Clarion West Write-a-thon! (Or What I’m Doing on My Summer Vacation)

This summer, aside from pulling weeds in the garden and trying to stay cool, I’m writing for a good cause—and it would be great to have your support.

I’m writing for the six-week Clarion West Write-a-thon, the yearly fundraiser that helps keep this fantastic workshop going.  Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. I’ve mentioned it before in my reminiscences about Harlan Ellison who recommended the Clarion Workshop to me as a great way to develop as a writer. Clarion is run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

So what’s a write-a-thon? It’s like a walk-a-thon with words—six weeks of writing to help raise money for this workshop.  My goal? I’ll work at least 1 hour a day on my latest project, a new fantasy novel with the tentative title Second Fate.

Here’s the hastily cobbled together blurb for the new novel:

Cassidy appears to be a middle-aged waitress at the Lo-Cal diner, but her real job is being the latest soul to fill the position of Lachesis the second Fate, dispensing and weaving the threads of human lives until her sister Atropos cuts them. One problem: she and her friend Death discover a backlog of souls entering the afterworld. Threads are dangling, the great tapestry is tangling, and the world of the living is nearing a critical overload. Is this chaos part of the divine plan or is someone messing with the natural order­—and if so, why?

Of course I have an ulterior motive. This Write-a-thon isn’t just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping me to become a better writer and sustain my writing spirit. Dedicating 1 hour a day to a new writing project may not seem like a big deal, but oh boy, is it! When I get home from work my energy is nearly non-existent these days, so I’ve been spending the night watching TV, getting depressed over the news, and generally not being productive. My write-a-thon goal is a chance to regain my discipline and get back to writing everyday. With your help and encouragement I know I can achieve it. (And hopefully get well on my way to producing a good story along the way!)

If you’d like to sponsor me, please visit my page on the Clarion West site. It takes only a few minutes to donate, and any amount makes all the difference in the world to both me and Clarion West. And you can also have a bit of fun and maybe fame by supporting me! For a $25 donation,  I’ll mail you a physical copy of one of my books, your choice of what I have here at home. (I even have a few copies of my out-of-print Kat Duarte novellas.) And for a $50, I’ll name a character after you in my new fantasy novel. Be a lost soul haunting Cassidy’s diner! Join the crowd waiting to cross over into the afterworld! Become one of the Four Horsepeople of the Apocalypse! Who knows what the Fates have in store for you!

So, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. Spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers. And look for updates on my progress here and on Twitter.

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