Well, the short answer is that I didn’t get in. My rejection email came last night while I was either in the middle of Netflix or sleeping. I’m not sure which. Either way, the outcome is the same . . . I won’t be going to Clarion West this year.
I have to say that it’s a mixed blessing; on one hand, I’m disappointed that I didn’t get in. (Part of me felt that there was some sort of karmic destiny in the mix given the fact that Neil was teaching this year) At the same time, being away for six weeks from my family and garden and having to pay nearly $5K for the privilege was a worrying thought indeed. Alot of money and a lot of time. Would I even measure up once I got there?
I don’t have to worry about those things anymore, but it still sucks. It’s like when you have a great disappointment you try to be gracious about it by making up excuses for why it’s okay. It’s almost lame to do so, but you just can’t help yourself. That’s kinda like the way I am this morning – plus I’m getting sick. (Instead of karmic destiny try karma biting me in the ass.)
My last words on this subject are this: my husband, Jon, said one thing to me that has made it a worthwhile experience. Applying for Clarion West made me take up short stories again, something I hadn’t done in over twenty years. While I did it, albeit unwillingly, I found out that I actually enjoyed it. It’s a completely different experience from writing a novel, and something I’ll continue to do. If it hadn’t been for Clarion West, The Mixtape Collection would still be a pipe dream somewhere.
If you’d like to read my short story submission you can find it here. Until next year.