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Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

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Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Post Clarion

My week teaching at the Clarion West Writers Workshop was wonderful...and utterly exhausting! It was a great full-circle for me, since I started my writing career there when I attended it back in 1988. And oh, boy, is it a lot more plush now! Where we slept in a very spartan Seattle U dorm and hiked eight blocks to the community college classroom we used (uphill BOTH ways as I kept telling the students), the workshop now takes place in a lovely pair of sorority houses and comes with three meals a day no less. (I remember living on tuna, ramen noodles, and cabbage for six weeks).

Big discovery. It's a lot harder to be an instructor than it is to be a student! It's not just a matter of critiquing, it's a matter of teaching through that critique, keeping everything in mind that you want to get across and pulling those teaching points from the manuscripts you've been handed. Whole different ball game. But it's a really talented group this year with a nice diversity of writing interests, styles, and goals and excellent critique skills. They're lucky to have each other. And it is going to be so fun watching how these folk develop!

It's a great program, very well run, very focused on giving the students maximum experience and learning in that intense six weeks. One dark note...someone broke into the house while we were in class on Friday and stole four laptops. The SF community rallied impressively and within 48 hours enough money had been donated to replace the stolen laptops. That says a lot about the writing and reading community right there.

So it was a wonderful week, I'm not sure I would have survived a second one without collapsing, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.


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