Category Archives: Clarion West

Clarionwest Beg-A-Thon Week #6 Wrap-Up

The workshop is finished. Everyone goes home today probably heartbroken, happy, and exhausted. I think I slept twelve hours the first two nights I got home. I’d already taken six weeks off work but they let me take Monday, too, because I needed it.

Check out Percy making some figs. Don’t think he has the juice to finish the job this summer but maybe we’ll get a few next summer.

In the interest of complete honesty: I failed at my meager write-a-thon goals. I’m still fiddling with my story idea and thinking I just need one more weekend to get it worked out which looking at history, there’s a good chance this story is doomed. But I can’t bring myself to trunk it yet. I never even looked at the kayak story which needs a little light tweaking and it’s ready to go out the door.

However, I also busted ass to get that last self-published book done in May so I could enjoy summer things and I am doing that. I’ve read almost 20 books since then and I’ve done lots of family things and made lots of pies. I’ve watched shows and a bunch of soccer matches and have a better garden than usual.

After this month I’m going to ramp back up.

A couple of pumpkins out front plus one blue hubbard squash.

If you forgot and think it’s too late. It’s not. You can donate anytime. All donations are welcome.

Donation Links:
Me.
Maggie.
Neile.
Everyone.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks to everyone who supported me and the workshop. We raised over $16K. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2 Report

Our 4th of July was relatively quiet. We had a late lunch/early dinner at the inlaws. I made mac salad, lentil salad, and this glorious jello treat, plus an apple pie. Marilyn made watermelon salad, potato salad, and granny pea salad. Denise made a tri-tip and a platter of corn on the cob. This was for 7 people. No one went home hungry.

Lots of fireworks restrictions now so no mayhem outside our front door. We went to bed early with the windows and shades shut. I heard some racket around 11pm but otherwise it was uneventful.

Oakie, the Orleans cat, finds the most comfortable seat in the house.

Week two of the workshop has ended.

My main goal for the write-a-thon was to dust off a first draft NDN casino in space story and try to get it ready for submission. I was almost ready to give up last weekend but thought I figured it out and kept working on it.

Then Friday I almost gave up again and then I was sitting quietly trying to solve a completely different problem and I got another idea. I think I have successfully figured out what to do with this thing. I worked on it all morning, way longer than I intended, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through my revision.

This week’s goal is to finish the new draft.

Mom and Aunt Janet in the parade.

Donation Links:
Me.
Maggie.
Neile.
Everyone.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

Thanks for supporting nerd writers.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #1 Report

Remember when that raccoon attacked the walls of water on my freshly planted baby tomato sproutlet?

The tomato never really recovered. This is a terrible picture. I tried to figure out a clever way to emphasize the tomato but this I best I can do at the moment.

It’s got tomatoes forming but it’s so spindly it can barely stand up under the burden.

For contrast, here’s the other tomato I planted at the same time.

I tried to take a photo of the giant weed farm the next door neighbors are growing in their front yard, but couldn’t get a shot that best showed the waving yellow flowers that will soon turn into white fluff and blow into our yard. I read on nextdoor that you can report your neighbors for neglecting their yard and it’s tempting. The situation over there hasn’t changed much. The noise in the middle of the night is less terrible and tolerable as long as all the windows are shut and the shades drawn. I am still coming to terms with the idea that I will never have my windows open at night as long as they live there.

Look at Percy! Two years old in May.

Write-a-thon Update.

Here’s a post I wrote a few years ago about the workshop and what it meant to me.

The first week of the workshop is finished. This is my week #1 report.

My original goal was to dig up a first draft I wrote years ago and get it ready to submit.

Upon re-reading the draft, I was concerned that it was such a mess. The set-up is fine but the hard part is finding an ending and I fiddled with it on and off all week and the magical portal where story endings fall out did not open for me.

This afternoon while I ate lunch I tried to decide whether to give up or not. I already know I am the kind of person that will flog on an idea long after it’s clear that I can’t figure out what to do with it.

It’s all made up, right? So there has to be a way to make up something that makes the story work. I hate to give up because I always think I *should* be able to come up with something.

While I ate, I wondered what would happen if I swapped the characters around and chose a different character as the main character and that gave me an idea. So I am going to spend one more day fiddling with it and if I have a clear idea what I want to do, I’ll work on it another week.

Otherwise I’m going to quit it and change to the kayak story and finalize.

This is my donor page.
Here is my classmate and TIRELESS beta reader Maggie.
Here is one of our workshop leaders Neile.
Here’s the list of all the writers if you want to browse.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:
Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

I just got my donation report and I already have donations! Already the first week we’ve raised almost $6,000. (Not me personally, all the write-a-thoners together.)

Thanks for supporting nerd writers.

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Clarion West Write-a-Thon Begins NOW!

What’s in the hat box?

Hello friends. It’s that time again. The latest class of the Clarion West writing workshop moved into the house today.

A group of us will be writing at home while they are there and trying to raise money while we do it.

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I wrote a post about my experience at the workshop last year and the year before. If I can think of anything fresh to say about it, I’ll write another one next week weekend.

My main goal for this write-a-thon was to re-work a short story about an NDN casino in space that I whipped up in a weekend in January 2017. I haven’t looked at the draft since.

I got it out this morning and the first 3/4ths are pretty good. It’s a fun idea with fun characters. The last 1/4th is a complete mess that makes no sense and doesn’t flow logically from the beginning. It’s like I passed out under a bridge and when I woke up I was forced to finish the story or face dire consequences so I wrote the ending of a different story.

It’s actually such a mess, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ll poke around with it a little, at least a week or two, but I don’t want to waste a lot of time if I don’t see a way to fix it.

Then I need ideas for new goals:

1 – Finish the kayak story and submit. Completely doable.
2 – Figure out some system for all my bazillion ideas and scraps and research. If this was doable, I think it would be done by now but let’s put it out there.
3 – Do some idea storming and try to do the first draft of a completely new story. Not hot on this idea. I don’t know if I want to do a lot of short story writing at this point.
4 – Go through partial novel manuscript that I abandoned when I started writing romances and see if I can get a working outline. Possibly doable.
5 – TBD

I will report at the end of each week.

If you’re inclined to donate, my page is here.

I usually link to my classmates who are also write-a-thoning but as of this moment, none of them are. (FOR SHAME!) I’ve sent them a guilt trip so I may have some to add next week.

One of our workshop leaders is write-a-thoning and you can donate here: Neile.

Micro-donations are welcome. We love your support.

I included a photo of the elders, my mom and auntie – modeling their hats. They were grand marshals in the Orleans Old Timers Parade last weekend.

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Incline

The results of my endoscopy were hiatal hernia. According to my research, something like 60% of the population has HH and many never know unless they find it during an endoscopy. There’s a long list of lifestyle changes and again, according to my research, there is no one size fits all so I’m trying everything, even the woo-woo breathing exercise I found on one website.

One suggestion for heartburn is putting your bed on an incline so your head is higher than your feet. I found some bed risers online and purchased a set. We started with the 3 inch risers which already seemed pretty high. The first couple of nights I woke up further down the bed than the spot I started.

Today we went up another level to the 5 inch riser. It looks ridiculous. They suggest going to 8 inches — we were joking that it would be like training for mountain climbing. I’m going to put a pillow on the floor at the end of the bed. I expect to wake up there tomorrow.

Do I think it helps? I don’t know. Since I made about 20 lifestyle changes at the same time, it’s hard to tell. It could be the woo-woo breathing that’s helping and I could bring back the spicy salsa and French fries. For now, I’m going to keep doing it all.

The annual write-a-thon is almost upon us. Details coming soon. Here’s my donor page if you want to get a head start on your donating.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #6

The main fundraiser ended this week. We raised over $17,000 for Clarion West.

Thanks to everyone who supported our organization.

I will resurface after I turn in my manuscript.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #5

Greetings! I have had the house to myself this weekend and very few obligations so I am hunched over the computer cranking on my manuscript.

Sorry, I didn’t do any marketing. It’s partly because I don’t like it but mostly because all my brain juice is used on revisions or mandatory life responsibilities.

I will have have some amazing garden pics soon. There is a blue hubbard squash the size of a baby out there.

The Clarion West class of 2018 has one more week of the workshop. To my best recollection, at this point I was never more tired in my life and I was tired of deli sandwiches for lunch and wanted to see my husband again but also completely in love with all my classmates and couldn’t believe it was all going to be over soon. I hope the current class is having a great experience.

According to my latest progress report, there are over 200 participating writers in the fundraiser and they’ve raised just over $15,000. I met and exceeded my $100 goal, finally sent in my match plus some extra because I sponsored all my classmates. Thanks everyone for your support. There is still time to donate. Honestly, you can donate anytime you want. If you wake up in November and feel like there’s money burning a hole in your wallet, feel free to donate then. Here are some suggested people to sponsor:

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

If you prefer to send a check here’s an address:
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4

Today is the end of Clarion West 2018, Week #4.

I am full meal deal, pedal to the metal working on cleaning up the manuscript. I enjoy this part but I’m not very fast so it’s hard to find any satisfaction in the work when I see how far I need to go.

I have done some super baby steps marketing tasks. I will do more. Yay, marketing.

I don’t know why I update the progress meter because I’m not writing for word count now. I’m trying to replace bad stuff with better stuff. The visual is encouraging.

72373 / 75000 words. 96% done!

There is still plenty of time to donate to Clarion West. They are grateful for all donations large and small. Links to me and my classmates and workshop leaders below.

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

If you prefer to send a check here’s an address:
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

According to my latest progress report, there are over 200 participating writers and they’ve raised just shy of $12,000. Thanks everyone for your support.

Do I have neighbor news? Yeah. I’ll make it quick.

A different neighbor is remodeling and the process filled a giant truck with debris. This truck was parked in front of our house. At first I didn’t mind: it’s a public street, she’s doing a project, this is a short term thing. Except 4 days later the truck was still there and there was plenty of room to park the truck in front of her house. She came over while I was at work and profusely apologized to Bob and said she’d been calling the haulers to get that thing out of here or at least move it in front of her house. Then I wasn’t mad anymore. The truck didn’t bother me. It bothered me when I thought yet another neighbor was being inconsiderate.

The next door situation isn’t any worse but still not optimal. Last night at about 9:30pm I cautiously opened the window, ready to enjoy a cool breeze in the bedroom. “Dare I push my luck?” I said to Bob. It was all quiet over there. Five minutes later cars drove up and people started smoking and talking and shouting. “I dare not.” Windows closed. This morning Bob said a car pulled up to that house and three people got out with open containers and carrying a six pack. Maybe I’m just jealous of their leisure time.

World Cup Final TOMORROW! I’m interrupting project BOOK 3 for that.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #3

Today is the end of Clarion West 2018, Week #3.

I am still spending almost every spare second working on cleaning up the manuscript. Every time I go out in my yard I want to cry. There is a big jumble of stuff growing–dahlias, pumpkins, peas, sunflowers, weeds, weeds, weeds. The roses desperately need deadheading. Everything neglected. That’s just how it’s going to be right now.

Sorry, I have not done one marketing thing except think about much I dread marketing. I have three weeks to do better.

Here is the current progress meter:

72168 / 75000 words. 96% done!

Working on these big projects reminds me of this teacher I had in high school, Mr. Lasnik. He taught science classes, and he was a true college prep instructor. His classes were tough, but I loved him as a teacher and learned so much from him — not just biology and physiology but also about how to approach research and studying. He assigned these monster research papers. Back in those days we had to get our parents to drive us to the university library to find articles and make copies. We had to bring bags full of nickels. I remember when the report was almost due I used to think: I will be so mad if I die before I get to turn this in.

That’s what I think when I get to the end of a book.

Fireworks snakes of disappointment. Or Burning Turds, as I called them.

In other news — it was weird having a day off in the middle of the week. I kept thinking it was the weekend. I thought about taking Thursday off but I figured it would be dead at work and I could have an easy day. HA HA! I was busy all day. Now it’s the weekend, and I am still confused about where we are in time.

Bob talked Denise and me into going to the fireworks tent with him. I’m glad we did. It was complete insanity but in a fun way. There was a line to get inside and then the line to check out wrapped around the entire store. There were people with shopping carts piled with fireworks.

I think this was the last year. This year we couldn’t have fireworks in the city limits (our house), and I think next year not in the county (bro/sis-in-law’s house). I understand all the reasons for outlawing them, and I’m happy about it, but it is fun to have a day where all the neighbors are outside and blowing stuff up.

What is the latest with the neighbor situation? Thank you for asking.

A couple of weeks ago they woke me up at 2:30 am on a Tuesday night. It was some obviously drunk people screaming out front. I phoned the renter to complain. We’re trying to be reasonable about this but 2:30 on a school night is not cool. She was very friendly and apologetic and said she would deal with it.

And then Sunday night 2:00 am the same thing. This time I called the leasing agent. When I got home from work, their lawn was mowed, the driveway swept, and a single car parked out front.

The following weekend I heard someone drive up in the middle of the night. The car doors went: SLAM! SLAM! SLAM!

Then a person: SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Even though I was awake, I wasn’t mad, because some tried to be quiet. Peaceful since then. Well, there was some sort of drumming and singing one night but it didn’t go on for long. (whew!)

Trees caught fire in the neighborhood. Terrifying to watch. Fire department got it under control quick. We walked up there the next day and no buildings were damaged which was a miracle.

There is still plenty of time to donate to Clarion West. They are grateful for all donations large and small. Links to me and my classmates and workshop leaders below.

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

If you prefer to send a check here’s an address:
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

According to my latest progress report, there are 200 participating writers and they’ve raised over $9000. Thanks everyone for your support.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2

I successfully completed my week #2 goal which was 7 days of no writing. I cheated a tiny bit one day when I accidentally read an article about dialogue. As soon as I realized it, I shut my browser.

During my break, I did all kinds of things that I normally never do: I hung out downtown with my sweetie and saw Malcom Terence read at Powell’s, I went to a happy hour celebration for one of my sweetie’s colleagues, I watched epic amounts of World Cup soccer, I finished three books that I had sitting around here half finished since January, I went to the Farmer’s Market, I went to see Isle of Dogs.

It went by fast.

I’m back at it again, working on cleaning the ms. up. I have not done any marketing things yet but I’m sincere in my intent to do so soon.

Thanks to everyone who donated so far. Still plenty of time and all donations are appreciated. Here are links for me and my classmates and workshop administrators.

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Lots of other writers — find someone to sponsor here: The Group.

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