Weekend at Sara’s
I’ve just returned from my first-ever writing workshop weekend, and what an amazing experience it was. In a flurry of emails, online posts, and overall mass confusion, all three of my classmates and I decided we were going to make an effort to get together with our mentor (the lovely and talented Sara Pritchard) at some point during the semester. So this past weekend, we hailed from different parts of the Northeast and converged in Morgantown West Virginia, where we talked and laughed and lifted a glass together and, oh yes, worked. There’s something about the energy in a room full of people sharing the personal and intimate experiences of their writing. Here are a few of the memorable moments (that I hope my classmates embellish on should they stumble upon this post) …
- Nightcaps and enlightening conversation in room 713 at the Hotel Morgan: “Writing is a lonely endeavor,” Val said and explained how a painter can sit in a room with a group of people or turn on the radio to keep her company as she works. But writing is different. With writing, you sit in a quiet room all alone, with the door (metaphorical or otherwise) closed. The experience is uniquely singular. Few can relate to it. And no one can share it.
A lonely endeavor, indeed.
- Gluten Free Chicken Marbella!
- Fay on the buffet nibbling on a wedge-sized portion of Sara’s favorite cheese
- Mary’s transcendental dream sequences and the stages of grief
- Figgy’s friendly kisses
- Michael’s rhythmic rendition of poached egg mornings, the hardware store, and the Cha Cha King
- Me shamelessly sobbing in front of everyone as I read a passage from my memoir … “After three days in the hospital, I had some upper GI tests, and then a CAT scan. The stomach cramps hit me right after the scan. I was sitting in my wheelchair, alone in the hallway and doubled over in pain when my dad came in for one of his visits. I knew how it must have looked—his only daughter doubled over in a wheelchair, dressed in only a hospital gown and attached to an IV, all skin and bones and hurt. I wished I could pretend it didn’t hurt.”
- Hearing and sharing in the experience of the amazing writing, reading, and critiques of my enviably talented classmates
- And the all-time favorite quote of the weekend (better even, than the story of the “Hot organ”)… “When I got out of school I joined the circus.”