Thursday, December 6, 2012

Time to Update

What do I mean? That I finally have time to update? That it is about time I update? That NOW is the time to update? Not sure. All of the above. Whatever the time, I'm declaring my intentions!

First: This is the place where people can find out about me and my classes. It might not be the best mode for communicating that, a regular website might be better, but that involves a learning curve and this is what I have for now. I'd much rather be planning classes and writing than playing with HTML. That's just me. So for now, there will be intermittent posting and mostly it will be about writing classes. I do spend time at TPR more frequently. Generally twice a week. You are always welcome to come see me there. Or join Dianne on Mondays. As always, time requests, encouraged.

Second: The prompting of this post was the end of our Zero Draft Class. We met for the final time last night. Words have been written (by hand and by keyboard). Ideas have been fleshed out (not just the students' but my own). Narrative arcs have been revealed (not just for our stories but also for ourselves). I've learned much about the administration of a good writing exercise (Thanks be to great feedback). And it seems like I have forced plenty of epiphanies along the way (I'm like a labor and delivery nurse. I don't do the work but I can certainly make or break the experience). Hooray to beginning our bodies of work! Yay to establishing writing practice and reconnecting to youthful curiosity. Adults write so differently than the youth, but we can find our way back to those blissful musing journeys of the imagination. That is what I hear we have gotten closer to as a group. I know I can say that for myself.

Third: I have given up on writing that finished YA and that unfinished MG. They currently stand as failed experiments. I'm not sorry I failed at them. Those shelved drafts and finished products are still beautiful if misshapen. I have tried to make them right, but I couldn't do that while always trying to "fix" them. I didn't find the beauty in the things that actually make them beautiful. I didn't love them enough. It's time to embrace deformity in the things I write, in myself. It's time to be curious about why the deformities are there and what they are trying to say. The embracing is what is difference between my current writing and the writing in those old projects. I couldn't understand what the old drafts wanted to be, because I was always trying to please my readers, the market, an unknown editor, a known editor, anyone. (Please someone be pleased.) Now I am pleasing myself, a person made up of invisible, internal deformities. And perhaps the writing is all the more beautiful for the ways it fails to please. Because not only do I understand it better, but also myself. At least the failing makes it possible to pick up something new the next time and fail again. Fail better. (Samuel Beckett said that first.)