The long, drawn-out period of waiting for news about Clarion has finally driven me to accept Vylar Kaftan's challenge: write a complete story before receiving acceptance/rejection. The point is to stave off anxiety by making it productive. I picked a random idea from the voice recorder app on my iPhone (good ideas come to me while I'm driving), wrote a hook and outlined ideas for conflict/rising action/development. I challenged myself further to write in third person, which I typically feel uncomfortable with. No conclusion yet, though. Is it normal to begin writing on a story before you know where it's going? I follow that method most of the time. It keeps me from procrastinating too much.
So, now I have until Friday to finish it, maybe. Unless the Clarion folks miss their own deadline for notifying applicants. I fantasize concerning the reason they still haven't notified me. I won't go into details there. These thoughts make my stomach hurt.