A “seven” quote for day 7 that shows how I’m feeling about some of the writing that I’m doing: I can’t write five words, but I change seven. - Dorothy Parker
A “seven”quote for today that shows that, no matter how much I think I know, I am sorely lacking in wisdom: Just because the f***er’s got a library card doesn’t make him Yoda! (from the movie Seven).
Got to have lunch with a wonderful writer I met here last year in a manuscript workshop. Carol Tyx, a professor who lives here in Iowa City, just had her first book picked up for publication -having read the manuscript last year in workshop, I am very happy for her! Once it comes out, I will be sure to give you the update here.
Today’s workshop focused on voice, and I have to admit that I wasn’t really feeling the exercises. But that’s okay. Part of it is fatigue – my brain is about done, I think – and part of it was the actual prompts. First we chose pseudonyms and were supposed to write something under the pseudonym that we would not want/dare to write under our own name. Maybe I’m just boring, but I couldn’t really connect with anything that needed to hide behind a pen-name. Then we traded pen names with someone else and tried to write in that voice. That was a little more fun, but I didn’t care for what I wrote. We had a long discussion about some persona poems (Mark Halliday’s “Bonnie” and a poem by a writer named Josh Humphry called “The Twenty-Four Hours” that was stunning). We also read some Halliday poems that used a tone of indifference, which was our last exercise – to write in our own voice, but to try and focus on completely mundane facts and language. Today was the first day I didn’t feel like I created something that I would work on again, but six out of seven is not too shabby of an average.
I’m all packed up as I need to check out in the morning before I head over to class, and then I will be rolling my way back home down I-80 in time for my big 5-0 birthday on Saturday. The week has been exhausting, relaxing, exhilarating, challenging, and educational – everything that I expect when I come here. I renewed some old friendships and made a few new ones. And I have a wealth of both material and ideas to keep me focused for the rest of the summer.
Since the work environment here can seem almost mystical or magical at times, the sprinklers that run every night in the field outside my hotel room window seem to be a fitting last photo: