Our morning seminar was on Making a Scene, led by A.J. Verdelle. I loved her. She showed us how scenes break down, how to tell if a scene wasn’t good, and how a scene has to be carefully managed. I learned a lot from her article that we had to read before class, and I learned more just listening to her talk. It changes the way I look at things I read, and it affects how I look at the structure of my own work.
After lunch was the first session of Large Group workshops. I wasn’t workshopped this time, but it made me feel so much better. It starts out with everyone going over what was really awesome about the piece, what really worked, and then it went into what went wrong. But everyone is very kind in their criticism. They let you know what they don’t like, what they think holds the story up, but in a way that seems to be very encouraging. I’m still nervous, but I’m so much less stressed about what my workshop will be like – which is today.
One of the readings last night was done by Jackie Davies, who wrote The Lemonade Wars. She read a bit from a novel she’s working on, and a chapter from her most recently published book, Lost. It was beautiful. She teaches a seminar later this week and I can’t wait for it.
After the readings was a reception, and I finally got a chance to talk to David Elliott. He’s still such a wonderful guy, and I’m insanely disappointed that he doesn’t teach a seminar or run a workshop that I’m in this year. He’s still my favorite teacher that I’ve ever had, and I miss having him help me figure out what to do. I have to remember to thank him, thank him, thank him for suggesting this program to me.
Rachel (another first semester WFYP student) and I managed to worm our way into a conversation with Tony Abbott and our mentor, Chris Crutcher. Both of them are great, and they managed to help me add more books to my mental “To Read” list. If I had been given a choice in mentors I don’t know that I would have picked Chris Crutcher going in, but now that I’ve met him I couldn’t be happier. I (almost) can’t wait to see how he picks my work apart today.