The End; the Beginning; the Klarions

Eleven hours remain until I head for the airport.

I slept something like 12 hours yesterday, and felt pretty good this morning. But grief, he is a sneaky devil. We went into St. Johann’s Church, and that’s all it took to wear me out. I lit a candle for Neal, and tried not to lose it. Proud to say I didn’t lose it, and we carried on with the rest of our afternoon.

But I am bushed now, and I will probably spend the evening being very low key and resty. Well, it wasn’t like I was going to go out and disco the day after Neal’s funeral, anyway.

The vacation has not been without features of interest and merit, but it goes without saying that this time I will be glad to get home.

Let’s talk about something else.


I did mention, some time ago, that I will be participating in the Clarion UCSD writing write-a-thon. Here’s my page for your donation consideration. There are several writers I know participating in both Clarion and the Clarion West write-a-thons this year, and I’d like to encourage you to give to any of them. It’s not who you give to, but rather that you support the efforts of young writers by donating to those of us slogging it out for them.

That said, if you do donate to me, a $10 donation will enable you to see the writing blog that I will be keeping over the course of the write-a-thon. It will be called Klarion/Clarion and will have insights about what I’m doing in a variety of scenes. All contributors who donate $25 or over will be eligible for a drawing in which they will receive a free story critique (3 winners, and a max of 20 pages each).

So think about donating, if not to me, then one of the many other worthy writers on these lists.

Yes, you will be seeing a lot of pimpage for the write-a-thon for the next six weeks. Because that’s the way we roll.


Just in time for the write-a-thon, I mentioned that I had a trance sort of night about the Klarion series a couple of nights before I found out about Neal’s decline. My last night in Helsinki belonged to a fever dream about the major antagonist in the series, and how everything fits into the overarching plot. I took some notes the next day so I wouldn’t lose everything. It’s nice to see how everything fits together. It does make book 3 problematic inasmuch as it no longer can stand alone, but that’s a problem that we can work with.

The gift of time for a writer can not be overstated in the case of the Klarions. The embryonic version of the third book was written in 2002-2003 and I would guess that around 20K of that book will be useable, if that much. As I have worked on this series in the intervening times, I’ve learned a lot about the style, the characterizations, and the tensions of the series, my strange love child of Edward Gorey and the Addams family.

I would never have heard from Lucia if I’d never heard from Errol. And I would never have heard from Errol if J.K. Rowling hadn’t made me ask the question, “How do you build a Snape?” Stephanus has come a long way from his build-a-Snape origins. Always believe that other writers can influence your work in the best way.

The next time I talk to you all, I will be stateside. Until then, keep well.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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