I've been keeping a lid on an exciting piece of news until I could be completely certain it was going to happen. I'm going to be attending the Clarion West writers' workshop this summer. This is an amazing opportunity to study under six accomplished writers of speculative fiction. I wasn't sure my fire department would allow me the (unpaid) leave to attend, so when I finally received word this week that they had approved my request, I was flooded with excitement, followed by a second, fast-moving wave of anxiety. I feel like I'm going to college again for the first time.
I applied to Clarion West's spiritual twin, the Clarion workshop, last year, but did not get in. So hey other writers, what they say about perseverance might just be true.
Things I think about, some of them nonsensical: Will my work stand up to the talents of my fellow students? Will everyone else be from some variation of academia? (Who else can take off six weeks in the middle of the summer?) Will they have previous formal education in creative writing (unlike me)? Will I be the oldest one there, or the only one with a traditionally blue-collar career? (One of the instructors is Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper, who was an NYC paramedic for many years, so that's a very exciting connection for me.) Will I write crap while I'm there, a rag-doll in the mouth of my fickle creative energies? How can I last 6 weeks without my dog? Will my wife decide she prefers life in my absence? I guess I'll find out around the middle of June.