Monthly Archives: June 2006

The Clarion West Write-a-thon

The third annual Clarion West Write-a-thon is in progress. I’m not participating as a writer this year (I am writing now, bouncing across projects in a hyperactive way that isn’t at all write-a-thon schedule-oriented), but I am sponsoring writers, and I’m not above grabbing some your attention — and hopefully money — in service of a good cause.

In case you weren’t among those exposed to my rootin’ and/or tootin’ last summer, Clarion West is an intensive six-week workshop for writers preparing for professional careers in science fiction and fantasy. It’s been around for over twenty years thanks to a record of success and the energy of committed and talented volunteers.

As the Clarion West Donate page explains, donations “help run the organization, keep the tuition as low as possible, and supplement the scholarship fund for students who would not otherwise be able to attend.”

Clarion West is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, so donations are tax deductible. But enough about the Internal Revenue Code. Let’s talk about me.

I can say that attending Clarion West made me a better writer. It brought markets and resources to my attention that I would have missed otherwise. And most importantly, it brought me into a community whose support continues to this day.

So, friends and relations and anonymous benefactors, if you’re so inclined please toss some dough their way. They’ll use it wisely and well.

The link to the Write-a-thon page has a PayPal button and a mailing address if you want to send a check.

And here’s a cheer for the write-a-thon participants: go, team! Meet those goals! Climb that word count! Block those scenes! Kick those metaphors!

I Went, Parts 1 and 2

Part 1
I went to the Pride parade in downtown Seattle last Sunday with S, MC, D, and J (I just found out that MC likes to be mentioned, so I’m going to mention him again: MC!). At one point someone in a plush anthropomorphized water bottle costume (I think it was a recycling mascot) came staggering by. Given the 90-degree heat, it was not unreasonable to suppose the poor human inside could be done in by heat exhaustion and dehydration. Can’t…breathe — too…much…irony…

Part 2
I went to the Chuck Klosterman reading at the Elliott Bay Book Company last night with the ever-lovely JD (who just started blogging: check it out here). Klosterman did an extensive Q&A afterward, and responded to one question with, “I don’t really have any unpublished thoughts.” For the record, I do, and I’m looking for representation.

Later on he was doing a riff on people who are famous for being famous (his example: Nick Lachey) as opposed to being famous for actually doing something (his example: Joe DiMaggio). The thing is, I thought he was saying “Nicholas Shay”, so when he finished the riff and happened to be looking in my direction for the next question, I raised my hand. He called on me, so I asked, only half joking, “Who’s Nicholas Shay?” Fortunately he — and apparently the rest of the audience, who laughed — thought I said “Nick Lachey”.

So MC, add this to the list of things I don’t know, right under “Who wrote the lyrics to West Side Story?”


So this new design was supposed to debut on the 15th — my 4-year blogiversary — but I ended up packing the whole thing off to a new web host (ladies and gentlemen, let’s give it up for Laughing Squid and their Starving Artist discount).

Anyway, here we are in rectilinear paradise, basking in 90 degrees.

And while we’re in the realm of the new….

I’m introducing a spin-off blog called Joanie Loves Chachi. What happens when Richie’s sister gets together with Fonzie’s whatever-the-hell-he-is-in-relation-to-Fonzie in their very own show? Find out on Joanie Loves — okay, that’s not my spin-off. My spin-off is called When It Was Paper, and you can read all about it here.

Tune in tomorrow when Random Jane jumps a shark.

My Afternoon Can’t Pick a Genre

4:52 p.m., Romance Moment: Walked through field of swaying grass as a stray lock of my hair danced in the breeze.

5:07 p.m., Science Fiction Moment: Interacted with automated checkout device at Home Depot.

5:13 p.m., Horror Moment: Repulsed by desiccated rat body on the grass next to the sidewalk.

5:18 p.m., Fantasy Moment: Received Cookie of Power from next door neighbor as she urged me forth on my quest to Mow the Lawn. Fate smiled on me, for I had acquired the Commercial Grade Serrated Trimmer Line of Destiny.

5:46 p.m., Mystery Moment: Mowed over patch of lawn where body is buried.

6:21 p.m., Mainstream Moment: Sat on deck, drank beer, had epiphany about the human condition.

Midnight Oil

So as usual when my time is my own I’ve been staying up later and later (“one more chapter” adds up). For two nights now I’ve fallen asleep at 4:00 a.m., one night working and one night reading. This isn’t bad from a productivity stand point, but it feels a little off. Anyway, correction in progress.

What else?

I just saw The Lion, and the Witch and the Wardrobe on DVD. In case you missed it, here’s the Naria Guide to Good and Evil Creatures, Disney film version:

BadgersPolar Bears (take that, Coca-Cola!)
GryphonsWeird Monkey Bat Things
Santa ClausTilda Swinton

Also, I keep noticing one patch of grass in our yard that’s longer and more dense than the grass around it. That must be where the body’s buried.


My latest personally-set deadline for completing the current revision of my novel is midnight tonight, and this time I’m really gonna make it.

How do I know?

I’m already done.

Can I get a “yeeeeeehaaaaaa”? ‘Cause I’m feelin’ that a “yeeeeeehaaaaaa” is in order.

I’ll settle for an “It’s about damn time.”

Sorry, Frylock…It’s Over

I picked up the Venture Brothers Season One DVD, and now I am totally prepped for Season Two starting June 25th.

Also, here’s one of those stupid public confessions I’ll probably regret: I sometimes go through these odd periods of attachment to cartoon characters. And yes, “odd period of attachment” = “crush”. So I’m totally crushing on…the Monarch. I don’t know why — lord knows it’s not the outfit. Maybe it’s the eyeliner. Or the eyebrows. Or the idea of a three-way with Dr. Girlfriend.

In less disturbing news, John Joseph Adams, aka the Slush God, has posted an interview with me on his website. It does not include questionable references to cartoon characters.


The story I sold to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction last October is in the July issue and — thanks to newstand time warp — is on the shelves now. I’ve spotted it at both a Barnes and Noble and a Borders…and by “spotted” I mean “went to the periodicals sections and looked for it ’cause it’s my first story in a magazine and I’m allowed to be a geek about it…the clerk at BN said so.”

Don’t ask how the clerk knew.


A flight is usually only as good as the book I’m reading. I should have figured that out in April after spending 6 hours waiting on the tarmac at JFK for a 51 minute flight to DC. It would have been miserable, but I was reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness, so I managed well enough. A book so good it drowns out whining is a wonderful thing to have in your hands.

So my response to “How was your flight back to Seattle?” is “Great!” because I had Matt Ruff’s Set This House in Order. I just finished reading a borrowed copy (thanks, Cat!), and I’ve already decided that I need one of own so I can get it into the hands of everyone around me.