I received the email from Clarion a few minutes ago. A large number of applications and limited number of seats to fill but alas my butt will not be one of them. The writing continues and I will try again next year.
Best of luck to the class of 2007.
I thought I’d post an update on my application to the 2007 Clarion workshop. No news is good news, right?
I know I’ve been watching my Google Alerts for a mention from other applications but the blogosphere has been quiet. I hope this is simply the calm before the storm and acceptance/rejection notifications will be made any second now. (Hits refresh and looks sternly at INBOX). I said any second now. Hrmph. Seriously, though. I expect word will come any day and when it does I will be sure to post about it, good or bad. The writing continues in either case.
The nine day marathon to apply to Clarion was an interesting experience. I learned a lot about myself as a writer. It’s one thing to be able to put words to paper, electronically-speaking. The goal was to submit two stories that best represented my current writing ability. I spent every spare moment working on those two stories, one a revision of a draft from late last year and the other was a new story based on an idea and world that I had been thinking about for several months. I even dreamed about the stories.
I was relieved when I reached the end of the deadline and submitted my application. I closed my laptop and cuddled with the wife. I spent the next day catching up on yard work and other chores that I had neglected during my marathon writing session. I thought I would be a little burned out by the experience. Instead it stoked my creative fires. Ideas on ways to improve the stories kept popping into my head. I got some feedback from a few people and identified some of the things I need to work on, like passive vs. active voice. One story contained 62 instances of the word “was” and 18 “had”; the second contained 48 and 22, respectively.
I’ve already started revisions of both stories. Even if I’m not accepted into Clarion this year I believe the application experience itself has taught me a considerable amount about the writing process. This was the the first time the process of editing and revision really clicked with me.
As for Clarion, I did have one minor moment of panic. I received an email from them Monday morning. It turns out I attached two copies of one story instead of one copy of two stories. They gave me the opportunity to send the second story and life is peachy. The committee that reviews applications will be notifying applications by May 1st of their status. I’ve read that those who are accepted will be notified via telephone and those who are not will receive their rejection via mail (postal or email, not sure). In either case, it’s too early to have any news.
My application to Clarion is complete! The forms are filled out, the fee is paid, the stories written, edited, and submitted!
It’s been one heck of a week. I’ve learned all sorts of things about my writing that I hadn’t known before. In nine days I was able to write a new story from scratch and edit both of them, while not quite to where I wanted, enough to show where my skills are currently at.
I finished up in the nick of time. There are technically three more hours until the deadline, local time. We’ve got thunderstorms in the area and the lights are flickering so it seemed prudent to send it off now instead of another read and edit before midnight.
Wish me luck! It may be a month or more before I hear any news but I will post it as it comes in.
The day has finally arrived. Applications are due by April 1, 2007. It’s going to be a hectic. I need to finish edits on both stories, finish filling out the application, and submit.
We’re going out to breakfast with family and then I need to get busy.
The first draft is complete! Huzzah!
First drafts are by their very nature rough and ugly creatures. Hopefully they are all minor and easily correctable. Tomorrow begins the revision process where I can rip, shred, and rewrite chunks of the story. For the most part I think it’s a story. It has a beginning, middle, and an end. Now I need to make sure and verify those pesky things like plot, continuity, point of view, narration, etc.
I’m short on the minimum word count but by less than two hundred characters. That will easily be remedied as I go back and revise. Wish me luck. I’m on third base and I’m making a run for the plate.
I’m entering the final stretches. Today was a crappy day. Lots of real work to do. No measurable progress.
Tomorrow (Thursday) night would normally be my writers group meeting. Instead of going to that I’ll be heading out and finding a nice corner to sit in and writing. I’ll have a solid five or more hours uninterrupted. I plan on finishing this draft and taking Friday off work so I can edit. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one or two people to give me some feedback on the draft so I can polish it up. By the time Saturday rolls around I should have both stories ready to go.
Not much measurable progress. I’ve been fighting against the urge to expand this piece beyond a short story. This is the first trip into the cyberpunk world I’ve been thinking about for months now and the stories it contain keep calling out to me.
I think I’m going to take the afternoon off work tomorrow and park myself at Panera until this draft is finished. That will leave a few days to smooth out a few obvious rough spots. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It only needs to show my potential, as it were.
I’ve gotten a comments and well-wishes from several of you. Thanks, it means the world to me. I’m looking forward to the day I can share this world with everyone.
I really should think of wittier titles.
A disappointing day, writing-wise. I’m smack dab in the middle of the story and I only managed 100 words tonight. I was just getting into the flow of it when work interrupted. I forgot to close my instant message client, oops.
I’m still confident that I’ll be done in time. I’ll soldier on until the end. I need to just sit down and hammer through the rest of the draft and then go back and smooth it out. I’ve got it all in my head, it just needs to be let out. One day someone will invent a neural interface so that I can write in my sleep.
496 new words and a few edits to last nights work for a grand total of 1,121. I’m roughly a third of the way through the story.
I’m trying not to race through to the finish even though I am under a tight deadline. There are some interesting elements to the story that I’d like to play with a bit more as I tighten it up. It’s fun experimenting with cyberpunk themes. It’s a genre I can see myself spending quite a bit of time working in.
The rest of the day was spent working on taxes and fighting a sinus infection. Hopefully that will clear itself up soon. I’m going to be drinking lots of caffeine this week to get things wrapped up and the last thing I need is a lingering cold to slow me down.