Neile Graham (neile) wrote,
Neile Graham

Report from Week Three of the 2012 Clarion West Write-a-thon

Hey, all--

Thank you again for supporting me--Clarion West appreciates it and I especially do.

This was a hectic week, and I learned what it means to be a rock star. Intellectually, I knew, but really it wasn't until I spent time this week with George R. R. Martin that I got to see what it was like in action.

It was strange. In the classroom and around the workshop mostly it was normal, but all around it there were a lot of people wanting bits of George's time. Emailing. Phoning. Emailing and phoning. When I drove him to his reading we went past the front doors and he said "I hope they don't see me" and I realized that yes, some of that crowd would be perfectly capable of thrusting something through the car window for him to sign. So I blocked him from view. The reading was an Event. He is a master of the Event. I'm wondering if I should auction off the seat of my car he sat in...I bet someone would want to turn it into a throne of swords.

Anyway, that was interesting. I don't know how he stays so sane (and he does--he's very matter of fact). In class his critiques were tough but good, and I think the students learned a lot from him. He has a lot of knowledge to share.

As for my own work, this week I just barely scraped by with my seven hours offline. It seemed whenever I sat down to write there was someone who needed something or a ride somewhere or just some organizing, or...anyway, I squeaked through. I have finally stopped tinkering with the old novel and the new novel is slowly gathering words and momentum.

Good thing I started my poem early, because it was a birthday present for Jim, whose birthday was Friday and I knew I wouldn't be able to be around much Friday so I wanted to give him something special. I gave it to him Thursday night as it turned midnight, since technically it was 6th. This one started because I've been haunted by a dream I had a while back where a stream filled with migrating salmon ran under our kitchen floor. And I guess on his birthday (since he *hates* birthdays and I wasn't going to be around much) I wanted to talk to him about the richness of our life together.

I hope you enjoy the poem, and thank you again for supporting my writing.




With Bats in our Belfry, Dear, Earth Water and Sky

Our kitchen proved a considerable obstacle to the spawning salmon.
Back and forth at its doorway they bobbed
nosing the threshold.

The sparrows slipped in through the vents roosting high
with an eye to the cats. The cats certainly
had an eye for them.



[The full text of the poem is available to anyone who sponsors me in the Clarion West Write-a-thon or who cheers me on.]

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