July 6th, 2008

quill-winslet

What Are These People Thinking?

We Can't Believe the Response of Some

After yesterday's post on the Clarion West laptop thefts, I looked at some of the comments on some other blogs, and Mrs. Dr. Phil and I cannot understand some of these.

Read some of the comments on jimhines Jim C. Hines blog and Cory Doctorow's Boing Boing posts and tell me -- am I overreacting?

"Are there no poorhouses? Are there no orphanages?"

Get a pencil. Use a computer center. Shakespeare didn't have a laptop.

Uh-huh. And if your car is stolen, is it appropriate to point out, in the spirit of the Fourth of July over which this incident took place, that Thomas Jefferson rode a horse and never needed a car? I don't get it.

You're at an intense six-week workshop, perhaps the most intense and concentrated writing experience of your life, and something like this happens. Even if you have the rider on your house or renter's insurance, you're in Seattle, away from policy numbers, phone numbers, serial numbers -- you don't need this crap on top of your life. And some people who understand wanted to help out. Is that so hard? So wrong?

I Tried Hard To Keep Out The Snark...
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And from the Clarion West FAQ page:
Do I have to stay in the dorm?

Yes. Clarion West now rents out a sorority house for the duration of the workshop and we are charged rent based on the number of students in the workshop. As a nonprofit organization, we can't afford to pay rent for students who live off-site. Besides, living in the house together is an integral part of the Clarion West experience, and in the past students who didn't live in the dorm regretted it. They missed the midnight runs to the pancake house, the best gossip (which always happens after midnight and at odd times on the weekends), not to mention the "running down the halls screaming half-naked because the damn character just did something weird and the story is due tomorrow morning" bonding moments. They missed the opportunity to hang out with the instructors at meals and when they stopped by the living room for an hour, and missed chats with famous authors who stopped by for a visit. And, hey, who wants to miss that kind of fun?

Many Thanks

To Cory Doctorow, Jim C. Hines, Jay Lake, Cherie Priest, Nick Mamatas and others who helped pass on the info. And to those who could donate, or thought about donating, to help out.

To writers who think they might be interested, those who have been through the grinder (grin) or who would like to support those who might in the future, I give you the links to The Clarion Workshops: Clarion, Clarion West and Clarion South (Australia). Plus the related Milford workshop in the U.K. and Odyssey here in the States.

To be fair, most of the people questioning the merits of the "call to arms" (call to alms?) were not writers or had not done a Clarion. Some wondered whether Clarions produce any good writers. Some suggest... Naw, the hell with the asshats... these postings weren't meant for them anyway.

Feel free to disagree with me. Just get the hell off my lawn.

Dr. Phil
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