Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Writers in Paradise, Free Day

Ha. Not really a free day, though I did manage to get to my yoga class!

I'm catching up on the last manuscripts. I should have noted at the beginning that each of us submitted up to 25 pages of a non-fiction piece. And everyone reads and marks it up like crazy. Serious work.

The workshop I'm in is called Life Into Words. On the first day, when we went around the table and described why we were there and what we were working on, I confessed to the group (there are 12 of us in my section) that I was here because of Ann Hood. She writes memoir, fiction, essays, even a YA book. So I figured I'd learn how to put "life" into words on many levels. Here's the description of our workshop:

"Life into Words"
This workshop explores several modes of creative nonfiction, including essays, cultural criticism, humor, and memoir. The boundaries between fiction and nonfiction will be explored as well as the narrative techniques which best convey the truths of a particular moment. Discussion will touch upon the process of structuring life experiences into a book length work.

Of course, most of the participants are working on very personal stories. Some life-threatening, some horrific. We were cautioned early on, by Ann, that we are not critiquing the life event, but rather the writing. We are not commenting on the story, rather we are like mechanics trying to fix the story. Ann, who pulls no punches and is not falsely positive but is a true mechanic, with her box of tools, digs in to help us all.

At the end of the workshop, I'll try to compile a list of the books we've talked about. Stay tuned.

Now back to work.

No comments: