Well, I've received a response to my applications to Clarion and Clarion West and it's both bad and good. The bad part is I didn't get in. I'm not going to lie, this is a disappointment. I really wanted to go to one of these. Either one would have been a blast and a huge learning experience, with Clarion West having a slight edge as it was cheaper and had George R. R. Martin teaching this year.
Now for the good part. The response from Clarion West included the words "our readers ranked your work among the upper tier of this year's applications". Again, not going to lie, that's a huge ego boost/bit of validation for me. These workshops receive hundreds, if not thousands of applications each year. You have to be near publication ready or already published to get in, and even though I didn't both workshops encouraged me to try again next year. If I'm in the top tier this year, as long as I keep working and growing I know my chances will improve dramatically for next summer.
So where does this leave me. Well, I now have to figure out what to do with three weeks of vacation time since I'll loose it at the end of the year if I don't take it off. (I'd saved all of my vacation time from last year and carried it over into this one so I'd have the six weeks needed for either workshop.) This means I can go to all days of World Fantasy, even the Thursday I originally thought I may have to miss. I can take the days off before and after Ad Astra, so I don't have to rush into Toronto after work and have a day to recover afterwards. I'll be around for the War of 1812 ceremonies at Fort Erie. And who knows, I may find some time to make a trip up to Ottawa in June to see a storyteller friend perform.
The most important thing I need to do is work on my writing. I may not have gotten into either Clarion but that doesn't mean I won't have opportunities this year to get feedback or get published. I want to have a novel draft I can be proud of and an elevator pitch ready for World Fantasy this year as Toronto will be crawling with editors and agents and I'd be crazy to not have something ready.
So while not getting into Clarion sucks it is far from the end of the world and isn't going to cause me to stumble on my path to getting published.