Clarion West 2007 Write-a-thon Wrap-up

I’ve fulfilled my write-a-thon goals!

(Sort of.)

“A Killing in Burma?: 2,545 words
Weekly Total: 15,924 words
Write-a-thon Total:
95,164 words

That’s right, I’ve drafted a minimum of  15,000 words per week, and beaten my overall minimum quota of 90,000 words in six weeks by 5,164 words and one full day. I did this despite one cold, one (slightly) partially collapse lung, a new and apparently persistent case of tinnitus, a smushed toe, and a brief case of what I think was food poisoning.

If you’re impressed — come on, a partially collapsed lung? — go here and donate a little money. It’ll help fund more crazy people like me to get a lifetime opportunity to work hard and learn a lot about writing SF in Seattle for six weeks next summer.

Note that I wrote, “Sort of” up there. I wrote as many words as I’d planned, but I didn’t write them all in the project I’d planned to work on. My plan was to write a complete novel during these six weeks. I’m considering myself educated on realism. Faulkner did it with As I Lay Dying. I certainly did not, and could not do it with To the Happy Country…

Boo hoo, I’m not William Faulkner. I’m over it, really. (No disrespect to the man, of course. I loved the novel As I Lay Dying. “My mother was a fish.”)

However, I did manage to write about 30,000 words of To the Happy Country…, and got some serious thinking done about how the longer proect will have to go, if it happens at all. (I’m still asking myself whether I wouldn’t prefer to go with something more serial in the case of Jang Won’s adventures, though, especially since there are a few more, um, convincing novel ideas sitting in my brain right now.)

I also managed to write or complete drafts of the following short stories:

  • McWar (7,363 words, of which a few thousand pre-dated the write-a-thon)
  • The Empty Slough (5,346 words)
  • The Innsmouth Fatwa (5,215 words)
  • The Truth about Mughals (7,710 words)
  • Jing the Quae (7,386 words, of which perhaps half predated the write-a-thon)
  • The Broken Path (10,360 words)
  • A Killing in Burma (incomplete, currently 12,702 words, and still going strong, feeling about halfway finished… we’ll see whether I push hard to complete it sometime next week, or crash and come back to it after a bit of rest and relaxation…)

I’d say it’s been a pretty damned productive summer holiday, after all! This is good news for me: by Christmas, I’m hoping that at least half of these stories (along with some other works slated for revision) should be worked into shape for submission to various magazines. It means I’ll definitely have something ready for the Fantasistent call for Far Eastern fantasy, for the InterZone call for Mundane SF, at least one or two things to try get into Tesseracts12 (novellas, folks! novellas!) and in general all kinds of goodness to spread around at the usual places: Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov’s, maybe even something fit for Analog.

And, amazingly, something that spun off a conversation Lime and I had on our walk tonight (Friday night, so late it’s Saturday morning) that crossbred with an insane article I read (and bashed in the comment section) criticizing Harry Potter for being secular and for not being explicitly or implicitly Christian, suddenly  hatched into a story seed for a piece called, “My Daughter the Anti-Christ,” set in “New Delhi” (I think) sometime during the British Raj, yes, in India. Let’s just say this piece will (hopefully, if it is within my abilities) end up being a loving, beautiful, slightly fantastical exposition on the miracle of atheism.

I’ll be emailing people who sponsored me to let them know what I’ve done with their names. Unfortunately, I may have to do some juggling, since a lot of names went into To the Happy Country…, but I can say, off the top of my head, that Stephanie’s name (in slightly modified, futurized form) was also worked into “Jing the Quae” and Susan’s name was worked into “The Empty Slough.” But I won’t be showing anyone my rough drafts… you’ll have to wait till I feel the stories are up to snuff, which may be a while.

Now, things I want to do:

  • Return to a daylight/awake schedule. I’ve been pretty much nocturnal for six weeks. It’s somewhatugh. (Though sleeping through the hot part of the day does have its benefits.)
  • Read a few novels and nonfiction books. Just for fun and interest’s sake. Maybe even some poems.
  • Watch a few movies I’ve been putting off.
  • Exercise more. (I’ve been doing a lot of walking, and I even seem to have lost a little weight, but the doc said nothing too vigorous till he gets another look at my lung. Though the pain’s gone, I’m gonna wait the week more that I’m supposed to and then go see him.)
  • Call my mom. I haven’t, lately.
  • Cook some chicken dopiaza. Yes sir!
  • Prepare for my trip to Japan, which begins on the 13th of August.
  • Focus on some light revisions, and get back into submitting stuff ready to go and hasn’t yet found a home. I don’t have enough stories out at markets right now.

Ah. I’m done. If I haven’t made this following comment, it’s very much warranted:


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