<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Thursday, July 31, 2003
See Karina realize date. See Karina look at almost-empty Hugo ballot. See Karina panic.

See Karina at work, wearing headset phone, desperately reading stories online.

"Ack," says Karina.

"Tick," says the clock. "Tock."

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 4:34 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, July 29, 2003
A Heartbreaking Reading of Staggering Genius
Or, Karina Uses the Obvious Title

Last night I went downtown with Carly to a reading by Dave Eggers. It was fan-freaking-tastic. Absolutely amazing. I have been to readings before--quite a few, actually--and I've never, never been to a reading that I enjoyed half as much as I enjoyed this one. And I've liked those other readings just fine.

This was the first time I'd seen a reading as part of an author's big, fancy, publisher-sponsored book tour. They sold tickets to this event. Tickets! 400 of them! And they were sold out! The book he was supposed to be promoting was You Shall Know Our Velocity, which he did not read from, or really mention except sort of in passing and in response to questions. He read a short story that he wrote (I am floored by his use of second person--seriously. I think I have a writer-crush), and a short story that some kids he tutors wrote (an 826 Valencia story), and a couple very short pieces that he wrote under a pseudonym. And he talked, and talked, and talked, and we, sitting in our uncomfortable seats in a de-consecrated church, listened and laughed and didn't want him to stop. He talked about writing, and editing, and McSweeney's, and the crazy-ass Pirate Shop that they run, and the local tutoring/free classes that they hold, and Frisbee, and more things than I can remember. It was hilarious and articulate and unbelievably entertaining.

Can I gush more? Is it possible? I will not tempt fate by trying.

I will add, however, that he's pretty damn cute, too.

When we left, the signing line was still a good hundred people long, at the very least. He was taking the time to talk to everyone who brought something to be signed, and to personalize books with names and quirky drawings. Rumour has it that this is very standard, and that he will not leave until everyone waiting has had their book(s) signed. That is really classy--not all authors would do the same. I'm taking notes.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 8:23 PM (0) comments


Short story rejection arrived today via email. It's almost comforting in its familiarity. (Though I remain frustrated by how many people misread this story. If many people are going astray, then it's my fault as an author, I realize, but I thought that things were pretty damn clear. Apparently not. Ah, well. It is odd that my twistier stories are easier to follow than my earlier, straightforward stories.)

I realize that I've been forgetting to mark down response times. Again. Damn.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 8:08 PM (0) comments

Monday, July 28, 2003
(N Calls)

Morning, all. I'm alone here on the switchboard, and (as always with phones) the phones are either ringing constantly or not at all. (4 calls just now.) Had a lovely weekend at my cottage -- lovely even though it rained most of Saturday and, though sunny, (2 calls) it was pretty cold all day Sunday. Good, though. (3 calls.) The tax department (4 calls, 5) is busy today. Mondays are busy, as are Fridays. Everyone seems to either want to call on a Friday afternoon before they forget and have to wait all weekend, or waited all weekend and want to get through to us on a Monday because they simply can't wait another second. And Monday's the day when half the calls seem to begin "I'm not sure who I want to talk to, but ..." I much (3 calls) prefer it when people know the extension. (1 call.) Oh, I so want to kick that guy's ass. (4 calls.) It seems that "Pardon me?" is an excuse to act like an asshole. Apparently because I couldn't understand his static-filled, spitting mumble (2 calls) that's an excuse to say every single word of that person's name, title and region as if they were followed by periods (1 call) in a most condescending voice. (Ooh, lost count that time. 8 calls? 9?) (Just lost count again. 7?) This is how my days go, people. This, waiting for lunch, waiting for breaks, waiting to go home. Chatting with the other switchboard gals (who are either on vacation or god knows where in this building right now), doing odd jobs. I can haul boxes with the best of them (1 call), even in a skirt. Which I've had to do (4 calls) and sort of enjoyed. (1 call.) There's (1 call) something amusing about me in my short jean skirt and tank top hauling boxes around the office. It's unexpected. However, next time I'm hauling boxes, I'm wearing jeans, dress code be damned.

Still no one else here. What on earth is going on? I feel lonely. I feel sort of hungry. Oooh, lunch is soon.

(6 calls.)

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 11:47 AM (0) comments

Friday, July 25, 2003

I had to stop on my drive home yesterday, right in the middle of the road, and wait as twenty Canada geese meandered their way across the road. I counted. But the road is quiet, and winds nicely through trees and hills, and I can almost forget that I'm driving to and from work. I'm just driving, and singing, and everything's okay.

This morning one radio station put on Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al", much to my early-morning delight. They should just play all of Graceland for me every morning. Or maybe I should just install my CD player, already.

I've also been enjoying listening to Sam Roberts' "Where Have All the Good People Gone?" whenever that comes on. I like Sam Roberts; I like his singing, and I like his lovely flavour of Canadian-ness. You can hear it in the way he says "Montreal". You can always spot an American by the way that they (mis)pronounce Montreal. (And no, I'm not talking about the French way, either, though that's fun too.)

It's a funny thing, though, singing in the car. I can gauge my mood by car-singing better than anything else. This afternoon I was slightly sad underneath, slightly slower, though I didn't consciously realize it; but the music seemed less, somehow, and I could drive with lips firmly pressed together. Window open, feeling the pull of the turns.

If this was on paper, it would be edged into margins. If this was in pencil, I'd be reaching for the eraser. As it is, my curtains are closed and the lights are off; my alarm clock waits by the bedside, counting down the minutes before it can sing me awake again. The hum of the laptop's fan is easing me to sleep.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 12:00 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Rolling, Rolling, Rolling
Or, Fuck you, Evan

You're not going to believe this. I don't believe it. This afternoon I received an acceptance from NFG for my poem "She Tried to Teach Me Poetry," making this the third acceptance I have received in a row -- the third in just over a week. (I don't believe it so much that I keep writing "rejection" instead of "acceptance" and have to keep backspacing and changing it.)

This poem is ... well, not really a poem. I just call it that. It's a modified freewrite, one from back in my Creative Writing days. The rought draft was actually freewritten during Creative Writing lecture, making the "she" of the title somewhat obvious. This is also one of my "Fuck you, Evan" pieces -- true classics, including "Waterside Old Age Home, Room 245" and "Drowned Men Can't Have Kids." (Evan was my workshop "leader," for those of you who are confused.) Seeing as all three pieces have now been accepted and/or published, I think that "Fuck you, Evan" was a very good attitude to take. Even if Evan didn't agree.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 6:38 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Got my copy of Trampoline in today's mail--a lovely little package waiting for me when I got home from work, oh, twenty minutes ago. It's a beautiful book full of stories by amazing authors, some of whom I'm lucky enough to be able to call friends. (Woohoo! You kick ass, ladies.)

In other news, is the Clarion class of 2001 taking over Small Beer Press, or what?

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 5:25 PM (0) comments

Monday, July 21, 2003
Thank God for Naps

So, we had a wedding at my house this weekend. It was a totally fantastic wedding. I’ve known and loved the groom all my life, and I really love the woman that he just married, and everything here looked so beautiful. Orchids and candles on tables in the backyard; blue skies and sunshine, warm weather and a warm wind; green grass and flowers and lots and lots of food. The wedding itself was a mildly-formal occasion, but soon after people got changed and it turned into more of a pool party type of wedding that lasted until around midnight. There was dancing, and swimming, and a whole lot of drinking. I think it went amazingly well. The only downside, really, was that the young, attractive males in attendance were either married, engaged or in a Very Serious Relationship. (Oh, so pretty to look at, though...)

But there was a lot of work to be done by everyone in this family, cleaning before, during and after the wedding, much getting ready and much dealing with the aftermath, and so it was not a restful time, exactly. Fun, but not restful. Got some sleep and managed to have a nap on Sunday before heading downtown to hang out with Sarah. We watched X2 (yay for $4 movies!), which was very enjoyable. Got myself a "I have a job and can spend just a little, little bit of money" pair of earrings, too. How could I resist? They were $6.

Didn’t get home until almost 1 AM and almost didn’t wake up with my alarm, so I'm totally exhausted right now, and seriously behind on email, but content. Job is going well, paycheck comes soon, I am writing a kick-ass story and I have a whole tin full of nanaimo bars in the kitchen. What more could a girl ask for?

(Well, more sleep, maybe ...)

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 10:37 PM (0) comments

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
One Word ... and Another ...

Oh, I am tired. Another night that I lay awake and lay awake and lay awake, so tired I could not think straight, so awake I could not sleep. Another day on the switchboard. Another afternoon that I could not nap. And though my eyes are heavy now, and feel slightly swollen, and I know I should be in bed, I'm filled with this restless need to write. And so I have been, writing the way I'm thinking, writing the way I feel: in waves of energy and enthusiasm puncuated by moments of complete and utter blankness.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 10:34 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Holy, Holy

Unbelievable. This is totally unbelievable.

I just got an email from Gavin Grant. He's buying "A Last Taste of Sweetness" for Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.

I would yell or jump or laugh or ... something! but I'm sort of in shock right now.

And realizing ... I have now sold every single story I've written since Clarion. I am ... I don't know what to say.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 11:22 PM (0) comments

First Day

My first day of work went well. Slightly confusing at times, but certainly manageable. Coming from a job where my first day nearly made me burst into tears and my first week nearly made me quit, this seems quite lovely and calm in comparision. Course, I do miss the people from Atkinson. Have to go in for a visit soon. Cool people, mean job. But the people from the Town have been very welcoming and nice so far, so that's good.

I'm tired, though. I haven't slept well in a few days worrying first about the interview and then starting work, never mind getting up almost four hours earlier in the morning than I'm used to. (Now, instead of slamming my window shut when the machines start up and stumbling back to bed, I stumble to the shower instead.)

It went well, though, and I am something approahing happy, and have to get back to writing story before I get completely sidetracked.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 10:04 PM (0) comments

Monday, July 14, 2003
And In Other News...

I am once again gainfully employed. My interview wasn't so much an interview as a "You want to work for us? Cool. You start tomorrow."

So, I got everything I wanted: a job that is closer to home (15 minute drive, max), pays more and is less stressful than Atkinson. It just took a little while, and a little help. (Thank you, Carly.)

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 6:16 PM (0) comments


My email is not bouncing. Nor am I receiving it. Rather, select pieces of mail are disappearing into a great, empty Void at a somewhat alarming rate.

First, I thought that Sarah had no time to borrow someone's computer to send mail. Or maybe that she hated me. Turns out, she was sending me mail, some of which contained rather important, timely info, and I was just never getting it. Goddamn, I thought, but also thought that this problem was something limited to email from Sarah. It appears that that is not so.

This morning I received an email from John Cullen at Far Sector SFFH saying basically, Hey, sent you an acceptance a while ago and haven't heard from you. Please say something soon or the acceptance is cancelled.

Goddamn again, I thought. How much of my mail is disappearing without me noticing it? And this was important ...

Wait. Wait. An email ACCEPTING my story? Aaaah!

Far Sector SFFH is buying "Loving the Bomb"!!

Needless to say, I sent an email back right quick saying, "I'm sorry, but whatever you do, DON’T CANCEL THE ACCEPTANCE!"

So now the question is, if even acceptances can disappear into the Void, what else am I losing without knowing it? Who else is waiting for me to respond to a message that I never received? And it’s probably my fault, too. My Yahoo inbox has been running pretty consistently over 90% full for about the last two months. Time to start seriously deleting.

Also, I've sold the impossible-to-sell story. I so kick ass!

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 11:25 AM (0) comments

Saturday, July 12, 2003
And the voice twists

Present tense? Again? Wow, I think I'm officially becoming a Maureen McHugh wannabe. (Though, I must say, it's hard to consider that a bad thing...)

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 11:17 PM (0) comments

It's Official...

I am sick. Shouldn't complain, as it's been a while since I've been sick. Still... I am preparing for a wedding that will be held at my house in exactly one week, which is keeping me busy, and I have an interview on Monday. Not to mention continuing to write and pretending that I'm a graphic designer. (Ack, Photoshop!)

It seems I won't be going downtown this weekend after all, and going to Toronto Trek, an idea that I'd been toying with, is definitely out. Ah, well.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 3:36 PM (0) comments

Peer Pressure!!

There's an update on the Clarion website, saying that "The amount and quality of emails and letters is overwhelming, and the University administrators are being affected." Woo! Come on, people. If you care even a little about Clarion, please send a letter. We are making a difference, and this workshop can be saved. I know it.

(Oh, and if you feel that "peer pressure" doesn't apply to you, consider this superior/inferior pressure, as applicable.)

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 3:29 PM (0) comments

Vendée Globe

It is with considerable joy (though not much surprise) that I discovered that the Vendée Globe race has a website. The next Vendée doesn't start until November of 2004, but I'm already excited.

For those who have never heard of the Vendée Globe, the concept is simple. It's an around-the-world sailboat race. Non-stop. Alone.

No one needs to ask why I love this, right?

I stumbled across the Vendée quite by accident a while ago when I was doing research for Journey. I found a book in a discount pile called Godforsaken Sea by Derek Lundy. It was something like $3 and about a race, and so I bought it and read it and totally fell in love with the race. The book is another matter. It's a good book, but a frustrating one. The race is not told in chronological order, and so you know about one racer's death before the storm that kills him is even on radar screens, etc., etc. It many respects it was a lesson in killing dramatic tension. But even through that sort of nonsense, the race itself totally shone through.

I then discovered another book by British racer Pete Goss called Close to the Wind which is his account of the same Vendée as Lundy details in Godforsaken Sea. Pete Goss actually has one of the best stories in the entire race, as he has to perform surgery on his own arm in the middle of the ocean, and later he turns his boat around in the middle of a storm to rescue fellow sailor Raphael Dinelli after Dinelli's boat sinks. And then the two are living together on this one small racing boat, Goss speaking little French and Dinelli speaking little English ... oh, it's excellent stuff.

I also recently discovered that Tony Bullimore also wrote a book about his wreck and rescue during the very same race. I didn't find that particular book, but I did literally stumble across a very abridged version of it in a Reader's Digest from March of 1998.

Um, yes, anyway, the point of this entry was that I discovered this website and have been enjoying seeing who has already expressed an intent to sail in 2004/2005 (yay, Raphael Dinelli!). Very fun stuff, and I've never sailed a boat in my life. Hell, I've never even been on a sailboat! Still, most entertaining.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 12:21 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Don't Touch My Car

Maybe about twenty minutes ago, some fuckwit paintballed my car. Bright orange paint. On my car.

I'd parked on the road just outside my house so others could get out of the driveway. My car was there for just over an hour. However, maybe ten minutes before I went out to move it back into the driveway, these assholes in a blue pickup drove by and shot it with a paintball gun. Lindy was actually out in the yard, hence the description, but didn't realize what they'd done until I stormed into the house to grab some paper towels to start cleaning my car off. I will say this: thank god the paint was still wet.

I phoned the police. I might not have a license plate or great description, but damn if I'm going to do nothing. I think it's the same assholes who have been driving around the neighbourhood saying incomprehensible shit out of a bullhorn. Yelling at me while I'm mowing the lawn is one thing; paintballing my car is another. Now I'm seriously pissed. (Though somewhat apologetic for all the recent journal swearing.)

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 7:50 PM (0) comments

The Circular Library of Stones

Sometimes I love a story because it's smart or funny or makes me think or just takes me away for a little while. Sometimes I love a story purely for the way its written, the way the words flow, their surprising cadence, their outrageous flirtations with each other. Sometimes I can't say why I love a story, only that it knocks me flat.

A perfect example of this latter category is Carol Emshwiller's "The Circular Library of Stones." I have one word for this story: wow. Some of you (and you know who you are) need to find this story and read it so we can love it together.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 7:14 PM (0) comments


Yes, I like making Foo puns. It amuses me. I don't know why.

So, yesterday I attended a Foo Fighters concert at Arrow Hall in the International Centre. I'd really been looking forward to this concert--one of two concerts I'm supposed to attend this summer, the other being the big R.E.M. one at the end of September. And I'd assumed that I'd have a great time.

Now I'd never been to a concert at Arrow Hall; hadn't even heard of the place, to be honest. As it turns out, it was just that: a hall. No seats, nothing. Okay, I thought. That's cool. Carly and I wandered our way up to the front near the stage, and were joined by some of Carly's friends a little later. It was pretty hot in the room, and crowded, and though I'm not really big on large crowds of people pressing in on me from all sides, I was okay with the situation.

The first opening act was ... well, an opening act. Not objectionable, but not what I'd come--and paid--to see. I had a nice view of the stage, though, even though there were some pretty tall guys all around me. It was hot, and getting hotter, but occasionally the crowd would move and nice, cool air would come in. The second opening act was better; I was enjoying their set, especially the cute backup singer. But by the end people were really pushing in on me from all sides. People knew that the Foo were coming on next, and were doing whatever they could to get as close to the stage as possible.

Now at this point I'd been standing in this hot, close crowd for something like two hours, and I'm getting uncomfortable, but having been there for two hours I didn't want to abandon my lovely good-view spot because of a few dumbass teenaged boys who wanted to work their way closer. In retrospect, I should have moved. I know that. And I knew that it was a pretty young crowd--most of the people were younger than me--and that they were excited, and that more than a few of them were on drugs and totally fucked out of their minds. (I should know--they were taking them right beside me.) And you know, all of that is pretty much okay with me, do what you want for fun, so long as no one gets hurt. Myself included.

The Foo Fighters come on stage. The crowd goes crazy. Everyone behind me tries to rush forward as hard and as fast as they can, and everyone in front of me has nowhere to go. The area in front of the stage becomes a very enthusiastic mosh pit, into which I'm slowly and not-so-gently being pushed. I become quickly separated from Carly et al, so have no protective group with me.

It's hard to explain what, exactly, happened, because I don't quite know. I could barely stay on my feet. At times, the only reason that I was still standing is that there were too many people, too many bodies, to allow me to fall all the way to the ground. I lost contact with the floor many times. I was stumbling, becoming crushed, being kicked, elbowed, scratched. I had a crowd surfing girl land on my head, wrenching my neck. I remember turning once, fighting my way standing, seeing a girl holding something and thinking, "That's my hair." I'd been wearing my glasses so I could see the stage, and the only reason I still own them, whole and uncrushed, is that at some point I managed to grab them off my face and clutch them in one fist. As soon as it was physically possible, I literally fought my way out of there. The first song was over, and the second was about halfway through. So that lasted more than five minutes, but less than ten. More than that, I can't tell you.

I think that's the closest to completely panicking I've been in a long time--if ever. Because the frightening thing was that I was totally helpless. I am not a very large person, nor a very strong one. The people around me were bigger, stronger, and didn't even notice I was there. There was nothing, nothing I could do.

Afterwards, I was shaking, covered in sweat, and feeling about one more kick away from completely losing it. I calmed down, but really only enough to mask everything I was feeling until I could deal with it later. I don't remember most of the actual Foo Fighters part of the concert, beyond those first ten minutes or so. Mentally, I had to get out of there. (Where do non-writers escape to, mentally, when they do not have stories to take them away?) By the last few songs, I felt good enough to try and enjoy the music with the rest of the standing, not-crazy people who were everywhere except the area right before the stage.

And part of me feels really bad for everyone I was with, because I'm sure that my panicked and/or mentally elsewhere self was not particularly fun to be around. Feeling like I ruined things. Feeling pretty fucking stupid, actually. And I sort of feel angry at myself for feeling that way, because fuck it all, I didn't go to a concert to be fucking tossed around by a bunch of pimple-faced losers, and why the hell should I be feeling guilty for being hurt?

Today, I hurt. All day I hurt. My knees and ankles just ache constantly, my neck and back feels totally pulled out of shape (damn girl, landing on my head), and my scalp hurts from people pulling my hair. And maybe I'm wimpy, fine, but part of me is just sitting here fuming, thinking How the fuck do I get my money back?

They were taping the concert, too. Look for the DVD.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 12:09 AM (0) comments

Saturday, July 05, 2003
A Letter to Save Clarion

My letter to the Provost and Dean of MSU might not be as neat and succinct as Phil's, and it might be a little too ramble-wordy for its own good, but it's still something:

Dear Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon and Dr. Wendy K. Wilkins,

It was with great distress that I heard news this past week that the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop has lost its funding from Michigan State University, placing the future of the workshop in danger. I know that this is a tough time for many Universities, MSU included, due to serious budget cuts. Yet I believe that losing Clarion would be a terrible blow both to the University and the science fiction community as a whole.

I have grown up reading the works of Clarion instructors and alumni, works that challenged me, excited me, swept me away from my life in small-town Ontario to new worlds and futures full of possibility. And as I discovered that I too wanted to be a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I turned to the works of Clarion graduates and instructors such as Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Link and James Patrick Kelly for inspiration and guidance.

When I learned that I had been accepted into the workshop, it was the fulfillment of a dream--and the awakening of a promise. For while not all successful SF writers attend Clarion, and not all Clarion graduates go on to careers writing in the genre, there is no other workshop in existence that can do for an aspiring author what Clarion does. Within those six weeks, a writer's work can totally change, blossoming into something fuller, richer and more vibrant with the guidance of his or her peers and instructors. For many, Clarion is also the first opportunity that these young or aspiring authors have to come together with others who share not only their love of the genre but also their commitment to writing and success. The connections made with both editors and professional writers can truly change the path of a writer's life and future career.

It has only been two years since I attended Clarion, and yet the change in my writing has been unbelievable. My time at the workshop gave me the knowledge, skill and confidence to write works that have achieved publication at a professional level, and win not one but two Asimov Awards. I doubt that any of this would have been possible, especially so quickly, without Clarion.

I find it hard to imagine what the workshop would be like were it not set at MSU. When I think of Clarion, I think of walking along the river towards the library to research a new story; of sitting on the balconies of Owen Hall in the evenings with my classmates, discussing writing and science fiction as we watched the fireflies out on the lawns; of lying beneath the trees in the Van Hoosen courtyard, reading stories for the next day's critique session.

What would Clarion be without the support of Michigan State University? Could it survive at all? I hope that we never have to find out. I ask you as a writer, as a student, as a Clarion graduate and a speculative fiction fan, please, reconsider your decision.

Sincerely yours,

Karina Sumner-Smith

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 3:50 PM (0) comments

Still Running

I'm still running. You know, deciding to learn to run and continue running on a regular basis was probably one of the best decisions I've made recently. I feel stronger, healthier, more energetic. I look better, too. (And here you thought that was impossible.)

My distance has been slowly increasing, too. For a few weeks I was running a route that was about 1.25 km, and a week or so ago changed the route to a slightly longer one of 1.65 km. A mile is 1.6 km, I believe, so I have been running a bit over a mile every other day for a little over a week. Two days ago, I changed the route again to one that clocks in at just under 2 km. It's a flatter route, though--one slow incline and one long downhill section--whereas the slightly shorter route is very hilly indeed, but it's nice to have some variety. How do I know about these distances? I drove them in my car, of course. I'm just that obsessive.

It's amazing to me, though, to realize that not so very long ago I simply could not run to the mailbox without difficulty. I mean ... go me.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 3:47 PM (0) comments

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Yesterday, I received a message from Mary Sheridan saying that Clarion has lost its funding from Michigan State University. The workshop is now at risk.

Eileen Gunn of Infinite Matrix (etc.) has summed up the situation very nicely, reprinted here in Luis Rodrigues' blog.

I have heard talk from people who both love and hate Clarion. No matter one's opinion of the workshop, however, I think that few can deny the powerful influence that this workshop has had on the science fiction and fantasy genres over the years. I can say as a Clarion grad that the workshop has revolutionized both my life and my writing. I would not be half the writer I am today if it were not for the instruction, support, advice and friendship that I found only at Clarion.

I will be writing a letter to try to help save Clarion today. I hope and ask that any who believe that the workshop should continue--writers, fans, alumni, hopefuls, everyone--please do the same.Eileen Gunn of Infinite Matrix (etc.) has summed up the situation very nicely, reprinted here in Luis Rodrigues' blog.

I have heard talk from people who both love and hate Clarion. No matter one's opinion of the workshop, however, I think that few can deny the powerful influence that this workshop has had on the science fiction and fantasy genres over the years. I can say as a Clarion grad that the workshop has revolutionized both my life and my writing. I would not be half the writer I am today if it were not for the instruction, support, advice and friendship that I found only at Clarion.

I will be writing a letter to the heads of MSU today. I hope and ask that any who believe that the workshop should continue--writers, fans, alumni, hopefuls, everyone--please do the same. Emails should be sent to Michigan State University's Interim President and Provost, Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, at laksimon@msu.edu, and the Dead of the College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Wendy K. Wilkins, at wwilkins@msu.edu. Please copy any messages to clarion@msu.edu.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 1:25 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

There may be fireworks and parties, BBQs and concerts and all manner of celebrations today: these, I think, are optional. I don't need a party to be proud of my country--this year especially. The past year has made me so very, very proud to be Canadian.

Have a wonderful day, Canada.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 7:14 PM (0) comments

The Floor

Wandering around on the internet and found that Marcel Gagne has posted some pictures from this Sunday's party at Rob's. I particularly like this one. (Clockwise: Nathaniel, Sarah, Me, and ... damn, I totally don't know/remember her name. But she told funny stories.)

The floor's where the cool SF geeks go. (And though our number was few near the beginning of the party, by the end nearly everyone had abandoned the chairs and couches for the floor. Seriously.)

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 7:11 PM (0) comments

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