Clarion West begins in five days. I tried (unsuccessfully) to avoid thinking about the whirlwind adventure waiting for me in Seattle, but now that the days are down to single digits, and friends are wishing me well, I feel pretty scared.
I'm still working through the instructor reading list; I've changed it up a bit from my original plan, and now it's on round two, where each author is going through my brain a second time with a second book. I've been absolutely blown away by Maureen McHugh. If you like Ursula K. Le Guin at all (and I adore her work), then McHugh is for you. I've also been impressed with the style of Ian McDonald, Nnedi Okorafor and Michael Bishop. Reading Graham Joyce's Requiem was a little unpleasant for me, but now that I'm into The Limits of Enchantment, I'm ready to give the author another chance to make a first impression. One more by Bishop and I reach my minimum goal.
Other than that, I've been trying to tie up loose ends and set other bits in motion, in hopes that those plates will still be spinning (how'dya like that mixed metaphor?) when I return from the workshop. A big challenge is figuring out what to pack, and although I've been making the list and assembling the collection of stuff for over a month, now that the time is really upon me, I'm struggling a bit. I realize yet again that I like to be in control of anything and everything that I can. This whole thing is outside my comfort zone, but the nervous part of me has been properly chided by the thrill-seeker and the aggressive self-promoter. I'm almost ready.
I'm not sure how much time I'll get to blog while I'm there; in fact, we are encouraged not to. Other participants have promised a daily update and fallen off halfway due to the demands of the workshop, so I'm not making any promises. But I do hope to document the experience a bit for myself and for future hopefuls because those who did blog gave me a window through which to look and dream.