Sunday, September 21, 2008


Oh my goodness. I didn’t mean to neglect my blog for so long. I am doing all the things you do when you are in grad school. Reading a lot. Writing a lot. Grading freshman papers. Trying to get to know my classmates better – all of whom I like so far.

My first workshop went well, and now I’m working on two different stories. If I can pull together three or four really good drafts by the end of the semester, I’ll work on revising them over the break and having them to submit to journals during their spring reading period. This feels really doable.

The two stories I am working on are for my next two workshops. The first is on October 31, and the second will fall later in the semester. In my workshop class, I only get two workshops all together. The one on Ocotober 31 is a terribly frightening added bonus, and it doesn’t take place in the safety of my class. Rather, my story is submitted to every MFA student in the department.

Tim O’Brien teaches workshops every other year. The year he doesn’t teach, he comes in to do 3 workshops in the fall and 3 in the spring. You have to sign up to get one, and it’s first come, first serve. So on Halloween Tim O’Brien is going to workshop my story. I’ve heard he is fairly harsh, actually, that he will rip you to shreds. At the end of one student’s crit two years ago, he said that although the story worked technically, etc. he couldn’t help getting to the end and asking, “Who cares?” Ouch. I’m trying really hard not to give him a ‘who cares’ story. Especially because the workshop is open to everyone in the department to observe and take part in.

Okay. I’m feeling incapable of writing any worthwhile entries right now. A lot is going on, but I guess I’m digesting. Or still chewing. So I’m going to ask you to humor me for a while until a blog comes to me. For now, I’m going to use this space to do five- minute writing exercises.

I’ll give myself a topic, an image, a line I’ve overheard someone speak, and just free-write for five minutes. I expect that some of it will be really bad, but I won’t edit. Which is why you’ll need to humor me.

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