Sunday, January 13, 2008

Back from Residency

I am back from a week-long creative writing residency, the second of four residencies. I am almost half-way to the MA in creative writing!
It was harder to leave this residency than the first one back in June. Relationships are stronger and we're all getting ready to delve into our capstone projects. The amount of talent in my cohort is just incredible. The chemistry of our group is also incredible. Combine the two, and we have a killer support group at hand to help us all achieve success with our novels, memoirs, plays, screenplays and poetry collections. Aside from having been assigned our faculty mentors, we still all have each other to get advice and support from as we continue our trek.

I learned so much in the past seven days. A lot about myself and a lot about the writing life and profession. For example, at the oral interpreation classes, I learned that I move my feet a lot and I also learned that fecal denial is a subject that people enjoy. (I need to work on my presentation skills.) But seriously, I learned that it's not easy to be a professional writer, that much I know. But with the support of my newly named mentor, Becky Bradway, I know that I will get great, solid guidance toward my capstone manuscript.
One piece of advice I will take with me. I learned from another faculty member, Bev D'Nofrio that the truth is more important than anything when writing a memoir- I was worried what some people may think, or that I would hurt feelings. So, I think that as I write I am going to learn a lot about myself. But more importantly, I should not hide details if they are part of the story, no matter how painful they are. I do have humor as a guise though - I intend to use humor to overpower any serious issues. The reader will know they are there, however. The best example of this is Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs. I am really looking to him style for a model.

I could go on and on about the week at Wilkes. If anyone out there is yearning to be a writer- you need to look into this program. Search my blog by keyword "wilkes" to read all about the residency last June as well. Good times.

Back to unpacking. Back to my normal life.

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