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Catching up

Yesterday was our official Clarion 2006 BBQ. We went to, er… um… some place in the woods - Liz dumped us off at the side of the road, threw a Twinkie into the trees, and ran away. She was shouting "I'm free, I'm freeeeeeeeeee!" Huh. Anyway, we eventually found ourselves at a little wood pavilion in the woods, where Meat Master Steve (mroctober) and Sean Manseau grilled the bejesus out of a variety of dead animals and tofu objects, while we drank beer and ate strange side salads. After, most of the group played volleyball while a few of us wandered into the wilds, following a "nature" "trail" (re: path that lead from one secluded baseball field to another). Someone saw a snake, but all I saw was a packet of Cheetos slithering around the bushes. I totally need new contacts. Also, I did my Harlan Ellison impression in a clearing, and hundreds of birds instantly fell dead out of the sky. It was AWESOME!

Today was our first day with Holly Black and Kelly Link. They're both very insightful and thorough teachers. Also, very funny. My story was critiqued today, and I must say - it got quite the ass-reaming. Although, it deserved it - no one was incorrect in their opinion of what didn't work. The problem is, I'm too emotionally close to really agree, if you know what I mean. I'm going to have to set this one aside for a long time, and pick it up again when my ego isn't so wrapped up with the writing.

Tomorrow I'll type up and post the notes I wrote this evening, during an informal workshop lead by Holly and Kelly. They discussed a method for taking a "broken" story (or a story in progress) and brainstorming new ideas before actually staring the rewrite. I took my hideously deformed submission story "Jetsam" and came up with a few new ideas that might help salvage it. I'll also have my one-on-one with Kelly - next week will be with Holly. I'm going to ask her to have her apartment sprayed for kinder-Berman before I visit. Clarion seems to be infested with them.


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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