Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Party's Over

I'm glad to be home. Or should I say, "I'm ecstatic to be home," or what about "I feel ecstatic when I'm back in Kansas, Toto." Here's the thing--I cannot write anything now without realizing I need to re-write it. For instance, that first sentence had a "be" verb and a weak adjective. The second still had the "be." The third meets the criteria but does not say exactly what I meant, which would be what I said in the first sentence. I have a long life ahead of me if I must face repeated "do-overs," as we used to say in four square games.

Today I shared a one-on-one meeting in the conference library with a distinguished author/former editor/teacher. I really, really respect him, even though by the time he finished critiquing me I felt as if he had ripped into my writing with a pocket knife and gauged the table underneath. Just kidding. It was more like an X-acto knife.

He has published 24 books, over 20,000 magazine articles and has appeared on 20/20, CNN and the Today Show. One of his special focuses is uncovering hazing incidents, to completely understate his work on that topic.

So we sat down, and he complimented my work, and then we jumped right in. It was so good. I learned so much. All joking aside, he was very kind and very encouraging. But when it was over, I realized how nervous that expereince made me. My sessions in his class and that one-on-one coaching was worth the price of the workshop.

More "Zany Writer" stories today. At the end of each session, the attendees could ask the speaker questions. During one Q/A time, I was so tired I was tuned out until I heard, "What do you do when you have too many villains?" The resulting discussion led to the writer's description of her novel, including the following characters: barbarians, a queen who mothered the bastard child and wants to kill her great uncle, a shape shifting telepathic, and my favorite, flying horses, who are the good guys. I thought, "Yes, you need some more good guys. How about parachuting Care Bears who land and then engage in battle by catapulting mini-marshmallows as cannon balls?" Her novel will probably be the next blockbuster, but I just don't appreciate fantasictical fiction, I guess.

Anyway, I be happy to be home. I mean, I experience euphoria within my domestic cocoon. What I mean is,I can't wait to lay my head on my pillow and dream about winged horses and fluffy Care Bear warriors.

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