. The design on the back of my hand is the crescent and V-rod that tops my main page. The rest is from the mind of the mehndi artist. This picture doesn't show the line of heart-like shapes on the front of my thumb. I'm really loving this and hope it doesn't fade too quickly.

I know I'm forgetting some other things I should say about this week but I'm glad the workshop is over and I'm mourning it both, and I need to catch up on sleep.

P.S. Private message to Eugene and Cat, who told me they read this: I miss you! As soon as you catch up on sleep you'd better get writing.

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

Listening

I'm sure I must have listened to something, but I have no idea what it was. Probably Inga Liljeström's Elk--all Lamb-y and Portishead-y, Björk-y and Willow-y that it is. Really delightful.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Paul Park's A Princess of Roumania is a tale of an alternate world tied to this one by the powers of Ro(u)manian sorceresses, fighting to keep a teenage girl safe in hope she can save Roumania. She, however, has grown up a normal North American teenager, and finding herself and two of her friends (one of them transformed into a dog) in aboriginal North American forest with soldiers coming after them nearly tests her mettle too far. An intriguing beginning. I want to read the next volume soon.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Dear Write-a-thon sponsors--

I started the week off well, writing on both Monday and Tuesday, then got derailed by end of the Clarion West workshop business until today, but that gave me time to figure out how to get from where I was to the next stage of the story, where our heroine has finally started putting one + one together and coming up with three.

Right now the novel stands at 24,512 Word words, so I wrote 3,324 words this week, and a grand total of 20,090 words during the Write-a-thon.

Thanks again for taking this journey with me. If not for you, I would have found some way to weasel out of this commitment.

As for payment of your pledge, if you haven't paid already, please send a check made out to Clarion West to me at 906 NW 75th Street, Seattle, WA 98117-4115, or you can pay on Clarion West's website by PayPal, though please let me know you've done that. The PayPal link is at http://clarionwest.org/website/cat_special_events.html

And if this novel is ever published, I'll include you in the acknowledgments, because I truly do thank you, as does Clarion West.

Bests--

--Neile

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Still on hiatus. Soon to return.

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