Writer’s Retreat Accountability, Day 1

June 6, 2017

Well, it’s Tuesday morning, but I do have progress to report from Monday. I started a revision of my “Magic Milkshakes” story; starting in the middle, because I’m a little blocked on the new beginning, but I got 404 words written, (not feeling lost at all 😉 ) and like the scene so far!

I also sat in on the first day of critiquing for the Young Gunns writing workshop, (not a “short story workshop” as Chris M said, though short stories are the format he uses to teach writing,) and gave critiques for three stories which were well received I think.

Today I’ll be auditing less, (though James Gunn is doing some talks that I want to attend,) so hopefully I’ll be able to keep writing more for this story! Will keep you all updated.

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A disappointment and some new plans

March 24, 2014

Just heard back from Kij Johnson about her CSSF workshop – once again, I didn’t make it in. I’m disappointed, but not too badly. There’s lots of other stuff going on in my writing life, and ‘Kitchen Scale’ is no longer looking so shiny somehow.

I’ve sent a new sample story over to Chris McKitterick, to throw my hat into the ring for his CSSF workshop; that’s the two week short story critiquing program I attended in the summer of 2011 and 2012. I’ve been working on my enrollment form for TNEO 2014, where I think I’ll go in the novel group and workshop “Won’t Somebody Think of the Children.”

I’ve also committed to finishing “The Gnomes are Missing” for Camp Nano in April! This was the novel project that I pitched to Kij for the workshop last summer, and I’m really excited about getting back to it.

Let’s see, what else? I got a cool idea while walking to the bus stop this afternoon; guidance counselors. Like really freaky good ones who listen to anything you can come up with about what sort of life you want and come up with the perfect plan for what you should do to get that kind of life. Not a perfect plan perhaps, but much better than anything you could do for yourself.

Except no plan can ever prepare you for the choices you’ll have to make, or for the way life changes your priorities. And the guidance counselors are free until you’re 18 or 19–after that, it gets more expensive. (And not necessarily in terms of money.) 🙂 It’s just a novum so far, not sure what the characters or the plot will be, but I think it could be a really fun one.


More Clarion disappointment.

March 23, 2013

Late last night, I got an email from the Clarion West writer’s workshop. They thanked me for applying, and then “We are sorry to let you know that you have not been selected for our 2013 workshop.” I’m sorry too.

But I’m not sorry that I took the time (and the money) to apply for Clarion UCSD and Clarion West. I knew that they were both long shots; there were probably hundreds, if not at least a thousand writers applying to both workshop, and I don’t think either take on twenty students every summer. But going to either would be such an amazing experience that it was worth the try. (Especially with Neil Gaiman at Clarion West this year!) After all, if I was ready to get picked, but didn’t apply, I’d never have even known that I was good enough.

I’m still hopeful for the two workshops that I haven’t heard back from yet, especially Odyssey, since I got wait-listed back in 2011, and I know that I’ve improved a lot since then. But there’s no way to be sure about that but waiting.

If those options don’t work out, I’ve been reconsidering trying to go back to Kansas for the two-week short fiction critique circle workshop that I’ve attended the past two summers. I was thinking that I didn’t want to do that again for the third year straight, but now I’m not sure why not. I can certainly learn more from that workshop, and I’ll get to meet some interesting new people.

Of course, if I wait until I hear back from Odyssey before getting in touch with Chris M at Kansas, I might find out that there’s no room for any more critiquers. 😉


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