What? What? It’s the Clarion Write-a-thon already? Didn’t I just do that? Wasn’t I going to write a blog post about what I was going to do before it began? Clearly not.
Anyhow, I am creating for the write-a-thon. I have set myself several juicy challenges and shall report upon my progress with as much regularity as I can muster.
Today was a day of Roller Derby and recovering from yesterday’s Roller Derby. But I wanted to tick the cool box on my writer page that says YES I HAVE WRITTEN TODAY, WORSHIP ME FOR I AM LIKE UNTO A GOD. So started work on the ‘things without arms and without legs’ website – it’s a brand spanking new comic I’ve been creating (I’m drawing it, really and truly). It’s not ready to reveal yet and I wonder if wordpress really was the right choice for a visual project like this, but tis work done and on its way. Two pages of content, telling you a little bit about the things.
I love the things, they are my favorite things of thingness (as opposed to other things, which I’m really fond of too, but these things are particularly thingey).
Define a love letter for $20
Head on over to Objects of Love to see new work emerge. It’s not too late to sponsor an object!
Clarion Writers Workshop Write-a-Thon runs concurrently with the workshop (June 26 to August 6, 2011) and raises money to help the workshop exist and enable scholarships for new writers. Scholarships helped me attend the workshop in 2009. I will be participating and you can make a donations over on my profile page.
You can sponsor me a random amount, no strings attached. You can sponsor me for a certain amount per word (you can cap this amount if you wish).
Or for $20 you get to determine the object of affection of one love letter.
You, the donor, will be e-mailed a copy of the love letter ahead of everyone else. The love letter will then be made available on my website and available to share under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Think of something inanimate, as mundane or strange as you wish and help me raise money to support the development of wonderful new emerging writers. I have a few challenging objects bubbling and boiling. I look forward to seeing what else gets thrown at me (you can tell me early, but I think it’s even better if you wait until we launch into it on June 26)
So please sponsor me, we’ll have a lot of fun!
… also, if you do sponsor me you are automatically entered into a raffle to win sweet prizes!by Liz
In a few short days I’ll be writing for the Clarion Write-a-Thon. It turns out this is a necessary act of madness. I’ve been neglecting my novel you see. I’ve had a surge in work – writing websites, communication campaigns and work-for-hire comic books and moving to Seattle AND travelling back to Portland to work with clients. I almost told the folks that made my scholarship possible last year, the Clarion Foundation, that I would have to withdraw from the write-a-thon, too busy you see… then one of my wonderful Clarion instructors, Holly Black, sponsored me. I couldn’t back out after that, let down the team?
So I shall work on my novel every day during the write-a-thon, plug away at the beasty regardless of other things that suck up my creative energy. This will be an inverse Clarion experience in many ways! At Clarion there is the amazing sensation of being in a place for one purpose and one purpose only. How often do you get to enjoy that? It felt wonderful to me. This year during the Clarion time slot I will be juggling multiple projects (from Indigenous mental health to website copywriting), travelling north and south, east and west, judging Comikaze 24 Hour Comics Challenge and I will be working on a novel, not short stories.
I’ll need your help. This novel is ambitious and a bit scary. I’m exploring many unknowns and taking a lot of creative risks. During the write-a-thon I’m going to post every day, letting you know how I’m going. I need you to nag me, poke me, encourage me, ask questions, be provocative, whatever you will (say ….cash monies to the Clarion Foundation). Neglecting a novel is a terrible thing and I must persevere and push through somehow. Four days to prepare and then it’s Go on June 27.
Lots of love
Dear Clarion Class of 2010,
Congratulations and welcome. I hope you have an amazing time. I can’t believe it’s been a year already! It feels like yesterday I was running round the house waving my hands and opening bottles of champagne.
Here are some things I think helped our year and I adore my year. There are many variables, I hope this is useful.
Rearrange the tables in the cafeteria every day so that you can all sit together. I am so glad we did this and I know for me at least gave me a much stronger feeling of one whole community — a foundation for community without the strange and mysterious logistics of different eating tables.
Make community as a conscious act. Re-arrange other physical spaces to make them seem more welcoming (we did some crafty, collaborative decorating of our common room, goodbye ugly white walls). Have fun together (work hard, play hard) and find out ways to let off steam (remember to buy your water pistols, or like me you will be running around with clumsy plastic cups instead). Do STUFF.
I could go on, but this is your Clarion, have fun exploring it. May your Clarion bring you everything you hope for and more.
Liz, Clarion Class of 2009
Jeff VanderMeer, one of the instructors posted his congratulations… squeee, look at the tribe forming in the comments section :-)
Clarion buddy Ken Schneyer posted even better advice on his blog.
This month I’ve added to my Clarion Blog posts collection with
Eugene Fisher – Clarion 2008
Kari O’Connor – Clarion 2007by Liz
Three new Clarion blogs have been added to the collection this month – Random Jane, Artemis Jones and Allan Rouselle. I found these blogs through a lovely e-mail Neile Graham sent me many months ago that I’m slowly working my way through. Thanks Neile!by Liz
I try to update the collection every month with a slow, catchemall plan (sustainability is crucial). This month my new catch, harking back to 1985, is from The Ferret. Thanks for flinging them my way dude.
The skribit question (see right hand side of the webpage): How to find a comics artist? has been buzzing around in my head a lot. I’ve composed about 20 zillion answers, generally while trying to fall asleep or not wanting to get out of bed. I have finally found an approach that pleases me and a very rough draft has been written longhand (yep, I’m old school). I have a few other things I have to write before I’m allowed to indulge in finishing it off, but it is coming.by Liz
This is for everyone who wants to develop their writing, but it’s especially for folks who want to write comics. Please pass it on.
Clarion Writers Workshop was a fantastic experience and really exciting for me. I write across many genres (from ‘literary’ to horror to spec fic) and I write across a range of media (prose, poetry, song and comics) and I felt developed and respected in all my guises. The focus of this workshop is the short story, but the lessons learned go much deeper and broader than that. As someone who has been slogging away at comics career for quite a while now Clarion made me really excited for emerging comic writers.
The life of an aspiring comics writer can be lonely, frustrating and it can be very difficult to get access to tha constructive criticism that will help you develop your craft. I see enormous potential for comic writers to deepen their storytelling craft through this writing workshop. I also see how comics writers can give different approaches to the craft of short story writing -> the discipline of writing comics schools you in different ways.by Liz
Clarion will have the pleasure of:
Jeff and Ann VanderMeer will be the bring it home team for the last two weeks. I’ve just finished reading Delany’s essay on Clarion, I’m so excited for next year.by Liz
Updated 5 September – as I go through my notes and find more recommendations.
One of the many joys of Clarion was to get recommendations for good reads from wise teachers and co-clarionerds. This is an incomplete list, I forgot to jot down the list on the fridge and I’m sure there are ones mentioned in passing that I neglected. My dear co-clarionitics, if you read this and see absences and would like to recommend… or indeed other wise minds who read this and want to add to my enormous reading list please make some suggestions. It’s delightful to have such a rich and diverse list.by Liz
… no the accident prone years would mean just about any year. I am writing this with a strapped finger after getting a deep slash in my finger while examining suitcases.
I wrote up this anecdote to share with my Co-Clarionaters, we’re getting to know each other and Mr
The scene. Midnight, an eight year old Liz is cutting up a chocolate syrup bottle with stanley knife (box cutter). The plastic is really hard and I am tired and impatient and get careless. The stanley knife suddenly swishes really smoothly through plastic and over one of my fingers.
There’s a lot of blood. Everyone is sleeping and I know I shouldn’t be up and I don’t want to bother anyone and I don’t want to get into trouble so I stifle any kind of sound and try to apply first aid.
My parents, woken by random sounds and movements late at night find a bathroom with blood splats and a messy pile of bandaids that keep floating off.
My parents say “What’s going on?” with some urgency.
I hide my hand behind my back and say “nothing” convinced I am going to be in the biggest trouble ever for being so stupid with a knife.
I don’t get into trouble at all and am whisked off to hospital where I get a tetanus shot, many local anesthetic injections and get two stitches. I watch with fascination as the thread passes through my flesh and somewhere in the back of my head I’m thinking “Wow this will make a great story.”
I’m particularly pleased that I will remember this as I’m still cross that I don’t remember breaking my leg when I was three ’cause that was really cool and my leg bent at a funny angle. It’s very unfair I don’t remember breaking my leg especially because my brother says that when you break a limb it heals to be stronger and so my chances of ever having a broken leg again have been reduced by 50%.
I get a day off school to recover and I traumatise my little sister for years and years with slow graphic descriptions of watching needle and thread go through flesh.
Even at eight everything was material to observe and absorb to use for later and my technique for any kind of trauma or scary thing is “this will be useful material”.by Liz