Now that my breathing has mellowed, my pulse has slowed, and Normal Reality has re-brushed its pale patina upon the world I feel able to share with you the results of my Clarion (x2) applications:
I was not admitted to Clarion West (good bye, Margo Lanagan and Samuel Delany, it was nice wishing to meet you!) BUT I did receive a supportive, encouraging email letting me know that their “readers particularly commended” my story and that I should apply again. Oh, you know I will! I can be stubborn when I want to be.
Then questions of doubt, of “what if I’d sent that other story I like” wriggled into my thoughts and threatened to drown me in worry and self-doubt. I looked at that abyss and walked away (mixing metaphors, I know. Indulge me, I just got rejected). I am proud of that accomplishment, too.
This was a more personalized rejection than last year’s = progress! This means my writing is improving and I’m not wasting my time with delusions of grandeur (or delusions of capability… which for those of us more humble comes to more or less the same thing).
Clarion sent me an email, too. I squeaked and possibly yawped, and woke my partner. I checked to make sure I had not mis-read the email. I checked to make sure it actually originated from Clarion UCSD. Their admissions panel was impressed by my work and “would like to admit” me, HOWEVER there were more qualified applicants than there are spaces and I am on the waiting list.
I’m on the waiting list!!! Oh my goodness oh wow oh wow, oh. … I was overcome. I actually laughed and cried at the same time. Yes, I did. And yes, it is as cathartic and as uncomfortable as you might think. And it felt good. I felt so validated reading that email, it hurt.
Having had a few days to absorb and process that information, to live with it a little and continue the daily routines, I realized I’m not going to Clarion this year (I felt a little defeated, okay, it felt very deflating) BUT I have a reachable goal which previously was only a dream. I have worked hard at bettering my writing and trusting myself and my creativity. And it has worked, paid off, it has proven effective. I’m getting better! I have the ability to affect my chances at attaining something important to me. That’s pretty damned amazing (actually there were more expletives in that thought than I wrote here, but you get the idea – monumental).
I’m still working on my submission to Odyssey, which will be the story that I did not send to Clarion West, which is the second story I sent to Clarion. I’m a bit silly about it, actually. Nervous, doubtful, hopeful, tired, excited… so of course I haven’t sent it yet. That would be… well I did find two minor typos in my Clarion manuscript after I sent it and I’m all paranoid that that had something to do with my being on the wait list… a rabbit hole I do not wish to go down, but still not entirely without merit. So I’m gun shy, okay. I’ll get over it and send the application by the end of this week.
Breadloaf won’t be sending out notification letters until late May. I was informed last year that my application made it to the final round of deliberations… they accept only about 6% of scholarship applicants. I was encouraged by having made it to the final cut.
I need to go drink me some writing.
Oh, I am so silly! I totally meant to write the most important thing last and then, impressed with finding this wonderful quote, forgot! : Thank you, vielen vielen Dank, all of you, for supporting me in my writing in all your wonderful various unique ways. Without friends like you it would have been a much longer, darker, more treacherous road. And there is still so much more to travel.
Now, let’s drink together! Cheers!