Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Saturday, 07 July 2001

Sarah Zettel is one of Shawna's clients. Sarah lives in Michigan, so she took the opportunity of Shawna's presence to come up. Sarah, Shawna, Geoff, Mary, and various Clarion students spent a good bit of the late morning and early afternoon hanging out and talking about tornados, Mars, living in New York, living in Miami, physics, ESP, and what writers do when editors buy them food.

I'm making some progress on my story. I've about figured out how the structure works. I've got about 600 words.

I had my conference with Shawna. It went fine. She had read "Snare" and basically said that (aside from a fixable problem) was a good story. However, she said, it lacked the "spark" that would make it stand out from the other good stories that she gets. That's not too different from what Jim Kelly said. I think I'm making some progress in that. We'll see.

I promised pictures from last night. (All photo credits go to Rick Polney, except the picture that includes Rick--I'm not sure who took that one.) In particular, let me present pictures of me from before Clarion week four and after Clarion week four:

Before week four

After week four

[Before] [AFTER]

I really need a new headshot for the first page of the journal. I was thinking that I might go with this one, but I'd be interested in advice from the journal readers on this one.

[Headshot of me]

Let me know what you think.

But enough about me. There were other people on the balcony last night, some of whom consumed alcohol. I'm not saying who was drinking and who wasn't, but I can tell you that John was present:

Of course, the Clarion code of silence forbids me from mentioning what was discussed, but trust me: It wouldn't be interesting unless you knew us--or the various Clarion instructors from this year. Or you were any of the Clarion instructors from this year. Then it would be interesting. You know, in kind of the way that some of Rick's stories are interesting.

Some of these folks (and I'm not saying who) are pretty good at doing impressions.

Really, it's kind of amazing what people will do in the presence of someone who has a camera, and the presence of another person who makes it clear, several times, that resulting pictures will be posted on the web. It's something to think about.

There might be a story in that.

Really, I think we'll go down in the annals of Clarion history as one of the more boring Clarions. Not as boring as that one just a few years back that was obsessed about it. "Are we the most boring Clarion ever?" they kept asking Lister. "Ooh, Noo," he'd say. But he was thinking, "Oh, yes," and you all knew it, didn't you? We're probably not that boring. But we're pretty boring.

Among the other people present were Karina, Susan, and Beth.

Once again, mum's the word on who might or might not have been consuming alcoholic beverages. After all, contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a serious matter. (And, let me state this one more time: no one who was underage in his or her home state or province was drinking any alcohol last night.)

After yesterday's reading was over, we watched "The Princess Bride" (one of the world's perfect movies). I really thought I was going to go to bed after that. But, I wanted a picture for the journal. Well, you can see how that turned out.

Various other people drifted onto and off of the balcony last night until things wound up in the wee hours of the morning with me going to bed and the rest of the throng heading to IHop. I heard reports that a certain person (whose name I won't mention, except to say that it was John) thought it would be pretty funny to pretend to drive home without everybody else who had come. But those reports are really just unverified rumors, at this point.

There were some pretty juicy discussions last night. Enough to hold just about anyone's interest.

Just about.

There's a certain ethic involved in Clarion on-line journals. You're supposed to get people's permission before using their name. But, as best I can recall, no one ever said that you had to get their permission while they were sober.

The Clarion on-line journal ethic is sometimes called the Clarion code of silence. It covers the critiques themselves, both about who said what and about the story it was said about. And, you'll notice, I really haven't talked about those things at all. But for other stuff, the code of silence is really just a default. If you get permission, you can say whatever you want.

Still, some of these folks are serious about the Clarion code of silence.

Rick in particular is very serious.

So, I'm just not going to be talking any more about what happened last night. Believe me, I have my reasons.


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