6.12.2006

Progress 05.21 - 06.03

Workshop:

I'm working nights, now. Tuesday through Friday (with mornings on Monday — shit yeah, weekends off!). That means I have to do the workshop and get all the work I'm supposed to do during my shift done... Basically, these Tuesday's are going to be a wash.

I reserved the corner for the group at about 4:00 to make sure that we would have it, and that it wouldn't be taken by some individual with a backpack, walkman, magazine and coffee until the store closed. I took my lunch at 6:30, and then sat in with them from 7 until 8:30... So I pretty much had a two hour lunch.

It was a very informal session. Most of the people there for the 6 o'clock thing weren't even sure that there was going to be a workshop that evening. It wasn't in the monthly newsletter — due to all of the space being taken up by explaining the Jacqueline Simonds workshop.

No one was really prepared. No one brought stuff to read... I had also forgotten to bring in the third chapter of my book, so on my lunch break, I wrote two short fiction pieces. This is one, this is the other.

We just sat around and talked. Talked about horror movies (have to make a point to watch Rosemary's Baby). Talked about the books that our group is "assigned" each month, and if we are really going to read them and talk about them.

Megan asked me about what I was working on, since she wasn't there at the initial meeting when I took over and introduced myself. She hasn't even heard my first chapter... Richard also wasn't at that one, and it interested him that I was writing about prostitutes.

Interested him a little too much...

He said that I should go to the whore house outside of town for "research." And this is something that I thought about doing — just talking to women to get stories. But I'm way too introverted to do something like that... He said that I could write it off on my taxes, and I suppose I would have to pay the women for their time talking. But I think that he was insinuating that I do something else that would necessitate the payment... Yeah, I'm not too into that scene.

But he wouldn't let it go... He also said that I should check out the HBO show Cat House, and while I've heard about it, I don't really want to watch the show. My book isn't about how the whole system works — sure, there's plenty of that in there, but if I put all of that kind of stuff in there that I was initially planning to, I would be about ten to fifteen chapters longer (thus losing the magikal significance of there being fifty-two chapters), and it would lose the pacing and get boring.

My book is about the characters. The plot is just the frame which displays them and their stories... Sure, the plot — the overall plot idea — was there from the very beginning. But it wasn't until I discovered the characters and what they wanted and what their lives were like, that I saw how I could make the frame into more than just a messy utilitarian thing. I could make it just as much a work of art as the art it was meant to serve in showing off...

I left them to get back to work, and they stayed around for about another hour. Still talking... And that's what I like almost more than reading my stuff. Just talking to people. Other writers. People that I can understand. People that I can have a dialogue with. That I can glean insight from, and impart crazy theories.

A good group of people, and I'm glad that I decided to go ahead and do this.


Personal:

Did not do much writing at all... Had a bad couple of weeks in my personal life. Just wrote about that in letters to try to get outside my own head and see if there were things I could do to fix it all.

Didn't really get anything done that made me feel like I had done something.

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