Clarion Write-a-Thon

It’s that time of the year again.  Summer has landed.  The child is trying to be lazy and I’m trying to keep him occupied so he doesn’t drive me insane.  And the annual Clarion Write-a-Thon is fast approaching.

Short version: My goal this year is the same as last’s.  Two submissions a week.  This year has not been a good year for submitting for me, despite my upcoming story on Escape Pod.(Stay tuned mid July for the link to “Spectrum of Acceptance.”)  This is my chance to kick things back into gear and help out my fellow writers.

Long version: Clarion Workshop has been helping writers step up their writing since 1968.  It’s a six-week program at the University of California, San Diego.

I know several alumni of the program but I didn’t get to witness how much the workshop changes a writer until I watched Marie Vibbert transform. In the course of one summer she evolved from a writer who sometimes publishes her short stories to someone who seems to have a story coming out every month, sometimes weekly.

Like all things in my writing career, I endeavor to draft after Marie, letting her pick the best path.  But, Clarion tuition is out of my reach.  There, again, Marie has given me the best path.  Apply for a Clarion scholarship.  Those scholarships are funded through fundraising, such as [drum roll please] the Write-a-Thon.

Right now, even with a scholarship, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to afford to go in the next few years.  For now, I fund raise to make the opportunity available to others.  Help me help them – and eventually myself.  So, click through and support me! Do it today.

Are you a writer?  You don’t need to be published or aspiring to go to Clarion to help support your fellow writers.  Come join me in the Write-a-Thon.


What We Call Technology

Through the 20th century the suffix “tron” was slapped on anything technologically advanced.  It really started in 1904 when the first vacuum tube was dubbed the kenotron but popped up in words like cyclotron.  And why not.  “tron” means tool. If something was sufficiently advanced, or you wanted people to think it was advanced, you slapped “tron” on the end.  My fifth grade teacher had in her classroom an educational game from the 1950’s called the Encyclotron.  I would love to show you a picture but several Google searches turned up nothing.  The Encyclotron is lost to the world.

Growing up in the 1980’s it felt like the word “cyber” was a prefix to everything.  As a teen I yearned to shrug off my “meat suit” and escape to cyberspace and have lots of risk free cybersex while my body sat in a cybercafe, perhaps getting a message from a cyborg.

Then came the “i” craze started with the iPod in 2001 when everything new and advanced had to be linked to the Internet.  How did you tell if something was on the Internet?  Well you put an “i” in front.  Followed shortly after with using “Me” and “My” as a prefix to indicate things that could be personalized.  Oh, and some where before the “i” craze was the “e” for electronic.  You went to the eStore, for example.

Virtual has bounced around a good deal. Virtual, which in the middle-ages meant manly, has come to mean not physical.  Virtual reality has replaced cyberspace.  I now dream of shrugging off my “meat suit” and having virtual sex in virtual reality.  Not much has changed, just the word.

All these are signals, to let people know how fancy, new, and advanced things are.  I’m writing this on a website so perhaps it is a Virtual iLiterarytron or an eCyberjournal.  You hardly notice the silliness of the trends until they are nearly gone and it pops up in an unexpected place.  Cyber-Monday has stuck, like Cyberpunk, but cybersex has slipped away like my youth.