I did my job sponsoring back in late June, but not promoting, mostly because of the ReConStruction workshop. So now, in the 11th hour, I'm here to promote the Clarion Write A Thon. Clarion San Diego is 90% of the way to their goal. I shall help them along in this upcoming week, one last push. Some of my closest friends are in this and I've listened while they struggled and worked hard all through July. Go gang!
San Diego Clarion Donation Page: http://www.theclarionfoundation.org/writeathon/wrtn-choosewriters.php
And now for the cool stuff, degrees of separation from the list of participants. I count 76 writers participating and on that list I know 10 personally. Two more are from one of the more illustrious years of Clarion back in the dark ages. What does this mean? That it's difficult for me to split up my donation money, that's all.
My connections are:
From my Clarion year, THREE of my writers-in-residence are raising money.
James Patrick Kelly (week five and six), who is one die-hard supporter of Clarion, and the only person to receive permission to go twice from Damon and Kate. He's now a key faculty member in the MFA program at Stonecoast in Portland, ME. And one of the best writers of short fiction in the genre.
Judith Tarr (week two), known to all of you as dancinghorse, an amazing writer and horsewoman, an awesome teacher and THE person to do worldbuilding with. I get to call her friend as well as mentor.
Gregory Frost (week three), my close friend who has supported my writing for the past 15 years and was my mentor for five of those years. He was a good writer in residence then, but he's become one of the best teachers of writing around. If you get a chance to learn from him in a workshop, grab it. His crits are devastating, but thorough.
No one from my Clarion year is raising funds, but my writing efforts go back before that, to the years when AOL ran a really great online Writers Group.
Amy Sterling Casil, who went to Clarion before I did, was the moderator of the science fiction group on AOL. I finally met her face to face a few years ago at a WFC. She was, frankly, my initial inspiration for applying to Clarion.
Deirdre Saoirse Moen, who went to Clarion after I did, was the moderator of FWA, Fantasy Writers Anonymous, on AOL. I finally met her face to face in the same time and place as Amy. When Deirdre moved on from FWA, I moderated the FWA group for a time.
Ten years after Clarion, I went to Taos Toolbox, run by Walter Jon Williams with Connie Willis that year. Both of my roommates (go Davos!) are participating in the Write A Thon and are Clarion alum.
Kim Zimring, who writes about a Dutch Napoleonic Society with mystery and fantasy elements.
Traci Castleberry, who writes yaoi ebooks and is hard at work on a novel. Traci is also one of my closest friends ever, sharing the horses at Dancing Horse Farm and being my cohort in crime at conventions and organizing writing workshops. Traci went to Taos Toolbox because she had been to Clarion and because Walter had been one of the writers in residence that year.
From the Livejournal World:
There's Keffy Kehrli. I know Keffy from the online community on livejournal. I enjoy Keffy's blog kehrli. Keffy cares about a lot of things that are important to me. Keffy is passionate about writing, about gender, about life. Some day our paths will cross at a convention and I'll get to meet Keffy face to face.
And there's also Julie Andrews, whose name is a sore trial to her. Parents, think carefully before naming your child, ok? Julie is also passionate about things I care about in her blog, gender issues, for example. She's julieandrews. Julie was in the first Clarion class in San Diego and my friend Greg Frost was her first week writer in residence. Our paths have crossed at Readercon, but we've never actually met face to face yet. Some day.
And finally, Andy Duncan. I met Andy at a convention and I'm really glad I did. To fully appreciate Andy's stories, you should hear Andy read them in a Southern drawl. He tells (and writes) the best stories.
So there you go. Ten people to choose from. And more on the website. This is the final push. It doesn't have to be a lot. Every bit helps. Clarion Now San Diego has been hit by the budget crunch in California and needs our support. All the Clarions do. But this is *my* Clarion. Six weeks of hell, but worth every nanosecond. Clarion is where I learned I was a writer, not a wannabe. Clarion is where I met some talented writers, pro and amateur. And Clarion is how I met those three close friends I listed above: Greg, Judy, Traci.
Eternally grateful to Clarion for bringing them into my life.