SWC: 5

Things happened today. I will type them very quickly, because I am very tired. This will be the laziest, least helpful post of ever.

Talked with Laura in the morning, say, about 9:30? Then Jim and I went for a 4mile run about.

Lunch. I ate two plates of chicken something for lunch? Also, I ate some chick peas on my salad. I was really hungry.

During workshop, we discussed three stories. Things that came up for discussion (in no particular order): genre fiction versus literary fiction, especially w/r/t stories of international espionage; cliches and how even in genre fiction, weak writing is weak writing; narratives that span many years in a character's life; distance from the narrative; language as a tool for showing the reader that distance, etc; multiple climaxes (thank you John Casey for that, um, bit of terminology); narrative/plot structure in a story; characters that do bad because they think they're doing good; etc.

Christine Schutt said this during workshop and I felt really happy that she said it: "It seems very dangerous to tell a story when you know where your going with it or already know the story because then you seem to rush to the end...I get really frustrated when it seems that people haven't labored over the language enough." This is not an exact quotation, but it is very close to what she said. She said that she often writes very slowly and has to reread the sentences that she just wrote in order to start the next sentence.

Then we went to the lake again for more swimming: me, Jim, Dave Madden, Dave Mullin (i need to check that spelling, but i am feeling lazy and tired right now). I met a man who just recently started a local press called Plateau Press. I cannot find a website, but it is a small press interested in nonfiction. I chatted with this man about writing, etc, and then went swimming. I jumped off the rope swing. I did the 'run-and-jump' and did not hurt myself really, until the time I did not let go of the rope and came crashing back into the udnerbrush, scratghin up my legs. Jim did the 'run-and-jump' and got a sideways bellyflop that left a red bruise on his side for a while. Jim also lost his key in the lake by the dock, and after diving for maybe three minutes, found it again. We celebrated.

Dinner was BBQ.

Claudia Emerson read some really sad poems about past relationships, some funny, 'wicked' poems about an all girls school, and some new stuff as well that made me laugh as I listened.

Then the dance. Awkward, etc. I did not repeat my Tin House conference activities, which was smart of me. Instead, other people danced.

Now bed.