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Last post before leaving

Tomorrow's going to be hell, so I'm going to wrap things up online today (still no internet at home, gah!).

Going forward, all of my Clarion posts will be "no comments". I've been weighing the pros and cons of doing this ever since I found out I was accepted, but two recent discoveries on the internet have made it clear to me that this is the best decision for me and for the other workshop members as well. I'm not going into specifics, except to say that I need to stay focused the next six weeks - no comments means I won't be spending time writing "for" comments, or answering them. It's not about you, in other words - you're all great. It's me I'm worried about. I'll be stressed and cranky and freaked out, trying to process everything and juggling thousands of words to be read and critiqued along with thousands of words to be written and critiqued. I feel I need to protect you and myself from moments of short-temperedness and short-sightedness that will probably arise if I start to have conversations about what I post - and what I don't post.

In case you're wondering what I'll be blogging about, I think I need to make it clear what will and won't be said. I'm not going to blog about what students say to each other during the workshop. Ever. I'm not going to blog about the specifics about critiques (as in, "X" said this about my story, and "Y" said this, and then I told "Z" this about their story). I'm not going to blog about the private lives of other Clarionites. I'm not going to tell you what was said in casual conversations. I'm not going to blog about what the instructors say, in class or out, about other people's writing.

What I will be writing about is my day-to-day life at Clarion outside of the workshops. I can tell you how hard it is to critique all afternoon then try to write until three in the morning - that's not a violation of anyone else's privacy. I can tell you what my stories will be about, how they change with the press of time and how I plan to change them after they're critiqued - that's not a violation of anyone else's privacy. I can tell you what my instructors say my weaknesses are, and how I plan to address those issues in order to improve my writing - that's not a violation of anyone else's privacy. I can tell you about summers in East Lansing, what it's like to write for six weeks without the obligations of a 9-to-5 job, who I hang out with at the local pizza place, how many water fights I get into, how cool it is to talk face-to-face with writers instead of communicating only via computers, what movies I watch - that's not a violation of anyone else's privacy. I can tell you what the instructors teach us, their views of/philosophies on writing, and how I'll try to apply it to my work - that's not a violation of anyone else's privacy.

I think you see the pattern. This isn't going to be the blog you go to to find out who hates who, and who broke down before/during/after the workshop, and whose writing sucks, and who just doesn't understand my goddamn words because I'm so fucking good/bad/whatever, blah blah blah. This will be a neutral place, taking into consideration not only the privacy and personal growth of my classmates, but myself as well. So if it seems rather non-juicy, non-gossipy and disappointingly drama-free, well. That's just kind of the way it has to be. But like I said: you're all great, and I'm sure you all understand.


Marine Autumn

I owe you marine autumn
With dankness at its roots
and fog like a grape
and the graceful sun of the country;
and the silent space
in which sorrows lose themselves
and only the bright crown
of joy comes to the surface.

--Pablo Neruda.

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