Les Semaines

June 22, 2008

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


Clarion West 2008 Begins

My brain hasn't quite gotten around to the idea that another workshop is beginning--has begun.

The house is ready, the rooms are full, we've made copies, arrangements, folders, name plates, arranged a classroom and admin space, and then some, and now there are eighteen people here at the Clarion West workshop, all poised to start a six-week exploration into their own writing talents, first under the guidance of Paul Park.

Away we go.

I feel like I would love a week of sleep before the workshop starts, but I'm sure Leslie (workshop co-administrator) feels this even more so, as she has been attending the weekend's Locus Award and Science Fiction Museum Hall of Fame events and helping make the Clarion West 25th Anniversary celebration event (Nancy Pearl interviewing science fiction great William Gibson) happen.

I missed that, as it happened the same evening as our 25th wedding anniversary.

We celebrated quietly, with a lovely sushi dinner at one of our favourite restaurants, then sharing some of our recent poems. I had a poem for Jim that I wrote the first draft of at La Push. I frantically revised it until moments before I read it to him. I also read him the first scene from my new novel--so he's the first person who has seen/heard any of it.

3 cats on a couch - one wayThree cats on a couch face one way. Just for the record, from the left that's Sophia, Titus, Atia.

3 cats on a couch - the other wayThree cats on a couch face the other way.


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


Not much new, but in the car I've been obsessing on Portishead's Third and Yeasayer's All Hour Cymbals. Such energy in both of them.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Ingrid Law's middle grade fantasy novel, Savvy, is a charming story about a young girl on her 13th birthday--unfortunately, her father has been in a horrible car wreck and is in a coma, and her family member all come into a strange talent--their savvy--on their 13th birthday. Mibs is sure her talent has to be waking things, so she stows away on a bible-deliverers pink school bus to try to get to the hospital. This causes just as many problems as you might think. By the way, her older brothers create electricity and cause hurricanes, and the hurricane-causer, another younger brother, and the preacher's kids are along with her.

Karen Joy Fowler's novel Wit's End is a no-mystery mystery, an exploration into the past of a young woman and her godmother, a famous mystery writer with fanatic fans. It is a clever, interesting read.

Sarah Hall's Daughters of the North (known in the U.K. as Carhullen's Army is the post-apocalyptic tale of a women's collective in the north of England. A woman now known only as "Sister" runaway from her increasingly bleak situation with her husband in the city where food, life, and work are all seriously overseen and restricted. She has heard of this collective, and is certain it is still out there, and manages to find it high in the mountains. There she discovers that the women have ideas about the society below. Dark, depressing, but also powerful, and vivid.

Coe Booth's young adult novel, Tyrell, is a look into a world that we don't see often, and rarely so clearly. Tyrell is a young black man whose father is in jail again for a short term. His mother cannot cope and so Tyrell becomes responsible for himself, for her, and for his younger brother. He doesn't want to turn to what one of his friends has, selling drugs, and so he has to work hard to think of another way of earning enough money to get his family out of the cockroach-filled hotel social services has stuck them in. He has a good-girl girlfriend, but starts a confusing friendship with a girl he meets at the hotel. How Tyrell deals with the situation around him makes for fascinating reading.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Still working on the novel's climactic scenes. Salmon poem moving so slowly upstream you'd think it didn't want to go.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

I remain retrospectiveless.

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

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