Week One Instructor: Andy Duncan

Week One Instructor’s Best Decision: To impress upon us with his entire, considerable force of personality that we absolutely deserve to be here amongst the elite of speculative fiction’s future writers

Week One Instructor’s Worst Decision: To recommend the film Cannonball Run for potential group screening

Unexpected Week One Discoveries: It is fairly common to write pantsless, especially in 90-degree heat; it does not take long to lose one’s mind when writing in a house with other pantsless maniacs in 90-degree heat; sentient molds, etc

Photo on 6-28-15 at 11.46 AMWeek One Story Wordcount, Current: 3,400k, completed

Week One Story Title: How High Your Gods May Count

Week One Bummer: I have almost completely lost my voice due to a strangely-manifesting cold

Week One Highlight: The people in this house are amazing, both in talent and personality, and I am so grateful and overjoyed to be here. But let’s see how I feel next week.

Here I am at writer space camp, tucked into my tiny room, which I have cozified like woah because knowingIMG_1799 my work habits I will probably spend a lot of time locked in here, trying not to look at Facebook.

(The hardest part of getting ready for Clarion West was locking myself out of my Facebook account. I am thirty-one fucking years old. Seriously?)

The past few weeks have been the superlative superlative something something of my life. Getting ready to leave my job in the midst of relocating the office, which is my job, since I am the office lady; buying my first home and moving to the seriously suburban suburbs (OUR NEIGHBORS ARE ALPACAS); taking agility classes from the 2015 20″ Preferred and 24″ AKC National Agility Champion, Sarah Baker, who is a kickass teacher but holy hell no pressure there. Also class is in Sumner and I live in Lynnwood. If you don’t know where those places are imagine mapping something on your phone thinking you might go there and then saying “oh hell no” to your phone, because it must be lying to you. There’s a lot of driving.

Last night, my beloved, genius, disgusting, wonderful, batshit-crazy work teammates came out for karaoke. We were Those People in the karaoke bar. We were the karaoke dream team. I felt so loved and I don’t think I’ve ever had a big group of people that I liked being around so much. I hope that my Clarion cohort feels like that.

Anyway, what with all of the above I did not think about Clarion West until I walked up the front steps of the house this morning carrying my boxes, and it hit me that this is the closest I will ever get to actually going to Hogwarts or slipping into Narnia.

It took a lot of people to get me here, a lot of help and support and hard work–financially (see my last post, holy shit), emotionally (hi Ryan!) and personally (hi Grace!). And it has taken so many hours upon hours of writing and hurting and pushing and writing and waking up at 4:30am day after day.

So I’d better make it count.

I have two post-its on my desk. They are my goals for Clarion West. They are deceptively challenging.

  • Don’t say you can’t, because you can.
  • Be the person everyone feels they can come to.

But if I have learned anything from my husband and my therapist and my best friend and my dog and all the people who love me, it is that I can do anything. So step aside, I’m counting down.