I hereby request the universe lay off

Book came out. Huge accomplishment, product of years of work.
Great reviews, including the New York Times, where it got a bad/baffling review.
Ran up ~2k in car bills in four days as my beloved Volvo went through a bad patch.
Horribly sick for weeks, including an ER trip.

And now, accepted to Clarion West. Which is awesome – “Yay, we think you’re super-great, we have picked you out of all the great applicants to come hang out with assorted cool folks for six weeks and graduate an elite science fiction writer.”

But I can’t go. I feel like the world’s taking free kicks at me.

Clarion runs six weeks, mid-June through July. I want to go, because it’s super-awesome, but I essentially can’t go: I have no money. I was about to take a job, but now, if I go, I almost certainly can’t take a job, work for two months, and then be gone for six weeks.

If Clarion started next week, I’d tough it out. But it doesn’t — it’s months out. With no money, I can’t survive for months. But I can’t get a job and work for months and then go. And so on. I’m screwed. I figured I wouldn’t get in – the odds are so long, it’s so competitive – and now, I don’t even know what to do.

Thanks, universe! Hee hee hee hee.

3 thoughts on “I hereby request the universe lay off

  1. Scraps

    Crap! Can you freelance? Or temp?

    On the other hand, I’ll bet you’d get in to Clarion again. Yes, it’s competitive, but I’ve read your writing, and I’ve read submissions for a living — including plenty of submissions from Clarion writers, before and after — and trust me, you’re way ahead of the pack. I didn’t know you were applying, but knowing that I would have assumed you’d be accepted. Take that for what it’s worth

  2. StanNP


    Look at it the other way, Clarion West is a feature! Make the workshop a pre-employment negotiated understanding and then attended it.

    Afterwards your employer can make comments like “Wow Derek, that business case was riveting! I can’t wait to read your use case scenarios!”


  3. MHD

    How much do you need?

    I bet between USSM and your other blogs, you could probably get a loan to tide you over for a few months. If people are even more generous, you might even get gifts. People are that appreciative of your writing.

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