Then there were three.

So yet another person announced a pub while at Clarion. This is such a talented group of geeks, man…love love love. My crit was kind of an epic fail on my part, but oh well. I knew it was the wrong story for this week, but I had nothing else, and I don’t know if me at this point in time could have written the right story for this week. Meh. Ultimately it was an interesting series of lessons learned, and I promise I will be less vague about the whole thing when Clarion’s over and the (requested by the higher-ups) cone of silence is removed. I’m really looking forward to Bear. So many of us (and I do count myself in this) made huge leaps forward from last week to this, and that’s effing exciting to see. We all keep challenging each other to do better, be more ambitious, suck less.
Tonight should be a blowout drunkfest, but tomorrow: the ocean. And me calling all the friends and family I’ve been neglecting, finally.
I have an SF idea for this week, but the science terrifies me, which is probably a reason to just go for it. Wheeeeeee!

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Big day, it is GINORMOUS.

Today was a big day. First off, I finished and submitted my first new story to Clarion. It is 1,600 words and I wrote it in under 24 hours, and it got very few first reads because I didn’t realize I’d be turning in until I had less than four hours to work if I wanted to make deadline. Signed up this morning for a 5pm turn-in, knowing I had a working draft. Workshop ended at 1. Inhaled food, buckled down ’til 4, called first readers in a panic (sorry, Dan P.! Thanks, Rhin!), then cleaned up typos, buffed, polished, and printed 18 copies. It was a whirlwind, and wow am I glad I have a week before I do that again. Next time will be smoother, with a bit more lead time. And then I went out and had a few beers with the other submitees, which was just lovely. These people who I can’t talk about? They are THE BEST. They know everything about everything: markets, structure, lyricism, noir…just super sweet all around. I feel a bit outclassed and outgunned, and it’s a great feeling.

But that wasn’t even the ginormous news. You guys, I sold my first story. To Daily SF. It’s an SF story, dubbed the sad robot story. And it is indeed the third story I’ve written around, about, or in context of Matt Wilson, to see publication this school year. That guy, he makes a damn good muse. He will lord it over me when I get back to Chicago, too, to be sure.

Added humor value: This was the story that got me a very sweet rejection from last year’s Clarion (the one with GRRM). Many thanks as well to Strange Horizons, who wrote extensive notes on their rejection of it–I took them all, and lo, Jed was totally right about everything, and it sold.

Anyway, I am on cloud 9, but also beyond the pale sleepy. I’m going to go read a few stories a kind Clarionaut let me borrow for the evening, and then to bed. Tomorrow: baby’s first critique. Here’s hoping it goes swimmingly!

I care about this alot.

Clarion is around the corner, and my motto is taken from Hyperbole and a Half, because it seems appropriate. I give myself permission to love everyone, to love every second of this time, to flail around in joy, to fail big.

Update on goooooals:
Weight loss: success. Down 7 lbs. since coming back to AZ. That Lose It program has really helped, and I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing or starving myself. It’s a nice feeling.
Exercise: success. Have used the gym membership 17 times since I got it.
Alcohol: fair to middling. Am still drinking, but three or so times a week, and only one drink in an evening. This is a HUGE cutback from the 3-5 drinks a night that were my norm last semester. I am less depressed, less ill, and I feel capable of focus in a way I haven’t in months.
Writing: Middling success. Two revisions I adore (one on a new story–about etiquette and terrifying three-headed angels), two chapters on the novel, and four new drafts to tinker with. And the start of a revision on the girl-Jesus story. And I sent out one of the revisions a few weeks ago and still have not heard…will update when the reply arrives.
Food: success. Have been eating MUCH healthier. That could all disappear if the Clarion cafeteria food is as terrifying as rumored, though. I’m hoping the Trader Joe’s (walking distance of campus) can get me by if the “free” food is too unhealthy.

I don’t think I could be any more prepared, all things considered. I have a daily writing habit, a daily exercise habit, a packed suitcase, and an open brain. What else am I missing?