Monday, July 11, 2011

Dispatches from Writing Camp: Day 2

Surprisingly, despite the open windows and the strange, too-firm bed, and the lack of white noise I so love ceiling fans for, I managed to get a pretty decent night's sleep last night. I think the relief of finally, finally actually being here after thinking about it for so long played a part in my easy rest. I'm also going to credit that one Tylenol P.M. for making my trip to sleepytime a bit easier than it might have been otherwise.

At any rate, I got up and went to my first breakfast (fresh fruit and a slice of walnut banana bread, if you must know) followed by my first lecture of the day in the main lecture hall that's being utilized during this conference. After that, I went to my first workshop class, and it was, in a word, GREAT. We're spending a bit of each class talking about the craft of memoir/narrative nonfiction and then maybe working on an exercise and then, we spend the rest of our time "workshopping" (yes that's a real verb) two of the participants' works. Today's session was interesting because we focused on one of the most polished and cohesive pieces and then turned our attentions to one of the most unconventionally structured pieces in the class. Everyone has clearly spent time reading these pieces and is coming to class with very constructive feedback and questions. My piece will be reviewed on Wednesday. I have absolutely no idea what to expect, but I'm more excited than anxious.

The Fresno Posse (who are entering into their 4th hour of drinking/smoking out on the Quad as I type this), actually participated and contributed some decent feedback during today's class. (See! I told you I was going to be open minded!!) I think one of their peeps gets her work critiqued tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

After the workshop session, it was lunch time. I had a veggie burger that wasn't half bad. I ate lunch with 3 of my classmates, and it was nice to get to know them a bit better.

There was a bit of a post-lunch break, and then two back-to-back lectures--one on the literary agent's perspective (a panel of three agents chatting and fielding questions), then a lecture about the future of publishing as seen through the eyes of this dude who sort of defies description.

Remember the Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch characters of the English Professor/Lovers?

Yeah...he was sort of like that. I was all ready to hate him for his affected manner of speaking and ego that can probably be seen from space on a clear day, but he actually had a very interesting and compelling case to make about where publishing is heading and what we, as writers who want to be authors, need to think about and do to swim in that stream.

I left his lecture about 10 minutes early so that I could sneak my first shower in the coed shared bathroom. Yeah...not a fan of that whole set up. Oh well. At least I'm clean and no one came in while I was showering...or DID they?!

During the rest of my break, I decided to call the home front. I spoke with BH first, and then he handed the phone to The Geej. For some reason, upon hearing her little girl voice say so enthusiastically, "I miss you, Mommy!" I burst into tears. I didn't let on to her that I was crying, but tears streamed down my face almost the entire time I spoke with her. I didn't realize how much I was missing her until I heard her voice, and I didn't know how much my missing her would affect me. This is the longest we've ever been apart, and I am really feeling it.

The end of the day held a meet-and-greet appointment with a Big Shot Literary Agent (one of the speakers from the previous panel). I was so unprepared. I'm just not ready to speak with someone in that line of work about what I'm doing/hope to do yet. I think my meet-and-greet with the Big Shot Editor on Wednesday evening will make more sense. But hey, at least I was freshly showered, right?

This evening's readings at the ampitheater featured two women and one man and all three of them were so wildly different from one another, it was like having Greek salad, followed by chocolate eclairs followed by shrimp quesadillas for dinner. I liked all three of them a lot, but for very different reasons.

It was mostly cloudy today, and a bit cooler than yesterday. I didn't mind since this was the first day I had to be inside for most of the day. The clouds made me feel like I wasn't really missing anything about being outside. Tomorrow, it's supposed to rain. It's only supposed to hang around for one day, and it's been so long since I've actually SEEN rain, I'm actually looking forward to it.

Tomorrow, I promise I'll post photos. But now? Now I need to go re-read the pieces we're going to be discussing in class tomorrow.

Until later...

1 comment:

Karla said...

I like that you describe their differences via the medium of food....That's awesome. Someone else (like my brother) might use cars and another person (maybe like me, perhaps) might use fashion. Like, you know, "It was like mixing a Gaultier with an Alaia and J Crew!"