So those of you following the saga of our Clarion instructors totem animals are probably thinking, what about Geoff and Nalo? Kelly left us with Rabbits, Jim is flapping around with the Crows, Mary-Anne gave us hummingbirds and Neil arrived with a pair of hooting Owls (and a cricket match). Well tonight totem animal number six made its appearance for Nalo Hopkinson’s week in the shape of a mother Racoon escorting her two babies across campus. Members of the Clarion group produced an array of utterly out of character cooing noises whilst folling the family around the campus. Geoff Ryman’s totem animal is yet to spotted. Perhaps it is nocturnal, or blends well into the surrounding environment. Look outs have been posted on 24 hour surveilance until it shows itself.
Amidst my hectic Clarion schedule I’ve been working on a flash fiction piece for Behind the Wainscot, who are publishing a linked series of stories inspired by tarot cards a little later this month. I was pretty excited to be invited to take part, especialy when I saw the list of other contributors which includes many of favourite short fiction writers. I chose to take a stab at interpreting The Sun, and after a few versions and rewrites I submitted my story today. I’ll link to it when the tarot stories all go live.
Clarion is now in its last week. It feels slightly unreal, as the differential between Clarion and real world time means I feel like I’ve been here for about eighteen months. As happy as I am to be seeing home again, I’m very, very sad about leaving my Clarion friends behind. I can’t imagine getting to know such a brilliant group of people in such an intense way again any time soon. I’ve made friends here that I know I will see again, but more than likely there are a few faces I will miss. Now at least I have additional motivation to be a bestselling author, so I can come back to the US on book tour and catch up with everyone! And in the unlikely circumstance that doesn’t happen this year I’m resolved to attend at least one major con in the states so I can see other Clarionites in person.
But Clarion isn’t over yet. I still have one more story to finish, and a dozen or more to read and critique. So…back to the word mines!