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Oh, sigh. No Clarion West for me this year, either. So it is. I’ll work more on my Odyssey application. I’ll just keep working in general.

I have many stories in progress and very few I’d consider finished. And even these finished ones, well… fiction is definitely the newer form for me. But there are days when I look at my poetry and think, who am I kidding? I need to do better. I can do better, I think, but how?

Learning and developing a craft on my own feels almost Sisyphean. Because if I knew, I’d be a better writer than I am, but I’m not, so I don’t know, so learning from myself is quite the task. That’s why there are so many unfinished stories on my computer and in my notebooks: I don’t know what to do with them. I write and revise them, but they aren’t quite right. They sit there half-naked, lame, and mute. I think they are beautiful, I hope they can sing. At least some days I think so. Others, they look like a crowd of limping, dirty, ragged embarrasments that I’ve put some lipstick on and wrapped a few sequined shawls around. But enough hyperbole, err, self-pitying…

…because, thank goodness, I have a wonderful writing partner! I know my stories wouldn’t look as good as they do if she were not in my life. Meeting every week with her is a goal I can write towards. So I write and hand over my work and am honored that she gives me her work to critique, too. It’s an exchange of precious gifts.

And there are places like Wiscon that have writing workshops. And one can learn quite a bit in the few hours of a workshop, thanks to the busy wonderful writers that lead them, and the busy wonderful writers that attend.

Community can really save an artist. I am so very thankful for my patient, creative, supportive community of friends. Thank you.