Day 3: Sprinting

Okay, this is the pattern that has emerged, so I’m going with it. Though it’s now Tuesday, I’ll talk about Monday. And, so on. ☺
Day 3 (Monday):
I woke up early so that I’d have time to practice yoga and write some. I was glad I did this, because the day sprinted away from me from there and I didn’t catch up ‘til 11 PM, when I was wonderfully relaxed (okay, so this may have had something to do with the two Mac ‘n Jacks) and hopeful that I might finally get a good night’s sleep despite the not-so-comfy (understatement) dorm beds.
What did I do all day?

Kent Meyers spoke at a morning meeting on critique. He said many things that resonated with me. I found myself jotting down direct quotations as he spoke, but I think the line that captures the heart of his talk is this advice on critique: “You take it as a kind of creative pressure.”

After the morning meeting, I had just enough time to grab a double tall soy latte before the first of the week’s workshops. These are the sessions in which my peers critique each other’s work with the guidance of two faculty members. I was happy with how this went. My work was not up for critique, so that certainly helped my comfort level, but the group was refreshingly gentle and constructive. I think plain-spoken criticism is usually less successful in groups than it is one-on-one.
All right…it’s almost breakfast, so I’m going to pick this up a bit, though I have a feeling the next entry is going to be a long one…
I attended two classes. The first was a dialogue class with Ann Pancake, from which I took away some nuggets of good advice, the kind you need to keep hearing and hearing and hearing and a few exercises that I will probably adapt and use in my creative writing class this coming school year. (Yes, I’m pilfering lesson plans…) She strongly praised the book Making Shapely Fiction, which I plan to check out.
The second class was a short-short story class with Jess Walter. Walter is funny and unpretentious, which made this class engaging and relaxed. He challenged us to write the “best” short-short and email it to him by Friday for a chance to win–$10 in dining money here at the campus cafeteria.

From there I went to a graduate presentation of a critical paper, dinner, then another great reading by Lia Purpura, Gary Ferguson, and Brent Spencer, then to a bar/coffee shop where the student were gathering for snacks and drinks.

I promise the next entry will have more-more-more and a taste of the results of my attempt at the shor-short challenge.


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