M L Clark

is creating books, stories, essays, poetry, reviews

9

patrons

$75

per month
I never expected uprooting my life in Canada would be easy.

But when I moved to Colombia in February 2018, I took this huge risk because I knew I could never be the writer I wanted to be--or the human I wanted to be!--if I stayed.

I'm a writer of speculative fiction, cultural essays, poetry, and reviews. I've been fortunate to be published in top-tier sci-fi publications like Clarkesworld and Analog, and even had three short stories in Year's Best anthologies. But just as I started to build this momentum, the grind of working as hard as I had been caught up. I was working all the time--often seven days a week, for months on end, between multiple jobs. I couldn't write. I had no time or money to socialize. I was angry with myself, anxious and tense around others, and generally feeling helpless to change my circumstances.

So, I saved up on the leanest diet and lifestyle I could manage--during a term when my fellow post-secondary teaching staff and I all found ourselves out on the picket line!--and... I leapt. I started over somewhere new. 

In the last few months in Medellín, Colombia, I have been assimilating. It hasn't been easy as a single person, and certainly as a feminized person there have been... setbacks.

By and large, though, I have achieved a great deal, in no small part due to the confidence of dear friends back home. I work as an English teacher for a private company that helps local businesses. I live in a more traditional part of the city, far from other North Americans, so my Spanish grows stronger every day. I am gradually building community.

Most importantly, though, I have my writing life back. In Canada the exceptional demands of work, joined with the high cost of living, had taken from me the mental energy and time needed to write. Now I have a manageable balance. I work hard--I contribute value to Colombian workers trying to improve their interactions on the world stage--and I have time to develop a proper writing career.

For one, I'm a columnist at Patheos.com, where twice-weekly I discuss how to improve secular storytelling to meet the demands of 21st-century humanism. You can find me listed as "Another White Atheist in Colombia" (http://patheos.com/blogs/anotherwhiteatheistincolo...), and I would love to hear your thoughts about how best to improve our practice of a more globally minded humanism.

I also finished my novel project, a speculative history set in Soviet Russia from the 1920s through 1940s. It took two years due to work pressures in Canada, plus the dizzying experience of acclimating to life in Colombia, but I've now started the arduous process of agent-solicitation, and I am blocking my next booklength projects for the years to come.

In that same two-year block, I languished on the publication front, producing only a few paid book reviews. But late January changed that rhythm, when I sold a near-future novelette set in Colombia and imagining new tech to deal with climate change (to be published in a few months, I imagine). In early February, I also sold a poem that speaks to the situation in Venezuela. Altogether, I couldn't be happier to be publishing work with a strong interweaving of Spanish and English--and with it, a sense of my new forever-home.

My next steps are as follows:

1) Produce a series of linked short stories for a collection that I hope will help direct North American readers to rethink their assumptions about Colombia, and introduce them to a richness of Colombian creators that goes far beyond Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

2) Complete a non-fiction pop-sci book on the history of stellar evolution (so as to make full use of the research I had to walk away from, two-dissertation-drafts into my PhD process).

3) Write reams of delightful science- and speculative fiction that is emphatically globalist in its approach to the near future.

4) Publish longform essays that likewise advance the ideals of global humanism and challenge persistent Western myths about the world.

If any of these goals interest you, I do hope you'll not only join me on my journey, but also tell me a little about your own--because if any of this intrigues, it's quite possibly because you've some resonant dream on the go yourself. If so, I'd love to wish you both good luck and good skill, as you take the necessary risks to find yourself a better creative home.
Tiers
Nadie Me Debe Nada
$1 or more per month
The name of this tier is Spanish for, loosely, "No one owes me anything". This strongly held personal philosophy allows me to let go of disappointment and frustration over what I do not receive (whether it be as complex as a job or as simple as basic human decency), and focus on gratitude for what *is* gifted to me--in the way of kindness, opportunity, and presence--as well as on those who offer it. There are no other tiers. Kindness simply is or it isn't--so thank you for yours, if you choose to bestow it. And thank you for reading this far, even if you do not. 
I never expected uprooting my life in Canada would be easy.

But when I moved to Colombia in February 2018, I took this huge risk because I knew I could never be the writer I wanted to be--or the human I wanted to be!--if I stayed.

I'm a writer of speculative fiction, cultural essays, poetry, and reviews. I've been fortunate to be published in top-tier sci-fi publications like Clarkesworld and Analog, and even had three short stories in Year's Best anthologies. But just as I started to build this momentum, the grind of working as hard as I had been caught up. I was working all the time--often seven days a week, for months on end, between multiple jobs. I couldn't write. I had no time or money to socialize. I was angry with myself, anxious and tense around others, and generally feeling helpless to change my circumstances.

So, I saved up on the leanest diet and lifestyle I could manage--during a term when my fellow post-secondary teaching staff and I all found ourselves out on the picket line!--and... I leapt. I started over somewhere new. 

In the last few months in Medellín, Colombia, I have been assimilating. It hasn't been easy as a single person, and certainly as a feminized person there have been... setbacks.

By and large, though, I have achieved a great deal, in no small part due to the confidence of dear friends back home. I work as an English teacher for a private company that helps local businesses. I live in a more traditional part of the city, far from other North Americans, so my Spanish grows stronger every day. I am gradually building community.

Most importantly, though, I have my writing life back. In Canada the exceptional demands of work, joined with the high cost of living, had taken from me the mental energy and time needed to write. Now I have a manageable balance. I work hard--I contribute value to Colombian workers trying to improve their interactions on the world stage--and I have time to develop a proper writing career.

For one, I'm a columnist at Patheos.com, where twice-weekly I discuss how to improve secular storytelling to meet the demands of 21st-century humanism. You can find me listed as "Another White Atheist in Colombia" (http://patheos.com/blogs/anotherwhiteatheistincolo...), and I would love to hear your thoughts about how best to improve our practice of a more globally minded humanism.

I also finished my novel project, a speculative history set in Soviet Russia from the 1920s through 1940s. It took two years due to work pressures in Canada, plus the dizzying experience of acclimating to life in Colombia, but I've now started the arduous process of agent-solicitation, and I am blocking my next booklength projects for the years to come.

In that same two-year block, I languished on the publication front, producing only a few paid book reviews. But late January changed that rhythm, when I sold a near-future novelette set in Colombia and imagining new tech to deal with climate change (to be published in a few months, I imagine). In early February, I also sold a poem that speaks to the situation in Venezuela. Altogether, I couldn't be happier to be publishing work with a strong interweaving of Spanish and English--and with it, a sense of my new forever-home.

My next steps are as follows:

1) Produce a series of linked short stories for a collection that I hope will help direct North American readers to rethink their assumptions about Colombia, and introduce them to a richness of Colombian creators that goes far beyond Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

2) Complete a non-fiction pop-sci book on the history of stellar evolution (so as to make full use of the research I had to walk away from, two-dissertation-drafts into my PhD process).

3) Write reams of delightful science- and speculative fiction that is emphatically globalist in its approach to the near future.

4) Publish longform essays that likewise advance the ideals of global humanism and challenge persistent Western myths about the world.

If any of these goals interest you, I do hope you'll not only join me on my journey, but also tell me a little about your own--because if any of this intrigues, it's quite possibly because you've some resonant dream on the go yourself. If so, I'd love to wish you both good luck and good skill, as you take the necessary risks to find yourself a better creative home.

Recent posts by M L Clark

Tiers
Nadie Me Debe Nada
$1 or more per month
The name of this tier is Spanish for, loosely, "No one owes me anything". This strongly held personal philosophy allows me to let go of disappointment and frustration over what I do not receive (whether it be as complex as a job or as simple as basic human decency), and focus on gratitude for what *is* gifted to me--in the way of kindness, opportunity, and presence--as well as on those who offer it. There are no other tiers. Kindness simply is or it isn't--so thank you for yours, if you choose to bestow it. And thank you for reading this far, even if you do not.