September 11th, 2013


Clarion 2004 + 10

Hard to believe, but by the time Detcon 1 rolls around in July 2014, it'll be ten years since the intrepid band of writers gathered at the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house at Michigan State in East Lansing MI. A few of us are still in the Great Lakes area, but since we humans tend to make a to-do about certain decimal commemorations of trips of this planet around the nearest star, it occurs to me that having a NASFiC here in Michigan could bring a few of us together.

The 2004 Clarion class at Archives Book Store:
Back Row: Dr. Phil (Hmm, must be Canada Day, 1 July 2004), John Schoffstall MD, Lister Matheson (Director), Peter Burtis, Arnn Hixon, Charles Schoenfeld, Author Andy Duncan (Week 4 Instructor), Al Bogdan.

Middle Row: Tenea D. Johnson, Rebecca K. Rowe, Nikki Kimberling, Boris Layupan, Brynna Ramin, Grace Dugan, Marjorie M. Liu, Njihia Mbitira, Sarah Gibbons (Assistant to the Director & Mistress of the Copy Machine Without Which There'd Be No Critiques).

Front Row: Gordon Van Gelder (Editor, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction), Trent Hergenrader, Owner of Archives Book Store, Mary Sheridan (V.I.P.), Amelia Beamer, Andy Wolverton, Eric Joel Bresin.

In fact, I think it would be interesting to have a panel at Detcon 1 on "The Clarion Class of 2004 Ten Years Out". New writers might benefit about hearing both successes and "failures" in our writing careers. Also, Clarion 2004 was one of the last Clarion workshops held in Michigan, before MSU decided to cut funding, which forced the move to San Diego.

Anybody else think this is a good idea? Yay? Nay? Raspberries?

If nothing else, I'd love to see y'all. Who knows? I might be able to find out by then if the place nearby that claims to do Chicago stuffed pizza is any good. (grin)

Dr. Phil

September 11th 2001 + 12

Two years ago on 9/11 we put on a big show for the tenth anniversary of this generations' loss of innocence moment. Even then, I wondered when a large part of the country would set aside a few thoughts and then move on, as the years advanced. This is not some cynical view of America and Americans, it's human nature. Those most directly affected by 9/11 live with its aftermath every day -- and more so on the anniversary. But there's only so much capacity for the hundreds of millions of outliers to gear up for reliving the trauma every year.

At 8am this morning, I flipped through the channels and only the History channel was doing a 9/11 doc. The CBS morning show devoted a few seconds to the unfurling of a flag on the side of the Pentagon -- then spent a lot of time interviewing Dale Earhart, Jr. about NASCAR fining another driver for deliberately spinning his car to help his teammate win. Not sure what the NBC Today show was going to spend time on. Every time I tune them in, they're yucking it up with the screaming faithful on the rope line outside their studio.

Sacrilegious? I'd say No. We may not have peace after 9/11, but a lot of people, and certainly the media outlets, have made a peace with the terrible events of a dozen years ago. Generations will visit the memorials, contemplate what happened, and pay their respects to the dead… and the survivors. But in their own time. Just as they visit Gettysburg, Arlington and are awed by the stark beauty of the Vietnam Memorial (or it's traveling half-size replica).

Naturally my good friend Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station puts it all in a lovely essay.

Just some thoughts, as I look on the way that no one is talking about 9/11 on today, 9/11/2013.

Dr. Phil