Clarion sends their regrets

March 21, 2013

Well, I got another Watermelon in the face moment today… and I’ve decided not to worry about whether the little setbacks I need to rise above are watermelons or some smaller fruit. It makes me smile to call them watermelons, so that’s what they are.

So around noon, I got an email from Clarion UCSD. They thanked me for applying, assured me that my application was reviewed carefully, and then lowered the boom. “We regret to inform you that you have not been selected for admission.”

I’m not sure if every rejected applicant gets the same form letter or if there’s truth to the idea that they tailor it slightly to indicate how close you got. Mine included the apparently reassuring (but slightly weaselly) statement: “Many excellent candidates could not be offered admission.”

So, as they suggested, I will continue to write and apply my talents. For the time being, that means more Edmo and continuing to prep the revision of “The Angel’s Charlie.” I’m almost finished the despair reading, and have actually reached the point where I ran out of plot, and desperate to reach 50k for the Night of Writing Dangerously, started writing a teaser for a sequel.

And – wow, now I’m suddenly blown away by the notion that I had already been doing this blog for four months before I started writing ‘Charlie.’ 😮

I’m looking forward to Camp Nanowrimo. Six of the regulars over at Stringing Words have finally managed to nab a cabin together, on our third try. I think I may not have much time to prepare, so I’ll just pants it more than usual!

It’s nearly 7 Friday evening, and I just wish I was home from work…

May 25, 2012

Feeling a little sorry for myself just at the moment. 😉 At least it looks like I may not be stuck for much longer.

Work wasn’t too bad today, was just kinduv watching the clock until a little after four thirty, a bunch of new little requests for one of our customer got sent out. (And yes, that could have been worse. I could have been the one stuck in a conference call all afternoon listening to the customer complain and trying to figure out what they wanted, but anyway…)

So, it was ten after five by the time I could finally get out of the office – not too bad, all things considered. I took public transit in today, so I walked down to the bus station near Lakeshore drive, and that was pleasant enough. Hung around listening to ‘Dogs and Goddesses’ on my Audible Otis player until the bus driver showed up to let us on, and at the stroke of six o clock, we were back on the move.

The next hint of trouble was at the Canada Center for Inland Waters stop, just before the bridge. Bus driver hung around for a few minutes there, and I wasn’t really sure why, until she drove out and onto the bridge road. The lift bridge was going up.

We’re on the other side now as I’m typing this – after waiting nearly three quarters of an hour for one sailboat and two cargo carriers, as far as I can tell. Guess when I get home, I’ll be wanting something quick and comforting to eat, watch a bit of television, and maybe I can get to bed reasonably early and get an early start on my weekend tomorrow morning.

And on the plus side, I managed to get more done than if I’d been stuck in traffic driving Ghost:

  • Nearly finished lesson 16 of ‘How to Revise your Novel.’
  • Finished a first read-through of all my stories for this week.
  • Watched half an episode of ‘One Tree Hill’ 🙂
  • And I’m posting this blog entry thanks to my iPhone personal hotspot!

What’s your worst memory of being stuck or delayed in transit?

Doing another big rewrite

June 3, 2011

I want to rewrite ‘Harry and Mars’ by June 14th, so that I can incorporate most of the notes I got from before submitting it for the Kansas workshop. (I’m also planning to do a few more revisions to ‘The Landing’ in the same timeframe.)

Unfortunately, it looks like most of the opinions I got from are suggesting that the story has some good potential, but some serious issues. When I pull up the appropriate tab of my ‘tracking spreadsheet’, some of the first entries for Harry and Mars include:

  • Flesh out the characterization of all characters (except Harry)
  • Explain the roots and the progressions of the phobia better. The reader has to believe in it!
  • Plot relies on unlikely personal issues.
  • ‘Show, don’t tell’ about Harry in particular
  • Write with better style
  • Explore the theme of hopelessness more?
  • The ending is pointless

Now, to be fair, I sorted the list for items that I felt would require a lot of work to get these ones to the top, but still, there weren’t a lot of ‘quick wins’ and easy changes that I thought would improve the story much.

Like the title character in the story, I do feel a bit as if I’m on the edge of giving into despair and fear. I’ve already done a fairly substantial rewrite on my first draft, and despite the potential that I and other people have seen, I’m not entirely sure if there’s a great story in here that I can tell, or that I really want to tell. Still, I haven’t given up, and I’m going to give it one more try in the next two weeks. Going over all the points from that list, I’ve actually just had an interesting idea for reworking the story – getting rid of Charlie as the POV character, beginning the story with Harry attempting suicide and being stopped, and having three supporting characters each interview her to try and find out why she did it – the doctor, the captain, and Charlie, the best friend.

As tempting as it was to work in the ‘phobia of Phobos’ bit, I think that that was leading me astray too. My first draft wasn’t about a phobia, but about a crewmember on a space flight giving into depression and despair in the midst of a crisis, and I think that may be the better way to go after all. The question of why she suffered from that depression, and how no-one had spotted it earlier, can be the central question that I explore.

Wish me luck!


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