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21 March 2010 @ 11:04 pm
Congratulations to the Clarion Class of 2010  

The Clarion Writers Workshop at UCSD in San Diego has posted its list of students for 2010:

Gregory Bossert
Stacie Brown
John Chu
William Farrar
Erin Gonzales
Jessica Hilt
Jennifer Hsyu
Adam Israel
Dustin Monk
Tamsyn Muir
Laura Praytor
LaTisha Redding
Dallas Taylor
Leah Thomas
Karin Tidbeck
Tom Underberg
Kali Wallace
Kai Ashante Wilson

Congratulations to all! This is a life-changing experience, worth every day and every penny.

My Clarion diary gives some idea of what it was like for me last year, but my Clarion classmate azahru has an index to tons of blog entries by different participants over the years.

Advice isn't worth much, but here's what I'll say:

  • Take care of each other. The instructors are phenomenal, but it's the other students who will make this work. As Kat Howard ('08) put it, those other seventeen people are your family, your best friends. Cherish them, and help them grow.
  • Don't worry about the food. It's college cafeteria food, but no worse than that. Much of it is just fine. Don't expect a restaurant, and don't expect your mom's home cooking. Balance your food groups, yada yada. (But Kat et. al. were right to warn against the squid patties. They caught me unawares.  And I ate mine with mayonnaise, which was -- never mind.) The one thing I would say is that you can often predict conditions in the cafeteria by watching the changing population of other summer groups on campus. When there are lots of 'em, food will be plentiful and interesting, but the lines will be a bitch. When there are very few others, pickings may be slim.
  • Your classmates will appreciate it if you get your story printed before dinner the day it's due. Y'all will be staying up late enough as it is.
  • Clarion is a Sleep Deprivation Experiment, so catch sleep whenever you can. Myself, I often took naps in the afternoon when the stories-to-critique hadn't been printed out yet.
  • There's a tendency to imprint on the current week's instructor (especially the first week), and to feel suspicious and shy around the next one. What's amusing is that this happens over and over, week after week. This discomfort is especially pronounced on the Saturday/Sunday when the changeover happens. So, on the weekend, go out of your way to be welcoming to the new instructor, who can probably feel the shyness etc. coming off y'all in waves.
  • Take every opportunity given to you to submit your writing to your peers. I know it's tough to churn out a new story every week, but even if you produce 3,000 words of dreck one week (I did!), but it's priceless.
  • In the words of blackholly, our first week instructor, "Take big risks, and fail spectacularly." I did that too. It was fun. Sort of.

Okay, enough from me. Go get 'em!
Current Location: Home
Current Music: "Prince Ali" from Alaadin
Adam Israelstonetable on March 22nd, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I shall be reading yours and azahru's index promptly.
Ken: Winkken_schneyer on March 22nd, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
My pleasure, Adam. Stand by for the ride of your life.
Ken: Hmmmmmken_schneyer on March 22nd, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
And hey, I just noticed that you have a story in Return to Luna, in which my Clarion classmate shaunaroberts also has one! Small world, good omen.
Adam Israel: Woohoo!stonetable on March 22nd, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
I'm all for good omens! Or was that omelets? Either way, it'll help me survive Clarion.
Azahruazahru on March 22nd, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)
You're a wise wise man Mr Ken :)
Ken: Blowing Kissken_schneyer on March 22nd, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
Coming from you, dearest, that's very flattering. You're an inspiration.
Azahruazahru on March 22nd, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Awwww, I must do a bit more work on my novel so I can get more advice from you... my story has... astronomy in it. To think this novel would never never be hatching without Clarion (and our Stan's criticism of the short story)

I've updated the blogs collection with a new category (updated) so your handy advice can be more visible.
They Didn't Ask Me: writing-winslet-2dr_phil_physics on March 22nd, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Good serious advice, sir. To which I would add, only somewhat humorously, chocolate. I survived Clarion in 2004 because I kept buying bags of Hershey miniatures. Late night 1 am writing sessions. Handing them out to anyone who came by the room. Putting them in the fridge and adding them to the dessert options (it was 90degF in the sorority house in East Lansing and we had to cook our own food).

A little bit of chocolate can power a lot of writing and critting. And the variety helps, too. (grin)

Dr. Phil

Edited at 2010-03-22 05:54 pm (UTC)
Azahruazahru on March 22nd, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
Oh yes indeed. Chocolate, good cheese, dukkah, bread and olive oil. My one regret was I got too tired to do put together more late night nibbly platters that made studying so much better.

Hmmm reminds me of a lovely saying by epicurious

"A handful of olives, a loaf of bread, a glass of wine and good friends is all you need to live a contented life." <- chuck chocolate in there and you have got an excellent common room supper and co-working environment.
Ken: Winkken_schneyer on March 26th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
Don't forget the strong black tea and Cabernet.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on March 29th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
Oh extra-good thought.
I'd like to do the thing we did last year & take the '10ers a care package around the end of week 1 --and chocolate is an excellent addition to such.
Azahruazahru on March 21st, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
Only just saw this comment... a year after posting? Anyhow, any excuse to say thanks again for all the amazing food you did.
shweta_narayan: mangatarshweta_narayan on March 21st, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome, and we welcomed the excuse to get to know you guys a little :)
Azahruazahru on March 21st, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
:-) such a pleasure.
I do love the sense of accumulating loose-knit tribe. I'm not sure I'll have the energy, time and money to be part of a care posse this year, but if it becomes an ongoing tradition I hope to be part of it.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on March 21st, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
I'd love to have it become an ongoing tradition, but I can't commit to it this year for health reasons :/
But I may be able to do some hosting & kitchen space if other people have the energy to do the cooking :)
Azahruazahru on March 21st, 2011 10:50 pm (UTC)
There might be a few folks wanting to go to Comicon... I'll see if anything can converge. And if not, I think the intent to have a tradition is the first step, even if it takes us a few years :-)