Monday, August 2, 2010

Home Again


Wow. I just had my life radically altered by Clarion West Writers Workshop. I wish someone had told me coming home would be like ripping my heart out.

It was lovely. It was terrifying. It was complex and full of joy and discovery. It was everything I ever wanted and then some, including things I didn't even know I needed and a bunch of new best friends.

I didn't blog about it during because it's just too damn hard. Some folks did in the past, and I really appreciated their efforts, for giving me a window into that life-changing event before I attended the workshop. I learned that every workshop class has a different experience, that the time we're given is shaped by us, the participants, but there are lots of commonalities, too. Read and compare, if you are a future hopeful.

Over the next few weeks, I'll attempt to reconstruct some of the narrative of my experience there. But it'll be mostly for me, I think. The last six weeks have been so intense and important to my life as a person and as a writer, and I need to decompress and process some of that data, if you know what I mean.

In the meantime, here's photo #1, arrival and unpacking.

8 comments:

JohnR said...

I'd like to ditto Utopiana on lovely, terrifying, complex, joy, discovery. :)

Yay, you! I can't wait to read your posts--I've been planning something similar, but I wish I had at least taken one or two word notes on everything that happened each day. I'm afraid that so many little, valuable memories are already gone forever. Maybe if we all start blogging, we can piece together and process the experience.

I'm dreading going to work tomorrow, and explaining these precious and significant six weeks to well-intentioned folks who would find it difficult to get what happened, you know?

Brian said...

Glad to hear you made it home. I look forward to talking to you soon.

Ink Gorilla said...

::on the edge of seat with anticipation::


(should also probably do one of those updates, too.)

Utopiana said...

Thanks! Yeah, coming home is a tough adjustment, and well-meaning folks don't quite understand. But we made some solid memories, and I want to capture as much as I can here. Feel free to add on!

@Brian, thanks! Hope to talk with you soon.

JohnR said...

So, the question is, how to structure the narrative? Straight chronological is the most tempting. I'm trying to resist that. Maybe thematic, non-linear? Maybe we can try a triple woven narrative with Inky G?

I think I'm going to layer mine. Narratives within narratives. At least three of them: external life, Clarion, weekly stories. Or am I being too ambitious for my available time again?

Utopiana said...

This does sound ambitious. I've been drafting posts and shooting for a linear narrative, but so much seems to have slipped through the cracks that linear feels stunted. I'm going to reframe and focus on the learning experience, friends, and family. This is for me/us Clarionites, but I'm also thinking of how it might be of use to future students.

Maybe the triple narrative would be useful for the new website when it's up?

Thanks, John.

JohnR said...

Yeah, I'm wondering about our various audiences, and how best to reach each one (including the author!) A straightforward description would help future CWers prep, and I know I relied heavily on snippets from others' narratives.

Lauren said...

I'm going for meta-narrative, meselfs...I can't wait to read how you guys write about it. Also, people have started asking me how it was and my responses have so far been..."It was awesome!" "It was mind blowing!" "It wrinkled my brain!" accompanied with various hand-explosion mimings.