As I was about to post the last section of my blog on Clarion 2007, Tania, the marvelous Clarion administrator let us know there were 194 applications to Clarion this year. Given two stories for each sub, the selection team is going to be reading 388 stories...
I'm jealous. I wish I could go again this year. But I'd probably wish that every year.
Here's my blog for the last two weeks at Clarion, with the amazing Ellen Kushner and the wonderful Delia Sherman.
Weeks Five and Six: Whirlwind
Ellen and Delia brought a sense of urgency to Clarion. They themselves had a number of other activities planned, but managed to make time for more activities for all of us. They also brought a good deal of amusement. Meetings now started with a 1930s (?) holy text, “Write to Earn!” Brother Jerome did the readings, with able support from Sister Kari and other members of the congregation.
The last two weeks whirled by. Liz Gorinsky of Tor came and spoke with us. We saw two plays: After the Quake, and The Deception. We went to Comic-Con, exciting, overwhelming and exhausting. We met Sarah Ryan, Clarion '91, who has just published her second YA novel. We had theater exercises. We had a discussion about potential short-story markets. We had a full-moon visit to the beach, along with Dave and his wife and the cutest little puppy.
Our last evening at Clarion ended with a party organized by Kari. In addition to leftovers from everyone’s fridges, we brought in some food. August 2 was Katie’s 17th birthday, so of course there was a cake with candles, ignited from the electric burner in the kitchen, using a spill made of a paper towel.
The masks that Kater had made earlier were a big hit. Everyone played with them: An alien with green projections and a huge number of eyes; a green man with a face made of leaves (this was by Jan); and a wonderfully eerie ghostly geisha mask.
And then there was a surprise announcement: the presentation of the Octavia Butler Award to Shweta. It came with a lovely silver pendant, a replica of one
The poster we signed for Ellen and Delia showed three little girls, reading with fascination a book that had morphed into their joint work, “The Fall of the Kings.”
The next morning, there was an unusually large contingent at breakfast. Even those who had never been down before class were there for the last farewells. Then people started to drift away; there were planes to catch and schedules to keep. People helped others to pack and to move stuff. Slowly, in groups of two or three, people left.
At lunch, there were only a handful of diehards remaining, together with Ellen and Delia. And then that was over, too.
And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in thy joyous Errand reach the Spot
Where I made one---turn down an empty Glass!