Honestly? I'm homesick. It's been a month. We're forced to live together, work together, eat together - while we are largely a very diplomatic group, the fact is, it's a terrible strain. Outside the workshop, the center does not hold. However, for the most part, nothing has happened that I didn't anticipate. Everyone's acted exactly as I thought they would under this type of pressure. No, I'm not going to further elaborate on that statement. We've lost one person due to work: B.K. Dunn found a job in California, and left this Friday. His stories were very entertaining, and didn't quite fit the mold of what people expect genre fiction to be, which was refreshing - I'll miss him, and wish him the best.
Two weeks left. Thank fucking god.
I got two packages last week - one from my sister, packed with enough food to last me the rest of my stay here, and one from a former Clarionite. Evidently there is a tradition that one Clarionite from the previous class picks one member of the current class to send a "goody box" to - Andy Wolverton (of the 2005 class) sent me a box packed full of Doritos, note pads, red pencils, finger puppets, plushies, playing cards, Silly String, a Hot Wheels car, a novel ("A Stir of Bones" - YEAH!) and sweet, sweet Tylenol. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was just to have a big box of toys, snacks and books to play around with - it took the edge off of a rather strange week. I look forward to carrying on the tradition next year, and sending a Week Four package to someone in the Class of '07.
I didn't talk about my one-on-one with Nancy Kress, only because there wasn't much to say - the same is true with Joe and Gay. Nancy confirmed the flaws in my fiction that both Chip and Michael saw. Joe and Gay both loved "Brimstone Orange", and felt "Take Your Daughters to Work" (my Lovecraft story) worked very well on as is, but could use a bit of reworking, if I wanted. We spoke about my reluctance to write science fiction, and Joe felt I should write to my strengths, and not worry about what I can't/don't want to write about. I agreed, although I think it's amusing that the next day, I got the idea for my first SF story. While Nancy was very much a "details" teacher, the Haldemans were more of the "sit back and look at the whole picture" type of teacher. I think we needed that this week - many were coming down from a three week writing frenzy, and needed some time off. Besides, I think that for the most part the class has picked up on the technical details that Delany, Swanwick and Kress hammered into our heads. The writing is improving - I can tell that even in the most rushed of stories.
My next workshopped piece, the big-ass novelette "Summer of Love", will be critiqued on Monday. Oh sweet jebus save us all.
That's all for now. Time to write.