Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Last Kerry Class for this year

Sadly the class I'm taking with Kerry Madden is over. All that is left is the reading at Vroman's on Sunday at 3:00. The opportunity to read to an audience is rare for unpublished writers and it's essential for writers to read to see whether or not what a person is writing actually works. So after six weeks of learning from Kerry,, playing, typing away, getting to know the writers in the class, we get the added bonus of reading at a real book store in front of a real audience. I haven't decided yet what I'll read, but more about that later. First I want to talk a little about what this class have given me.

Having Monday evening deadlines has been a god-send during a time when there are so many distractions. It's fall already. That means HOLIDAY season. (Is XMAS a four-letter word to any one else out there?) There are the three holidays that prepare us for the big holiday: Labor day being the gunshot heard around the water cooler, Halloween being fun and fattening, reminding us that if we keep this up, by January we'll have gained another thirty pounds, Thanksgiving being the holiday where we realize we must now ask for a whole new wardrobe for Christmas because we've GAINED that thirty pounds, and then the DAY. More food, more family, more work...well, I can't stand to even type about it. The point is this is MAJOR DISTRACTION. Kerry's class has allowed me to remain in blessed denial about that four-letter word (no disrespect intended against the original meaning of Christmas. I'm bitching about the trappings!)

Second distraction: the remodel. Yes, it is a small remodel. Yes, we do need to stop the Hoover dam above our breakfast room from leaking, but the timing!!! I quit my job so I could write and wouldn't you know that after two years of searching for a contractor, he pops up NOW. I am grateful and Juan is so conscientious and reliable I want to clone him and turn him into doctor, lawyer, insurance salesman, etc. but I still have to listen to a daily cacophony of hammers and compressers. At least I think that's some kind of compresser on my back porch. Soooo Kerry. Monday deadline. No time to really worry about the two x fours blocking my back door. I have to get another chapter polished for my class.

But now it's over. And I have to rely on my own self-discipline to get my writing done. This could be trouble, but I don't think so. I have such a buzz from all the good writing I've seen in this class, the kindness and astute insights from Kerry, and the fun of getting back into my book that I should be okay. That's why I'm posting this so I can read and reread it to remind myself that I can do this thing.

And the whole experience ends with me having the opportunity to read for an audience! I have to admit, I love doing it. I love to read anything aloud, especially from great authors, but it's okay too when I read from me. It's a confidence thing because when you work on something, fret over it, rewrite every word, question every emotion, polish it until you're ready to barf, then put it out there, you are giving something back to the world. (Yes, you may be giving something bad to the world, but they can at least see you are striving toward good), you are opening yourself up to others and saying, "Look, I trust you. I hope you can feel some emotion that with give you a start, a tweak of hope, a little reaction that all's right with the world." If I can get that sense, then I'll keep doing it. And I want to keep doing it, so I'll work hard to create that emotion in others. One of those vicious cycles I guess. But the good kind. I need a name for that. Visceral cycle? Nah. Something will come to me.

So, Sunday at 3:00, I think I'll read "One Question."

2 comments:

Pam Tartaglio said...

Hi, Gay! Relax about your reading; I'm sure yours will be excellent. They always are. I'm sure my family is not expecting much from any of us.

I hope the glow from Kerry's class is still with you and you have got some writing done this week.

Pam

Gay Degani said...

Actually, Pam, I started a new story and wrote over 2000 words (though not the RIGHT words, I'm sure) over the last two days. The story can only be 4000 because I'm going to send it to the WC Popular fiction contest, deadline November 1, so I'll be cutting, cutting, cutting. You might consider entering that contest. It's very cool for me because there aren't many places to place a mystery short story. Find out more here.