It’s that magical time of year: when you can go outside in Seattle in shorts, when days are actually more likely to be sunny than not, and when the locals start complaining about the heat anytime the temperature flirts with the mid-70s for more than two days in a row. But it’s also that magical time of year when aspiring sci-fi/fantasy writers descend on Seattle for six weeks of writing abandon, and the local writing community becomes even more active than usual, with nerds and geeks congregating multiple times a week to socialize, listen to stories, and maybe even get a bit of writing done.
I’m talking, of course, about the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop. I am not attending the workshop– I’ve not yet had the opportunity to take six weeks off work in the middle of summer– though tentative, long-distance plans suggest I might be able to next year. For now, I plan to enjoy the community that Clarion West fosters, and to work on my next novel. It’s been a while since I embarked on a serious novel project. I dabbled with a concept for the past year or so that never really took off, but I have a much better shape of this one in my head.
I’ve also started putting together a plan for a non-fiction retrospective of my Mom’s life. That’s a project that’s very close to my heart– and one that I’m not sure if I’m physically capable of writing yet– but in case I need a change of pace from my novel, I may work on a few scenes from that piece as well.
I’ll be tracking my progress on a separate “Write-a-thon” page, available via the links up top. Also, if you’d like to donate to Clarion West and help more writers attend, you can do so via my official Write-a-thon bio. The fundraising goals on that page are actually from last year, but the same thing applies this year. If you donate $5, a character named after you will show up in my novel. It’s a novel with a lot of genetic alteration in it, so if you’d like your character to have green skin or three eyes or be four meters tall, I shall do my best to accommodate.
As mentioned in the blog title, the Write-a-thon actually started Sunday, on the same day as the Clarion workshop itself. Yesterday evening was also the first public reading by a Clarion West teacher– every week, the guest instructor for that week holds a reading, and this week’s instructor is Elizabeth Hand. She was a fantastic reader– one of the best I’ve ever heard.
So all in all, this six weeks is off to a good start. Happy writing, everyone!