back with a bang

The reason for my extended absence is that in March I was stricken with a nasty bout of RSI. There was only one cure: rest from the cause. Initially I thought I would go crazy when I was banned from the keyboard, but it’s been a useful evaluation period. It made me examine where my attention and time is directed. Since I will have to continue to monitor and restrict my computer use, so I want my time on the computer to be about the pursuit of my goals. This means that I’ll devote less time to blogging and frivolous browsing, and more to hard graft.

I will continue to post, as I enjoy analysing and discussing writing, but at times the posts might become sporadic. After all, this blog is not my top priority; my prose and script writing are my main focus.

At 7am this morning I received a phone call during which my sleep-befogged brain slowly assimilated the news that I’ve been accepted into this year’s Clarion West Writers Workshop (June 18 – July 28 2006).

It’s an intensive 6-week writers workshop in Seattle, USA, which only takes 18 writers every year. Each week, under the tutelage of a different writer or editor, I’ll have to write a short story, as well as critique the writing of my fellow classmates. This year the Clarion West instructors are: Paul Park, Maureen McHugh, Ian R. MacLeod, Nalo Hopkinson, Ellen Datlow, and Vernor Vinge.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to concentrate on what I love best in a supportive environment where I hope my skills will be challenged and strengthened.

At the moment it seems very unreal, but I’m delighted and stunned. Eventually the nerves will follow. The hardest part will be the separation from my husband, Martin.

My aim is to finish my current script before I take the plane to Seattle, as long as my hands and wrists cooperate. I’m doing everything I can to facilitate my recovery (I’m much better than I was a few weeks ago). As part of that process I’ve purchased voice recognition software, and that should help spread out the strain.

I’ve been reading a lot and watching loads of DVDs, so I will have plenty to comment upon soon.

In the meantime I’ve a lot to organise. June is not that far away.


  • Maura

    Thanks guys. 🙂 Both of you are Clarion grads so you know what’s ahead of me. I’m looking forward to the experience.

  • Danny

    Fantastic news Maura. Not the RSI obviously. Hope that gets better. Well done on everything else! Good luck in Seattle!

  • Mallory

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!I don’t know you (obviously) but I am still hoping you are one of those rare individuals that generates a fab on-going Clarion blog. See, the world of Clarion watchers needs your angst as we watch you guys/gals from afar.So – I lurking hoping to discover a great blog.Mallory

    • Maura

      Thanks Mallory. I hope I prove to be entertaining enough while I’m in Seattle – but the work will come first. 🙂

    • Maura

      Hey Neil, sorry for the delay in responding to your good wishes. Thanks. 🙂

  • Kris

    Oh, how wonderful for you! I’m a clarion grad from last year. You have such a great time ahead of you! and yes..things like blogging…movies…sleep…it’ll all take a backseat to the writing. Have a wonderful time!