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Greetings to all my fans: past, present, and especially future.

February 13, 2009

…and then, against all odds, something crawled out of the primordial internet and became Oso’s Blog.

If you found your way here without knowing who I am, good for you.  I currently publish under the name Scott W. Baker.  That being my actual name, it seemed a good choice.  I am toying with the idea of publishing under a nom de plume, or maybe even a pen name, but as yet I am not convinced this would be wise.  For instance, how would the dozens of people who have read my previous stories connect my past works to my current and future works?  If I did adopt a pseudomymn, I have pretty well decided it should be Oso Baker.  It’s a nice combination between my real name and my internet identity.

I guess my first post here should explain the origins of “Oso Muerte” in their entirety.  As so many nerdy nicknames do, it started with a character in a role playing game.  I wanted something tough, but my friends decided the character class I had selected resembled a dead bear.  Being that my character was supposed to be South American, I named him “Dead Bear” in Spanish.  Rather I tried to — it came out Oso Muerte: “bear death”.  Anyway, the character was fun and resembled me in more ways than anyone cares to hear, so the nickname stuck to me, at least with that very specific clique.  Seeing as no one else was absurd enough to use such a name, it became my go-to username for anything online.  Try Googling it, see if anything other than me comes up.  You’ll get my Amazon profile, maybe my MySpace page, maybe a few pages in Spanish about endangered ursines.

Still, the name comes across too Spanish for a pen name, especially considering my considerable ignorance of Spanish or Hispanic cultures.

I have maintained a blog on MySpace for a short time, but that didn’t quite suit my needs.  So I am moving in here at WordPress, growing up and getting a place of my own in the http://www.  I may move those old blog posts over to catch people up on the dizzying pace of my writing career (currently composed mostly of waiting).  Until then, here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been up to:

CLARION!

Don’t get too excited, I am just in the application stage.  Actually I am past the application stage and into the clawing-my-eyes-out-while-I-wait-to-hear-something stage.  But currently my Clarion applications are the foremost issues in my daily writer-life.

For those who do not know, Clarion is THE workshop for budding speculative fiction writers.  It’s a six-week bootcamp taught by five professional writers and one editor, usually award winners and often workshop  graduates themselves.  All other big-time workshops are built off its model.  I have applied to both the American incarnations of Clarion: Clarion West and plain old Clarion (often called Clarion East despite its recent transplant to San Diego).  There are other workshops — Odyssey, Viable Paradise, Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp — but I can’t bring myself to take serious time away from my wife and two-year-old daughter unless I truly believed the workshop could kick start my career.  Not every Clarionite becomes a pro, but their track record is exceptional.

The story I submitted to Clarion West just earned an Honorable Mention from L. Ron Hubbard’s “Writers of the Future” contest.  A higher placing would have inspired more confidence, but HM tells me I did something right.  A simple rejection from the contest would have discouraged my hopes of attending Clarion.  Still, there are no guarantees until there are guarantees.

I submitted that same story (entitled “Leech Run”) to Clarion East as well as a more recent work (“Glow Baby”), which was inspired by my daughter’s night light.  Both stories were between five and six thousand words, though one was Firefly-esque space opera and the other is more SF invading modern life.  Both these stories are making the rounds through different markets, though I may let “Glow Baby” take a pass at the Writers of the Future contest, too.

As soon as I hear anything about either workshop, I’ll be sure to post the outcome here.  Well, maybe not right away.  First I will have to hyperventilate, tell my wife, dance around the room, call my mother, cry a little, and then I can post here.  Bad news will simply post without fanfare.

I am not basing my career on acceptance or rejection from Clarion (or CW).  I will write come workshop or high water.  But man, I could use the kick in the keyboard these workshops represent.

This blog will not be all about Clarion.  It may not all be about writing or SF, either.  It’s a blog and I’ll throw you whatever scurries though my odd little head.  Right now my head is full of Clarion.  (It has been accused of less savory fillings.)  Come back to see what other stuff I might say.

-Oso

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