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Dear New York: Send beer.

I'm actually not quite sure what happened: first we were spending centuries reading and critting and sitting and talking, and the Wisdom of Chip rained gently on our heads but I was so cross-eyed tired I don't know if anything soaked in, and I thought my back would break on those workshop couches, and suddenly: week one is over. In the words of Neo: whoa.

One thing I've come to realize while listening to everyone else's critiques is that, although I tend to have pretty good insight into character development, I tend to be a sloppy reader overall. I need to train myself to read a bit more carefully, to take in the details of grammar, sentence and plot structure - just something to consider as I continue through the next five weeks.

Last night I did something quite different from my normal writing routine. First I spent a little time talking over some story problems with mroctober - I think that was the first time in the three years I've been writing that I sat down with another writer and brainstormed through my problems. Then I went down to the lounge outside the workshop room, and wrote on the laptop for several hours with a small group of Clarionites. I thought I might end up goofing off, but I got more work done in those two hours than in the previous four days.* I'm coming to realize how isolated I've been as a writer: emails and online workshops simply are no substitute for face-to-face interaction (and face-to-face critiques). It's ironic that I live in an area of the country where you can't throw a rock without hitting a writer (especially genre writers), but I've never been able to find a writing partner or a "live" workshop. I don't think this is going to change the second I get back to Jersey City, however, as understandably writing groups tend to be very protective of their environment - one new member can destroy the balance. It's just something I need to be more aware of, though. I've developed some bad habits by locking myself away at home to write, and I should probably look for a new work routine.

Tonight, I'll read over the two stories for Monday, then tomorrow and Sunday will be writing the bulk of my first story. I'm going to shoot for turning it in Tuesday or Wednesday morning, simply because I know there's going to be a glut of stories coming in on Monday morning. That should be a doable routine: flesh out the outline Wednesday through Friday, write it over the weekend, polish on Monday/Tuesday, then start the process all over again. I hope I can do it.

I'm watching "Valley of the Dolls" right now. It's pure pill-popping, crazy-ass-bitch crap - exactly what I need right now.

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EDIT: A good portion of that time, however, was spent discussing the hypnotic size and shape of David Bowie's glittery goblin cock in "Labyrinth". I think we all know who to blame for that. :)

Tags:

Marine Autumn

I owe you marine autumn
With dankness at its roots
and fog like a grape
and the graceful sun of the country;
and the silent space
in which sorrows lose themselves
and only the bright crown
of joy comes to the surface.

--Pablo Neruda.


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