Les Semaines

June 25, 2006

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal

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First Week of Clarion West 2006

The way Paul Park teaches is not the Milford/Clarion workshop standard. Instead of running the usual crit circle, he has the class focus on parts of stories, doing short assignments focusing on them, then reads them aloud without their names on them, and has the class discuss them, drawing out threads and elements to enrich them. He asks questions which really make the class think, and draws out of them things that I don't think they knew that they knew. It's amazing to see them visibly start thinking deeply about stories and what makes them tick and what makes them come alive. He also reads terrific stories to them, which is an utter delight to sit in on.

It's amazing to watch the process as they work on first setting, then character, then plot.I think these students had the best possible first week.

Paul's reading was wonderful, too, from his new novel Tourmaline.

In other news: Yay, Mom is safely home in Victoria, back with Dad and the dogs.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

Still loving the new Regina Spektor album. It's delightful and bears repeated listenings well. We've also started getting discs from lala.com, replacing some vinyl we've never wanted to spend the money to replace, replacing some tapes, filling out our collections of other artists, and finding new homes for a lot of things we never listen to anymore.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Didn't finish anything this week.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Despite all the excitement of the workshop beginning, we had our monthly writing retreat with Karen and Barry, this time at their house as Barry just had knee replacement surgery (yes, the same as my mother, though I think he had the other knee replaced). He's recovering well.

I did have a really productive day, working on the new novel and getting it past a small stall out. I was very happy to have gotten so much done!

Alas, I still haven't gotten the CD out the door. Can't find enough of a quiet time to concentrate on sorting out the poem order.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

On hiatus.

last week's old journal § next week's old journal

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