Under the Needle's Eye
Last summer marked 10 years since the six most insane and writing-intensive weeks of my life, my sojourn at
Our class also had an unusual degree of solidarity. Before we even arrived, Nalo Hopkinson scared the hell out of us with an eloquent letter on the phenomenon of stress-driven dissension, partisanship, and scapegoating at writing workshops, and we vowed in email that we'd hang together -- "no goats". That may seem a little overheated and romantic, a little high school, but that was appropriate to the occasion -- six weeks of little sleep, constant composition, constant reading, tearing each others' stories apart, and, maybe most of all, putting your (generally long-held) dreams to the test is a hell of a thing, a situation in which a certain degree of hysteria is reasonable. In any event, the vow worked; to our immense pride, we made it through the workshop with our solidarity tried but unbroken, and we are pretty much all still in touch (and in touch with some of our instructors).
To mark the occasion of our 10th anniversary -- okay, our tenth-and-a-bit-more-than-a-half anniversary -- the indefagitable, funny, and wise Emily Mah Tippets (who has been tearing up the YA romance charts on Amazon) organized a e-anthology featuring stories by 11 of us, including yours truly. It's a Kindle book (which, you know, you can read without a kindle), & for the next couple of days, it's free.
And yes, as the quote on the class t-shirt indicates, I did at one point -- pulling rank in critiquing a story, no doubt -- have to out myself as a former party clown, and describe the three(?) weeks of purgatory I spent twisting up balloon animals, getting punched in the stomach by 8-year-olds in pizza joints, and racing lost on the tangled highways of Silicon Valley while dressed as Big Bird, Batman, or Leonardo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, for Most Unique, premiere providers of party clowns in Boulder Creek, CA.Posted by benrosen at May 3, 2012 11:54 AM | Up to blog