Les Semaines

July 13, 2008

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


Third Week of Clarion West 2008

This week's instructor was Cory Doctorow. He added a lot to the foundation that Paul Park and Mary Rosenblum gave the students. Like them, Cory has energy and intensity, but all three of them have a different kind of energy and intensity.

This week has been insanely busy. Exhaustion casts a haze over the week. I recall flashes of things:

  • Bringing two of the students home for the afternoon to visit the cats
  • Being impressed at the level of the stories and critiques, and of course what Cory added
  • Cory's wonderful reading (left us wanting more!)
  • The class weathering a rough week pretty darn well
  • Driving Cory back to the house after his party and being shocked at the extent of his upcoming travel
  • Then hitting the car alarm as he got out of the car
  • Watching the setting sun hitting the downtown buildings from the viewpoint at Cory's party (at Marci's)
  • Being so exhausted for a day that I pretty much drugged myself with fiction
  • Following the students' pattern of sleeping when I should be awake and
  • being awake when I should be asleep
  • Picking raspberries and blackcurrants and lavender

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


Strangely enough, I'm mostly enjoying silence these days. I guess daily life is so noisy that silence is welcome.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Holly Lisle's children's fantasy, The Ruby Key is the first in her Moon & Sun series. Genna and her brother Dan dare to brave the Nightlings' forest to try to gather medicine that may save their failing mother, and in saving her prevent their evil uncle from marrying her and sacrificing her and the rest of their family in an attempt to become immortal. They find themselves taken before the ruler of the Nightlings and having to make a bargain with him to try to free her family. a fun read.

I'm not sure how I feel about Louise Erdrich's novel The Plague of Doves. Perhaps it mirrors real life too closely in that it's a collection of disconnected stories with only vague resolutions, like real life. I enjoyed parts a lot, parts I thought were tedious, parts magical. Again, much like real life. Mostly, I was glad to reach the last page and close the book, which is strange for me, because mostly I've loved her previous books.

I got interested in Val McDermid's mystery novel, The Grave Tattoo because it features a tattooed body found in a bog that may be Fletcher Christian's and a missing Wordsworth manuscript. This was clever and entertaining and the mysteries mentioned here were interesting; however, the actual murder mystery portion was terribly unsatisfying.

The first two parts of Helen Dumore's children's fantasy series Ingo and The Tide Knot take place in Cornwall. A brother and sister find themselves drawn to the sea, where they meet merfolk and enter the underwater world of Ingo--and then their father disappears. Ingo is both delightfully magical but also dangerous, and the young girl, Sapphy, finds herself irresistibly drawn to it. Her mother has always been afraid of the sea--and it seems for good reason. Charming and mysterious.

Sarra Manning's young adult novel, French Kiss is the first in her Diary of a Crush series. Pretty standard fare where no one acts well and you can't figure out what any of the characters see in each other. Avoid.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Working on gearing up to start the second draft of the new novel. I've been working on typos and meditating on the parts of the novel I need to build up some.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Not yet, not yet.

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

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