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Clarion begins on Sunday

Never mind what they tell you: Clarion does not begin on Monday morning. It begins Sunday evening, after orientation, when you're handed a packet of stories and told to have them critiqued and ready for discussion the following morning. So, the time crunch has already begin.

However: today was lovely. Got up late, had a big breakfast, then tried to clean up my room. I failed. Went to Chili's for lunch later with a group of people, then made another trip to Meijer for a few things I'd forgotten the first time. Afternoon was spent walking around campus, eating a giant Pumpkin Spice ice cream cone at the Dairy Store, then taking a mini-tour of the rooms where we'll have our one-on-one sessions with the authors, and our critique room. At six we had dinner, and were briefly entertained by a magician who managed to get one of us to wear a toilet plunger on their head (it was funnier than I'm telling it). That was followed by two hours of the orientation, which included Chip Delany speaking to us about the workshop and giving some excellent advice on critiquing. At the end of the orientation we were handed our first task: four stories culled by Delany from our submissions (chosen because he thought they'd be good choices for teaching purposes), which are to be read and critiqued for discussion in tomorrow's class. (I lucked out - one of the stories is mine, so I only have three to crit.)

Also: I volunteered to be on a "photography committee" for Clarion's official functions. So I will be taking lots and lots of pictures and posting them. Hopefully most of them won't suck.

And now I must sign off, and read and crit until I pass out. There's a spider on my ceiling - I think he's laughing at me.

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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