“If a doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood, I’d type a little faster.” Isaac Asimov – I thought this to be the perfect quote for day six, showing the crazy, obsessive nature of writers and writing.
This morning, I gave my brain a respite from words. I slept in, took a long walk, then visited the small but interesting art museum on campus, which includes a varied collection of African masks and totems as well as painting, ceramics, and decorative arts. Here is one angle of the main room – yes, that is a sculpture of a GAP bag…
My favorite piece was this female power figure (Nkisi) from the Democratic Republic of Congo:
While yesterday’s class focused on free writes that discussed John Keats’s idea of negative capability and pushed us to wild, unpredictable places, today’s focus was more on Stephen Dobyn’s concept of the probable world and Toni Morrison’s admonition that good writing makes the familiar strange and the strange, familiar.
- Kenneth Bernard’s essay “Preparations”
- Tony Hoagland’s “Adam and Eve”
- More poems in David Kirby’s House on Boulevard Street
- An excerpt from Tim O’Brien’s “Speaking of Courage”
- Revisions of several older drafts
- free write on the topic “an intimate moment shared with a stranger”
- free write about something you can’t stop wondering about, written all in questions
- free write about a place where a life-changing event happened (focusing on images and without revealing the event)
- HW assignment (I ended up writing prose – fiction, no less!) – was to use the Tim O’Brien piece as inspiration and write about a place you/your character keeps returning to, including at least three questions and focusing on images.
I also attended a wonderful, witty reading/talk by author Carmela Ciuraru about her book Nom de Plume which explores the stories behind the pseudonyms of 16 famous and not so famous authors. She was fun and intelligent – the book sounds really interesting, and I have put it on my to-read list for the summer.
And, on the way home, these “I-think-the-apocalypse-might-be-coming” clouds over the Old Capitol: