Clarion Write-a-thon Round-up…

Victor_Hugo-OctopusSo, I’m participating (again) in the Clarion write-a-thon, you can find my profile here. I’ve edited it a touch since I first decided to re-register, and my new aims (not yet updated, but hopefully soon) are at least 1k a day, with aspirations of up to 3k. My over-arching goal being to finish a little project I call Codename:E.

Codename:E stands for Escapology (and yes, the octopus in the piccie does have relevance to that but I’m not giving away exactly what *peers over steepled fingers*). Escapology is a bit of cyberpunk weird I cooked up originally as a short, but the MC and the premise caught my imagination to such a degree I soon realised I wanted it to be a novel. Cue many scratchings of the head and scribblings in notebooks.

Now it has become rather a Byzantine tangle of a novel over which I frequently experience brain aches as I panic about how I’ll manage, not only to write the beast, but to successfully conclude it. This is where Clarion comes in. You were wondering, weren’t you? You weren’t? *sad face* Well, I’m telling you anyway.

I like the hefty, obligation-ridden weight of a promise written in unrelenting black in a public forum, I really do. Helps me feel all manner of guilt, and keeps my bum to chair even when my natural desire to procrastinate, borne from the attention span of an ADD Labrador (SQUIRREL!!!), rears its adorably endearing head.

Here’s the plan: I’ll be writing toward those daily goals of mine, in hopes of reaching my final aim, and you’ll be keeping me honest by donating to Clarion (please). There’s no need to be massively generous, every dollar is deeply appreciated as it means more funds to keep this magnificent resource going for emerging writers of speculative fiction.

Truth be told, I’m a zaelot of sorts, I love spec fic in all its forms, and this workshop, although I’ve never been, is one I greatly admire, so I’m delighted to be taking part again in their fundraising endeavour. This year I hope to actually raise some money for them *COFF COFF* *clears throat noisily*.

Now, er, some writers offer rewards for people kind enough to donate using their profile, so this year I have decided (tentatively) to do the same. If you donate over $10 to Clarion using the donate button on my profile, I will write you a personal flash fiction, using your name and three random words, or terms, supplied by you.

This will be done after Clarion has ended and I promise to make each flash as mad and strange as possible. Read my Umwelt, you know I can do eet. *Grin* So yeah, donate over $10, get a story all your own. BONANZA! Might not be much right now, as my name is not precisely well known, but you never know what can happen and besides, what fun, eh?

Now fer me little smidge of le proof, or rather, a delicate leetle hors d’oeuvre from Escapology to show you I have indeed met my target this week of writing 1k per day. Not all of it was on Escapology *coff*, but then I had Umwelt to write and a novella to tweak, so there we go.

This here is a character called Unity, and this is where we first meet her. She’s going to have a hard old time of it is Unity, but at this moment she has no idea of the hell to come, or how much it will change her life:

The Streeks slam past fast as carriages on a mono, their slipstream tugging at her hair, the ends of her coat. Vomit-flavoured terror spikes up from Unity’s guts, followed by an irrational flash of cathartic anger. Streeks used to reduce her to paralytic states more powerful than those she once chased on a nightly basis, but not anymore, dammit, not anymore. She’s not who she used to be, or rather she is, but she’s also more and she doesn’t have to be afraid. A rebellious urge to prove that flares through her faster than she can catch it. She sticks up a pair of rigid fingers at their fast retreating backs and shouts.

‘Dirty fucks!’

They stop, spinning on heels shod in ridiculous, expensive sneeks. Sneeks for the Streeks, it used to strike her as frightening incongruous. Like their mannequin-bright smiles in blank faces. Now something inside her, something newly powerful, newly empowered, laughs. She jabs her fingers up again.

‘C’mon then, dickholes, come get some.’

They stare for a moment, wild eyes sizing her up, but they do nothing. Unity’s just a drone, office fauna, lowest of the low common denominator piece of shit, but Streek’s see straight through the clean-cut lines of her bland office garb, her cheap shoes and cheaper jacket, her perfect, not a hair out of place up-do and within guidelines make-up, all nudes, creams and neutrals – god forbid she frighten the upper management with colour – to what’s beneath. An XT. A dangerous human animal. And how she got that way is one hell of a free drinks guarantor in certain circles.

And there we have eet… My Sunday check in is complete. Please go peruse my Clarion account and feel free to donate as little as a dollar or as much as $10 for that mad little flash fiction of your very own. Any contributions will be very much appreciated.

After the embarrassment of zero funds raised last year, I’d really love to raise a cool $100 for Clarion this year, and I need you to help me do it. Help me ensure fledgling and ready to fly spec fic authors across the world have this incredible workshop to hone their skills and give them the launch into a lifelong career in writing beautiful genre fiction!

Till next Sunday, I leave you with this, the nope-topus:



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