M L Clark

is creating books, stories, essays, poetry, reviews

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Nadie Me Debe Nada
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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. 

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About

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 two years and change 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. Most recently, too, I hit a major snag with respect to my second visa application. When I first arrived here, my Spanish wasn't strong enough for me to do anything but trust the professionals I worked for. Turns out, those professionals got some very important details for visa-continuity wrong.

I'm now back to... well, beyond square one on my 5-year path to residency. If the next visa application goes through -- a much more modest ask -- then I will have to work on it for six months, at least, before I can apply to the residency-track visa again. This is a huge blow to my long-term plans. 

I've worked very hard here for the last two years, as an English teacher for a private company that helps local businesses. I've always lived in more traditional parts of the city, far from other North Americans, so my Spanish grows stronger every day. I am gradually building community, and I have recently finally even made in-roads with the local SF community--a modest group of wonderful people I look forward to collaborating with on some pretty exciting projects as the years progress.

I have plans, that is, for an interventionist SF&F workshop that we can take into the poorer barrios, using science fiction and fantasy to help children there (people who have no access even to elementary school) develop Spanish and English literacy, as well as digital literacy and a tangible feeling of accomplishment.

And I look forward to starting a bilingual press here -- trilingual, even, thanks to some lovely new connections from Brazil as well -- so that we can make of this region a strong alternative centre for international SF&F.

In the meantime, though -- while all this chaos is being sorted out -- I am also working on developing a proper personal-writing career. I just had my first novella published with Clarkesworld, as the third in a series of Partnership stories that tie in to a novel draft currently undergoing revisions. (I'm sorely hoping to have it agent-ready by summer's end.) I'm also working on a paid essay for an academic anthology due out this fall, which springboards from many of my published fictions to talk about speculative fiction and its role in multispecies justice.

I'm also still a columnist at Patheos.com, where at least 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.

If any of these goals and projects 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.

I know the whole world is in upheaval right now, but my own circumstances with the path to residency especially ache because I know I can contribute *so very much here* with the skills I have. I just need the stability to do so.

And I'm working on it. I really am, most any way I can.

Many thanks, then, to anyone able to support me while I undergo yet another in a series of daunting transitions toward that better end.
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 19 exclusive posts
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 19 exclusive posts
21
Images
1
Link
1
Writing
1
Video

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