the wheel turns

Sorry, no April 1st puns from me, although I’m amused by the ones piling up on the Internet.

The weather has turned lovely here in Ireland, and about time too as we had a lousy winter–legions of gales, rain, and perpetual cloud on a constant offensive. The longer evenings and sunshine improves one’s outlook immeasurably. I’ve been able to hang washing out on the clothesline, which is one of the markers of a genuine change in the season.

There is something deeply sensory about the patchwork line of jeans, t-shirts, towels, and sheets flapping in the breeze, and their smell when you retrieve them in the evening–of clouds and wind, faraway places, and the fragrance of newly washed cotton and denim.

Yesterday was the first day I felt recovered from the cold I picked up last weekend. Combined with the shift in weather I feel optimistic. I have a bunch of work out to market–the most I’ve ever had out at the same time–and it would be nice to score a hit. I’m not hanging around in the meantime. The fantasy story is trucking along again. I had planned to finish it by the end of March before the advent of illness, so now I’m aiming for Friday. I’m expecting visitors this week, which is always a disruption, albeit an enjoyable one.

Today marks the closing date for applications to this year’s Clarion West. How time flies. I think often of my time in Seattle, in the company of talented writers, and I know the experience had a profound effect upon my writing, and also upon me. I consider myself lucky and privileged to have met so many wonderful people–my classmates, the CW staff and volunteers, and the network of writers who live in the area. It was a gruelling experience in many ways, but the benefits (for me) outweighed the anxieties and sleepless nights.

I think it’s the camaraderie I miss the most. Our class keeps in close contact, but it’s not quite the same as being able to walk downstairs at 2am and expect to hear the murmur of a conversation in the living room, and know that your friends will understand your creative struggles, and want to help you overcome them. That experience is rare, and is a treasure for the memory when times are hard.