Thursday, December 3, 2009

Novels in the Making

I kind of hated to leave the warm house yesterday afternoon. The weather was perfect for the Canada geese at river -- not so much for driving.

But I soldiered on into Asheville, wipers slapping, defroster roaring, to be there for the final meeting of my fall fiction workshop. There were five separate first or second chapters awaiting the class's attention. Obviously I had no choice.

After a quick stop at Accent on Books to pick up another box of Christmas cards (I always forget how many friends we exchange cards with,) I called on my friend Josie to chat and have a cup of tea in our usual pre-class ritual. And while I was comfortably ensconced on her love seat, outside the window the sky began to clear and do wonderful things.

Speaking of wonderful things (note clever transition,) this has been an especially talented class. And wildly diverse in their choice of subject matter too. We've got women's fiction, alternative history (Revolutionary War,) cozy mystery, drug cartel thriller, paranormalish thriller, past life regression story, straight mystery, historical fiction (pirates Mary Read and Ann Bonney and the foppish Captain Jack Rackham, for whom someone in class came up with the term swishbuckler. Which cracked us all up. Then I found out, courtesy Mr. Google, that it's a known term and there's a movie of that name coming out soon. We thought we were so clever.)

Once again, the class has been fun. I feel privileged to share what little I know about this baffling business and hope that I help my students some and pray that I don't discourage them any.

Except for the money part -- I do always warn them that they better not quit their day jobs.

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Miss_Yves said...

Another post about Joan Baez:

I'll come back later to read your post, I only noticed you are writing a new novel !

Poetry24 said...


Years ago, during a local radio interview, the show host (my newspaper editor at the time) asked if I was bothered about this week's article being tomorrow's fish and chip wrapping. The answer was no then and it's still no today. Writers write and more power to them for that.

Vagabonde said...

I have such admiration for good writers. From my little post I can see how difficult it is to find the right word. I am never satisfied with my posts as I find them too flat and elementary and wish my prose was more flowing. I like your picture of the tree branches and the bit of sky behind – it does look cool in both sense of the word.

Vicki Lane said...

Not a new one for me, Miss Yves. I'm still trying to finish my sixth.

Yep, Martin, if writers wanted immortality, most would do better to go into stonecarving.

Vagabonde -- but you're not writing in your mother tongue, are you? I have such admiration for all you polyglots out there.

Tammy said...

Your class sounded like such fun! Too bad you are so far away, it'd be tempting to take your class, just to glean knowledge and enjoy the creative atmosphere.

Sheila said...

Doggone that money thing anyway. Want/need of it inhibits too much reality. Money's only printed paper or today, digital. Thankfully Shakespeare didn't stop writing for want of money. Would love to be a fly on the wall during those workshops, but then I'm sure I'd not be content to sit on the wall and somebody'd swat me as I buzzed excitedly or circled in for a better view.

Vicki Lane said...

It's a joy to me to watch what was, in some cases, an amorphous bunch of ideas begin to sound like a story. It's wonderful to get to the end of a piece and find myself wishing there were more. And now and then there are some Oh Wow moments that blow me away.

It's also terrific to hear what good ideas the class has for getting a piece back on track when it's wandering.

I think Shakespeare actually made a living with his writing -- not something that many writers (including myself) can claim. There are lots of us slaving away for the love of the craft and/or with the hope of the elusive brass ring someday.

vicki archer said...

Wish I could have been in your class Vicki...and I totally agree with your last little piece of wisdom, xv

Carol Murdock said...

If only I could take your class,I would be one happy lass! :)

Vicki Lane said...

I've mentioned to my boss that I think an online class could work -- could even use for one-on one conferences. We'll see if he want to pursue it.

And Carol, Poetry is two doors down. ;-)