Monday, June 21, 2010

Arrival and Ecstasy

If you've been reading along, you know I'm at the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, Washington, which is amazing and surreal and a bunch of other words that don't tell much. I will probably post irregularly, and I am beginning to understand why it is officially discouraged. There is far too much other activity and purpose here to spend it doing any writing other than fiction.

Having said that...

The house is like a palace on the bottom (where we eat and talk) and an institution on the top floors (where the writers sleep and work). The administrators are praise-worthy in the extreme. I already feel like I've known them a while, and they work hard to meet our every need (or demand). I nearly fell out of my chair this morning when they announced that there would be a massage therapist coming to the house at intervals to service our cramping shoulders and backs. The food is incredible and constantly available: I will probably gain back every pound I lost in May and then some.

The people, the other writers, are delightful. We're all very different but share that one intensity of purpose. It's sort of like being on a nerdy con panel but small, intimate and regular. So far I've seen work from nine of the eighteen, and they have serious chops. It's good company.

Our first instructor, Michael Bishop, has made me think more about narrative theory in seven or so hours than I've ever done before. Not everything we're discussing is new to me, but bringing it all into focus in one place, and then sitting down to write minutes later, has already produced writing of which I can be proud.

Description is inadequate to convey the experience. Suffice it to say, I'm having a blast though I miss my family, and today I ate a Vegemite sandwich for the first time ever.

Now, back to writing.

5 comments:

tericay said...

Glad it sounds so excellent, we'll try to take good care of your family till you get back!

Aika Sumeragi said...

Sounds Pretty freakin awesome so far! Good luck and I hope it just keeps getting exponentionally better!
Aika

Utopiana said...

Thanks, everyone! This is a really intense experience. I'm learning so much I think my brain going to pop out.

I'm blessed to have such supportive family and friends.

Penumbra said...

I am so so happy for you. This is a super event and one which will effect you in many ways for many years. I miss you horribly. Daniel and I plan to see airbender with the boys so we will keep their spirits up. You carry so much of all our spirits with you I hope it is a source of strength and not a burden.

I have plans for CUUPS I cannot wait to discuss - but I will - I want you to gather every ounce of inspiration and encouragment from this adventure.

Wishing you bright blessings, sweet water and warm laughter along your path.

As always
Lyle

Utopiana said...

I miss you, too, Lyle! I hope you guys are keeping busy there. Sometimes on Sundays I'm grumpier than usual, thinking about what I'm missing.