Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh the horror of workshop...

Workshop strikes again. It's like an unsexy vampire, bleeding me of my life force (aka creativity), leaving just a sack of fat-laced bones. Oh the horror.

[Oh... happy belated Turkey Day. I hope yours was as full of family drama as mine.]

I think I've pinpointed what exactly I dislike about workshop: How I feel stupid immediately afterward. I feel like I give these off the wall, pointless reads for peoples stories, often times completely missing the mark. I hate that I feel so useless--they probably look at my comments and then toss them over their shoulder with grunt. It's exhausting being (or feeling) this stupid. Stupid Kanya (inside joke between me and a spoon)! I have one more week of workshop and then a long, much needed, winter break.

During break I hope to do a few things:
  • Think seriously about my novel and send letters to agents (or publishers). I cannot put this off any longer. My friend sent me this great quote this weekend: "Good novels are written by people who are not frightened." (George Orwell). I am frightened... but I won't be soon.
  • Write more short stories to prepare for the next round of workshop, and hopefully stop writing about creepy, dark things. As one guy in class wrote in his note to me: "You definitely have a bead on whacky mothers and taboo subject matter -- rape, incest, etc.". Geesh, how oddly creepy of me. I worry that I'll be typecast as the "girl who writes about molestation and rape" because a couple of my stories did have such undertones. I'm not as concerned with people perceiving me as an abused adult writing their life into their fiction as I am about the "dark and creepy" aspect of my writing. Why does it need to be dark to be "literary" (as my mind interprets it). Why, oh why, couldn't I write my circus love story instead? Shit, even that had dark themes about malformed fire breathers and self hatred. I'm starting to wonder if these reoccurring themes in my writing are a product of my subconscious screaming.
  • Work a lot because I'm super broke right now :(.
  • Work on driving in the snow (eep!)
I have to read "Jesus in a Confederate Flag" out loud on Wednesday. I'm working on it... I think it's OK, but we'll see. I'm trying to make it 10 pages, but honestly, that's not going to happen.

Thanks for listening to me blab.

Picture explanation: Sometimes you just gotta let go and read some steamy stuff.


Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

Why does it need to be dark to be "literary"

I think this is my problem as well. My writing sample to get in was a character that had been drugged and date raped, and another that had had an abortion that she'd never really come to terms with. Now I'm the chick writing about death. I tell myself "I'm working through something" and that's why the death theme reoccurs ... but why does it need to be something big, ugly and weighty? There's a great couple of articles in the Writer's Chronicle about this (I think AWP schools get free copies) :)

jlk said...

I don't think you should worry about what your subjects are. They are what they are. Look at John Irving (former UNH student, by the way). He writes a lot about death. I just wrote three poems with crows in them and then an entire poem called "In Praise of Crows". Why crows? I have no frickin' idea.


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