Begin then Begin Again

Begin then Begin Again

Beginning #1:

The Write-a-thon officially began yesterday. I was on a train heading home to Ohio, thus could not post about it. I did get started on my revision process: read crits of the story I chose for this week and made notes. Tonight I’ll start attempting to fix some of the issues.

Beginning #2:

Back in March I was unfortunately laid off from my job that I loved, which was depressing. However, I was very aware that my being laid off was a financial issue only — my boss and co-workers liked me as much as I did them. In fact, since then I’ve been in contact via IM and such and my boss never lost an opportunity to say how much he missed me.

Recently there was a possible opening at the magazine, which I was made aware of, so I made it known that I was definitely interested in being considered for it. Last week I talked with the Managing Editor and Editor-in-chief about the details of the position and they offered and I accepted. So when I return from visiting family I’ll start back at Laptop (this time in Editorial, not the web team).

I cannot convey how super-excited I am about this. I’m in a state of mild shock, because this is one of the best possible outcomes. Not only do I get to go back to a workplace I love, but I didn’t have to go through the job-hunting process again, which I hate. A lot. Plus, heathcare. Oh how I’ve missed you, healthcare.

This new development should derail my Write-a-thon goals, though. I’ll just have to make time on the evenings and weekends for writing. Since I no longer have access to the TV this won’t be too hard.

This summer is shaping up to be an auspicious one!

How Would You Describe Your Writing?

How Would You Describe Your Writing?

I’ve been administering the Write-a-thon FaceBook page for the past few days (go and become a fan!) and my goal has mainly been to post links to all the participants there at regular intervals so that folks can get a chance to see a bit about each writer. This has lead to some awesomeness and hilarity.

Kate gave everyone a set of areas to fill in — excerpt, bio, describe your writing, describe your goals — and the things people sent in for the writing description and goals reveals some really cool stuff. I think my description is a bit boring, especially compared to “zombies woo small-town housewives and magical porn teaches life lessons” or “the story of a priest who becomes a vampire in Klondike gold rush era Seattle” or “small stories about queer characters in near-future SF settings or in contemporary settings with supernatural elements, but occasionally break out with actiony romps and chicklit space opera.”

I want to read all of that!

If someone asked you to describe your writing, what would you say? Or even to describe your novel or latest short story. Not the plot, necessary, but to describe what it’s like.

5 days and $1500

5 days and $1500

As of now I’ve reached my Clarion West Write-a-thon fundraising goal of $1500 pledged dollars. Yes, in just 5 days. I am consistently floored by the generosity of people in this community and the willingness to support new writers (as well as established ones, as evidenced by the awesomeness going on in the community to help Cat Valente). Thank you all for your generosity.

I will still accept new sponsors if you’re willing to pledge, but I hope you’ll consider supporting one of the other writers participating. The more money you pledge to their goals the more motivated they’ll be to complete them. Hell, with $1500 riding on this, you bet I’ll not be slacking any time duing those 6 weeks.

And now I’ll stop talking about it until the actual writing begins. But again, thank you.

Write-a-thon pledges so far…

Write-a-thon pledges so far...

Yesterday I began my big push for Write-a-thon sponsors. The goal was $1000 in pledged donations. Last year it took me about 2 weeks to collect enough sponsors to reach that goal. This time? Less than 24 hours. OMG.

Big thanks to all the people who posted about this on their blogs or on FaceBook or Twitter or in email. You made a huge difference! Also thanks to all the people who’ve pledged so far. You’re my heroes.

I said that I would raise my goal marker if I got $1000 in pledges before the Write-a-thon began. So now the thermometer is at $1500. It doesn’t reflect it quite yet, but I currently have over $1200 in pledged dollars. I have three weeks to get about $300 more and I’m pretty sure I can do it. Please keep linking and tweeting and posting!

If I reach my secondary goal, I’m going to turn my attention to helping other participating writers meet their pledge goals. There are currently over 30 other writers and I suspect there will be many more in the next week or so.

Anyway, again, thank you all for your support. I’m excited to write!

The 2009 Write-a-thon for Clarion West (and the Butler Scholarship)

The 2009 Write-a-thon for Clarion West (and the Butler Scholarship)

You’ve seen me posting about the Clarion West Write-a-thon for a couple of weeks, but now my quest for sponsors begins in earnest! I have a nifty (and detailed) sponsorship page, a sponsorship form you can fill out, and a page that explains the who, what, why and how. Now all I need is you.

Yes, you!

I need sponsors. People who will pledge money to Clarion West and the Butler Scholarship should I meet my weekly writing goals. Any amount is appreciated — don’t think that just because you can only afford a little it won’t count. In fact, it counts a lot1.

I need people to spread the word. Post about this on your blog, FaceBook feed, Twitter account, etc. and ask other people to sponsor me. Ask at work about any matching donation programs they have. Clarion West is a 501(c) organization, so it’s tax-deductable.

I need people to write with me! You can do the Write-a-thon, too, ya know. Go here, sign up, then ask your friends and family to sponsor you. Set a goal and we’ll egg each other on!

That’s it. My needs are very simple :) I plan to reach my pledge goal again this year and to meet all of my writing goals. The Write-a-thon is really a win-win event for me. I not only get to raise money for two wonderful organizations, I also get motivation to get 6 stories out into the world and, hopefully, sold to awesome markets.

But I’ll only be motivated to do so if you sponsor ;)


  1. Beyond the fact that every amount contributes, there’s also this cool thing where Amazon has pledged a matching grant. []

pre-Write-a-Thon Nattering: Do the WaT with me!

pre-Write-a-Thon Nattering: Do the WaT with me!

As soon as my page on the Clarion West site is ready I will start my sponsor begging in earnest. But I know that once I do, some of you out there will say, “I really wish I could, but I don’t feel I can afford it,” which is completely understandable. But there is something that you can do: be in the Write-A-Thon yourselves!

You don’t have to be a Clarion West alum to participate. You don’t have to have been to any Clarion at all. You just have to want to reach a writing goal (big or small) nand be willing to ask friends and family to sponsor you. Even if you only get one sponsor, you’re helping out!

Plus, it’s always way more fun to do things like this with other writers. We can form a little support group (there’s always a lot of fun to be had on the Clarion West forums around this time) and egg each other on to higher goals and better writing.

Check out Kate’s post here about signing up — the goal is 75 writers total. You should sign up soon. And again, you don’t have to set really high goals nor do you have to commit to raising a ton of money. Just what you can.

If you decide to sign up, let me know! We can do this thing together. :)

Pre-Write-A-Thon Nattering: How many people does it take to raise $1000?

Pre-Write-A-Thon Nattering: How many people does it take to raise $1000?

Last year when I set my goal of getting $1000 in pledges I at first thought: “Maybe that’s too high. It would mean either getting a few people to pledge a LOT or far too many to pledge a little.” However, once I actually broke down the numbers, I found that to be untrue.

$1000 breaks down to about $170/week. So if I get 17 people to pledge $10/week, I can reach my goal. If 9 people pledge $20/week, I’ll make my goal and a bit more. Or, one could think of it in a flat rate kind of way. If 20 people pledge $50, I’ll make my goal. Or 40 people pledging $25. I know at least 40 people who can spare $25, and I’ll bet you each know 10 people who’d be willing to donate $25.

So really, this goal is not at all tough to reach. It just requires spreading the word and finding people who have a little money to spare.

If I were to raise my stakes to a goal of $1500, how many people would it take to make that happen?

$250/week. 25 people pledging $10/week. 13 people pledging $20/week. 40 people pledging $40.

It can be done.

Pre-Write-A-Thon Nattering: Books, Books, Books

Here’s a picture of some books.


Here’s another picture of some books.


I have quite a few books that I am ready to part with. (Many of them sent for the Tiptree.) I’ve been building up the fortitude to drag them downtown to The Strand to see if I can sell them, but now I have a better idea! I will give them away as pledge-incentives for the Write-A-Thon.

Details will come soon. But take a close look at those books there (click for the hi-res versions). Start coveting one (or more) of them right now!

Pre-Write-A-Thon Nattering: Shiny Things

Pre-Write-A-Thon Nattering: Shiny Things

As I mentioned a little while ago, I’ve been brainstorming on ways to entice people to sponsor me. I came up with several different “prizes” for different levels, but the one I’m most excited about is my jewelry idea. Every week, after I’m done editing my story, I’ll make a small piece of jewelry based on that story. Earrings or a bracelet or a pendant. Something I can finish in a day. It will provide a nice, relaxing coda to my creative efforts and, I hope, will be pretty.

If you’ve not seen my jewelry before, check it out in The Raven’s Nest.

To make it fair, everyone who pledges at a certain level will be entered in a drawing for that week’s piece of jewelry. Once you win, you can’t be in the drawings anymore. I hope I will get more than 6 people pledging at the appropriate level. If not, we’ll put everyone’s name back in the pool and start over again once everyone has won.

I’m getting mroe and more excited about the Write-A-Thon this year! I am ready to get these 6 stories out the door and off to markets so they can be published! If I raise some money and make shiny things and bring happiness to people in the form of shiny things and books along the way, more’s the better.

Gearing Up for the Write-A-Thon

Gearing Up for the Write-A-Thon

The 2009 Clarion West Write-A-Thon is about a month away, I think. Kate sent me an email about it and I talked to some people at WisCon about it and I’m excited all over again.  For those of you who don’t know about this event, I shall quote from previous years:

“…a write-a-thon is a lot like a marathon. Instead of sponsoring me per mile, you sponsor me per week. If I reach my writing goal for the week, you pledge to send a certain amount of money. There are six weeks of write-a-thoning to mirror the six weeks of workshopping at Clarion West.

Also for those who don’t know, Clarion West is a writing workshop in Seattle where 17 students have the opportunity to spend a week with 6 or 7 professional writers and editors to improve their craft.”

I will most likely again be raising money for both Clarion West and the Butler Scholarship.

This year I’ve decided my Write-A-Thon theme will be Finishing Things. I have more than 6 stories in need of minor to intermediate polishing/editing/whathaveyou in order to get them out to markets and selling like hotcakes. It’s disgraceful how long I’ve let some of these linger! No more. I will choose the 6 I like best and each week I will finish one and send it off to some market.

I’ve been thinking about ways to tempt people to pledge. My current idea is that for every story I complete, I will make a small piece of jewelry. Earrings or a bracelet or a necklace. Something I can complete in a day. For everyone who pledges $20/week or a flat $120, maybe I’ll hold a drawing for the jewelry.

Last year my goal was to get $1000 in pledges. Here’s what I wrote about that:

“It breaks down to about $170/week. If 17 people pledge $10/week, I’ll make my goal. If 8 people pledge $20/week, I’ll make my goal. You can also do a flat amount. $60 only if I reach all of my six week goals. Or $100. If 10 people pledge $100… you get the idea.

I’m looking for 8 – 17 people who can do $10 – $20/week or $60 – $100 overall.”

I’ll let that marinate for a bit.

You will hear a lot more about this as the time gets closer (and Clarion West gets their official Write-A-Thon pages up) so don’t worry yet. Right now I’m brainstorming other cool things I can offer people who pledge.