Category Archives: Clarion West

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2 Update

What do you think? Is this guy going to make it?

This week I wrote a 2600 word story about Kelsey, the tribal member in charge of the Tribe’s theme park ride who is called in on her day off to investigate a ride anomaly and has to deal with a guy who is still mad she dumped him when they were teenagers.

Snippet:

“What’s going on?” I asked.

At first glance everything looked normal but you could never be sure since the ride went deep into the forest, mountains, a gold mine, a re-created Karuk village, a white-water river sequence and some generic wildlife activity before returning to the start point.

“Got ourselves a blip,” Ike said. He was dressed like a gas station attendant and pulled a handkerchief from his back pocket like an oil jockey which was hilarious because he actually sat in front of bank of monitors like a surveillance employee which is more like what he was.

I looked at Archie who nodded, vigorously not smiling and making sure I knew that was for me.

Full disclosure I am scheduling this post ahead of time. Today is my dad’s 90th birthday and we’re having a socially distant, masked-up, very few select guests birthday celebration that will include grilling red meat.

Hope you’re enjoying your Independence Day, too.

Important fundraising information:

You can sponsor me here.

You can sponsor one of our workshop leaders here: Neile.
Or tireless workshop supporter Kate.
My classmate: Maggie.

If you want to check out the participants yourself: CW Write-a-thon Writers.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:

Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

All donations are welcome. If you’re suffering donation fatigue, we’ll take your good thoughts.

Posted in Clarion West | Leave a comment

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #1 Report

This week I wrote a 2800 word story about Lester, a fast-talking tribal member who hears the feds want to unload control over the “alien portal” that is located on tribal lands and sees a great opportunity for himself.

Snippet:

Lester had a friend of a friend in the local government. It took a few calls and some loitering at the casino bar until he managed to hook one of the alien portal employees into a conversation.

June was her name and she was three minutes away from retirement and not about to let you forget it. She drank something called a salmon prisoner – he was never clear what was in it but it was one of the most expensive cocktails on the menu.

The idea was inspired by this piece by Winona LaDuke Reconciliation Pipeline: How to Shackle Native People. Relevant quote:

Dressed up as “equity positions”, or “reconciliation”, across the continent, corporations and governments are trying to pawn off bad projects on Native people.

You can sponsor me here.

You can sponsor one of our workshop leaders here: Neile.
Or tireless workshop supporter Kate Schaefer.
My classmate: Maggie.

If you want to check out the participants yourself: CW Write-a-thon Writers.

Here’s the address if you’d prefer to mail a donation:

Clarion West
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

All donations are welcome. If you’re suffering donation fatigue, we’ll take your good thoughts.

Posted in Clarion West | Leave a comment

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Time Again

First a correction from my last post: My tree has 1 Gala apple and 3 Red McIntosh for a total of 4 apples.

Like most people, I can’t seem to dig out from under all my email so I let it accumulate and then tackle it in fits and starts which isn’t particularly effective as it comes in all the time.

I finally read my Clarion West Write-A-Thon email and learned that it starts tomorrow. Whew. Just in time.

As you might have guessed, there is no workshop this summer. The same students and instructors are hoping to convene in summer 2021. The workshop will be doing online things this summer.

These are my posts from during the workshop: Overview, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 part 1, Week 4 part 2, Week 5 and Week 6.

If I can think of anything fresh to say about it, I’ll add it to a future post.

Because I’m not happy unless I’m not happy, my goal for this year is to pull a fresh idea out of my butt and write a brand new story each week. I’m not going to gnash my teeth and try to make them pretty but I will aim for at least 1000 words of something. I will post a little snippet or description at the end of each week.

You can sponsor me here.

You can sponsor one of our workshop leaders here: Neile.

I’m not sure if any of my classmates are write-a-thoning, if so I will post links next week.

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

Micro-donations are welcome. We love your support.

Posted in Clarion West | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Time Again

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.

Posted in Clarion West | Tagged , | Comments Off on Clarionwest Beg-A-Thon Week #6 Wrap-Up

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4 Report

Bad Kissingen salt graduation tower

I did do writing and writing related activities but I failed at my goal to finish my first draft this week. I won’t even make excuses.

I am unlikely to finish a first draft next week either as I’ve got family coming into town.

This week my goal is to keep doing writing related stuff when I can and otherwise not worrying about it. There’s a whole big world out there.

Posted in Clarion West | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4 Report

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week Week #3 Report

I didn’t make huge progress on my goal this week. I changed the characters around a little and there’s some rearranging and new bits that need to be done. I didn’t get far.

Meanwhile, a couple of new romance related tidbits have come up that have taken my attention. I’m not going to elaborate at the moment but there maybe be more information coming. I’m not writing another romance, but instead of being 99% certain, the meter has moved to 75% certain.

But I’m relaxing and enjoying summer still so I’m not making decisions right now.

Things I did more successfully this week:

Picked, prepared, and ate bush beans and peas. We have so, so, so many.

Watched soccer: Sunday we had the Women’s World Cup Final and the Timbers played NYCFC. The US Men played Mexico in the Gold Cup Final and normally I would have watched it but I ran out of steam by then.

I finished Stranger Things 3 last night. I love this series.

The only goal for this week is to finish a first draft of my story even if it’s a really ugly draft.

As of yesterday the write-a-thon had 165 participating writers and had raised over $10,000. Thanks to everyone!

There’s still lots of time to donate. 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 for supporting nerd writers.

Posted in Clarion West | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week Week #3 Report

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.

Posted in Clarion West | Tagged | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2 Report

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.

Posted in Clarion West, garden | Tagged , | Comments Off on Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #1 Report

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.

Posted in Clarion West, pamily | Tagged , | Comments Off on Clarion West Write-a-Thon Begins NOW!

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.

Posted in Clarion West, doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Incline