Saturday, June 7, 2008


According to their website the workshop is like boot camp and focuses heavily on exercises to spark the generation and revision of new work.

I specifically chose to apply to this workshop because I'm now a full year out from having been in any sort of workshop setting. And because I spend a solid 75% of my time with people under the age of four. And because I never have quiet moments to write. I have somewhat less busy moments, but I'm always somewhat on the edge, just waiting for the next alarm to sound, for the next poop-cident to drag me miles away from any sort of creative and industrious moment.

I chose Kenyon because I need some alone time to write. And I chose a workshop over say, renting a hotel room by myself for a week, because I need to surround myself with like-minded people. Otherwise, I would no doubt spend my afternoon's alone wandering antique shops or my evenings staring at mindless television, while the screen saver swirls over the laptop monitor (which would be on a table surrounded by pints of fat-free ice cream and crumpled bags of cheddar flavored Quakes and whatever other food I can never eat around my kids without them clammoring for more, more, more.)

I need the space, but I also need the boot, so to speak.

But, now only a week away from arriving, I'm feeling more than a little overwhelmed. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm dreading it, because I certainly am not. I'm very much looking forward to it. I'm just anxious. Mostly because the story I used to apply to the program has since been accepted for publication (yay) - so I opted to submit a different sample, a story -gulp- that I have doubts about. No one asked me to do this, this was all me.

What was I thinking? That I would love being torn apart (sorry, constructively criticized)? That my ego could use a good thrashing?

Obviously not. I'm no masochist. No, I decided to submit the story-in-question, in an uncharacteristic moment of rational thought. For that strange short moment of clarity before pressing send, I understood that whatever issues I'm having with this story, I haven't been able to fix on my own - so it might be good to get the help of fellow writer's.

I haven't had too many moments like that since then. Then again, I've been dealing with other matters here (fleas, for one - ugh). Which again, brings me back to why I applied to the workshop in the first place.

Time to find my big girl pants and just get it over with.


Penultimatina said...

You are going to have so much fun! And you will be so productive! I am jealous. :)

Begone, fleas! Our five cats got them last summer, and I went nuts until we spent the $$ and got the frontline, and all was suddenly good again.

Wave to Akron as you pass by!

PS--I hear you on the Quakes...they are a staple here.

Mella said...

Frontline, 'eh? We've been using the generic stuff, but after the way these past two weeks have been, maybe it's time to shell out the cash. Thanks!

Dan Wickett said...

Congrats on getting into Kenyon's workshop - there are many an author who give much credit to that workshop for giving them the final kick they needed - Kellie Wells, Ad Hudler, and at least one other, Keith Banner, come to mind.

Good luck!

Mella said...

Thanks Dan, I'm looking forward to it.