Archive | May 2017

Launch is Coming

So tonight I make my first post to  http://www.46ReasonsWhyNot.wordpress.com.  I am excited to be starting this new project.  I asked Dunkelberg for help publicizing it yesterday in our conference.   He said he could contact University Relations about it–I offered to write a short press release and send it to him to give him an idea of what I was doing.  I also included Ren and Celeste in it to give it more of a “W flavor” that they might like.  So we will see what comes of that.

I meet with Mary Miller today to talk about it and see if she’s been able to read the original piece and tell me if I can improve it.  I hope she responds well to the idea and tweets about it to all her literary friends 🙂  We will see.  Then tomorrow I’ll meet with Kris Lee and talk to him about what all I have workshopped and where I might want to concentrate my efforts.

I sent off two pieces last night and today–I sent the short-story version of “Hurricane Baby”  to an anthology asking for  stories about “Ruins and their After Effects”.  The call for papers said the ruins could be of a life, and I thought Wendy and Judd’s story fit perfectly. And I sent the piece I workshopped yesterday to Creative Nonfiction.  So we will see what they say.

Hope everyone has a good rest of the week.  I know I will 🙂

 

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In Vino Veritas

I have never been around people who drink very much.  But at all of our social functions people here have been drinking and it’s made me a little uncomfortable.  There’s another girl that is sober, too, so that makes me feel less of a freak.  But people say the darndest things when they’re a few drinks in.

ANother girl here is freaked out by my writing and said so last night.  SHe was much less critical than the other one, but she just kept using the words “wild stuff” and “weird”.  I didn’t feel like defending myself last night, I just kind of shrugged and let her go on.  But I was told later be someone who was there that they all agreed it was powerful writing even if it was disturbing.  And this someone stood up for me and my writing, which made me feel good.

I think I’m up for workshop again today with my piece I want to send to Creative Nonfiction.  I’m looking forward to reading it and getting feedback so I can revise it one more time and send it off before the deadline.  So we will see how it goes.

 

Conversation

I had a conversation with one of the girls in the program yesterday afternoon. We were talking about a news event and I said that a story I had read for workshop that morning was on the very same kind of event and that was spooky,  Instead of really continuing that conversation, she turned it to my reading the other night.   She told me gently but firmly that she did not appreciate my reading the other night, she thought it was egregiously violent and did not like it at all that I had put it out there because, she said, that kind of thing stuck with her and she didn’t like opening her mind to it.  I said well, you wouldn’t like any of what we read this morning in workshop either.

So she asked why I liked to write about that kind of thing.  I said I didn’t like it and wished I could write about other things.  She asked why I couldn’t.  ANd we went around and around the topic never agreeing but never agreeing to disagree either.  Now I think she thinks badly of me for my writing such things.  😦

So I’m really going to get into conversations with my mentors about this topic and see if they can suggest ways I can change what I write or if I really need to, if there’s a market for what I do at all.   I wonder if we would even be having this conversation if I were a man.

 

 

 

Day Three

I am learning how simply  I can live,  I packed four bags for this trip–one for bedding, and with cleaning supplies, and two with clothes and shoes.  I have my computer, clock, cellphone, and schedule on my desk; my jumpdrive, my credit card,  checkbook, cash, and pens and paper in my purse. My world is bound by Hastings-SImmons, Painter, and Cochran Halls with a straight-line sight path between them all.

I wake up without an alarm with the sun in my face in this small room with a bed, a desk, a bathroom, and a closet. I go to take my meds and grab a Dr. Pepper out of the tiny fridge and a Pop-Tart pack out of the cabinet in my kitchenette before going to the desk and starting my writing,  I write first on my blog then do my one hundred words on my new manuscript.  I fill the time staring into space or out the window at the bright sunlight  across the center of campus.  Checking Facebook and  email occasionally for messages.  Continually amazed at how easily amused I am.

Class will soon begin at 9:30 a.m. We read and critique each other’s works, saying only what is uplifting and striking about each piece. Yesterday we ran out of time talking about my piece, but that’s okay.  Another time will come.

Lunch is brought to us magically.  I bought and paid for it but did not have to shop, prepare, and cook for it so that is magic enough for me.  We sit and talk about writerly things–books, movies, and TV shows, analyzing them all the time why they are so good.  Then it’s back to class to e instructed on how to be a writer –build literary community, spread knowledge, and yes–how to pay the bills.

Three months’ pay went into my being able to be here to attend this class.  But such concerns seem far away now that I am here.

Tuesday I start one on one conferences with the faculty.  Each one is at 3 p.m. so I can have maximum time to rest and  recoup before the night activities,  WIth Dunkelberg I plan to talk about the arc of the program, why I am taking so long, and what I will take next.  With Miller, I will talk about my newest project, the 46ReasonsWhyNot blog and discuss the possibilities with her.  With Lee I will ask him about my fiction and nonfiction that he has read this residency in workshop and see where he think I can improve and what I am doing right.

DInner is also magically prepared in the congenial atmosphere of the local restaurants around town. All of life should be this simple, I think.  Mexican one night, Thai the next, barbeque one, Italian the other.   After dinner are readings of each others’ work aloud in Cochran Hall.  It’s funny how amateurish our efforts sound against the work of the published writers.  But that’s why we are here, to learn.

I resolve to enjoy this magical time for as long as I can.

 

 

Second Day

So today is the second full day of residency.  Yesterday was mighty busy, and it’s only going to get busier here on out.   I’ll try to sum it all up but may leave something out.

Started off with a little surprise–I got followed on twitter yesterday by a literary agent!  He’s with Dana Newman Literary Agency out of Los Angeles.  So that was exciting that someone with some clout in the industry might be reading my work.

So I spent the morning writing and went to workshop at 10.  Our workshop leader doesn’t believe in the author reading their own work, so that was odd.  I read a bit a girl had written about being a Korean pop star.  Interesting. We also read a bit about a misbehaving preacher and his wife and another bit that was just too strange to categorize.   My bit about “the year I went crazy” is up to be read today, so that will be good to hear about and find ways to improve.

Then we broke for lunch and had that , then we had a classroom discussion about diversity, appropriation, and writing.  That discussion ranged far afield about inclusion in the writing world, about using voices other than your own, etc.  Then we had a break for a while in that Tammie was doing her thesis defense and we weren’t needed. So I came back, talked to Bob checked all my stuff online, and practiced my reading on Janie, who timed me at a little over 8 minutes.  Then we went out to Thai by Thai and ate and I had REAL Pad Thai as opposed to how I fix it with the mix at home.  Very good.

Then it was the reading., All very heady to be at the center of attention for my writing.   I told them who I was and where I was from and whatnot, then talked about the story, that it had been published and where and then I went into it.  I think I really shocked everybody because there was a long silence before anyone asked me questions.  Then Tammie read, then Dunkelberg read a bunch of poetry.  Came back and went to bed after talking to Bob.

 

First Day

So we’re at residency.  Yesterday was fun meeting old and new friends, again. Tammie gave us all journals.  Very sweet,  I didn’t have the heart to tell her hat I rarely touch pen to paper any more, I do it all electronically.  But maybe someday.

We had orientation where were talked about logistics and goals, then we broke up into groups for just a few minutes’ time with our professors for workshop for the week,  I have Kris Lee, the drama guy.  Which is fine, I had him last summer for a drama class and liked him.

I have Janie as my suitemate.  She’s from Madison, down around  where I’m from.  She seems very sweet.  We have been trying to help each other so that has been nice.  Only one girl so far has been most unfriendly, which I did not expect.  But we will see how it all goes.  a

WE have workshop this morning at 10.  Then a discussion/class at 1:30 after lunch, then free time for most of us until dinner at a Thai restaurant, then we have readings starting at 7:30 p.m.  I read first tonight, decided to get it over with.  I’ll read Bass-Ackwards, which I published this spring.  That will make for interesting material I think.

And I forgot to take my meds last night.  I set them all out in order then tossed and turned until 3 a.m. wondering why I couldn’t sleep.  I finally figured it out and took the most of them; I left off the Tranzodone, and  woke up again about 6:15 a.m. and decided to go ahead and get up.  I just took them all for the morning so I am fine on all that.

Anyway.   Hopefully I will do better today.  Hope everyone has a good weekend!

 

Packing

GOing to pack in just a minute and leave for residency right after I eat lunch.  I already got gas and have my CD’s of Harry Connick Jr. ready to play on the trip.  I have a bunch more bags than last time because I’m having to bring my own bedding and what not. But I bought Dr. Pepper and Pop Tarts for the mornings so I can jut sit and blog and write before we start our classes.

I feel really good about this trip.  I’m not anxious at all as of yet.  I will miss Bob and the girls–‘I’ve never been away from home this long all by myself so it will be quite a different feeling.   But I’m excited for the chance to learn more about what I’m doing and about where I am as a writer.

I feel like I’m in such a  good place to be doing this. My little manic spell is over and I feel so centered and calm.  I have prayed for all of this to go well and hope that it will.  I hope I didn’t forget anything packing.  I guess I will wind this up and post tomorrow about how everything is going.  Hope every one has a good rest of the week and a great Memorial Day weekend.