I am exhausted. Not because of any sort of physical exertion, mind you. But I have gone from lecture to workshop to lecture to event all day long, and I've been mentally engaged and zooming with ideas and energy since I opened my eyes this morning, and that creates its own kind of tiredness--the kind where you want to just stare at a blank wall and drool for a while. But instead, I'm keeping my "Dispatches" committment for all you fine folks (all 2 of you...yay!) while listening to Tom Waits and munching on stale popcorn.
So let me tell you a bit about our daily schedule here at Writing Camp:
8 - 9am, Breakfast in the Dining Commons
9 - 10am, Lecture #1
10am - 12:30pm, Writing Workshop
12:30 - 1:30, Lunch in the Dining Commons
2 - 3pm, Lecture #2
3 - 4pm, Lecture #3
4:30 - 6pm, Cocktail hour/Agent Meetings/Editor Meetings/Participant Readings
6 - 7pm, Dinner in the Dining Commons
8 - 9pm, Faculty Readings
So as you see, they've got us pretty busy here. And yes, most of this stuff is "optional," but why on earth would you WANT to miss out on hearing these folks speak? (I mean, aside from me skipping class yesterday afternoon to grab a snooze. But I had an excuse: I needed a disco nap to prepare myself for my night on the town with Michelle, and also, I am old.) The faculty are top-notch, highly-respected authors, poets, editors, etc. The lectures and panels I've been to have been outstanding and inspirational--not a bunch of bullshit fluff, but real tools, ideas and information to help writers along their paths. Other than staying in a "Faculty Dorm" here on campus, they are totally at all events (including meal times) and totally approachable and available if you want to seek them out and chat with them about whatevs. It's an amazingly supportive and surreal environment, and the lush beauty of Reed College's 100 year old campus only adds to the effect.
Today, my manuscript got "workshopped" in my class. It was awesome. The feedback was all positive and constructive. I came away with some great ideas and tools that will help me better craft what I've already written and what writing (there's quite a lot of it) remains in order to finish this sucker.
So at 8:00am tomorrow, it starts all over again. And that being said, I bid you goodnight.