|Adirondack chairs abound on campus|
At the Kenyon Writers Workshop as a Fellow in Rebecca McClanahan's Literary Nonfiction Workshop, June 2013:
Arrival - The friendly reception makes me feel welcome; trying to find my housing on campus makes me feel stupid.
Day 1 – Why am I doing this to myself? The social awkwardness is so uncomfortable. Walk into the dining hall: Whom to sit with? What small talk do I come up with?
Day 2 – Feel myself relaxing. My reading is over, I know my way around, and I know enough people to say hello to, go for coffee with, chat with while in line at the deli. And the workshop already has inside jokes going, so bonding is happening. Plus I discover my two housemates are really cool. We sit up late, chatting into the night.
Day 3 - A general feeling of inadequacy takes over - I don't know half the books being mentioned in class, and I'm the fellow. At least I've got a routine going. I know when I have to leave the house to make it to the computer lab to print out feedback for manuscript discussions and my writing assignment to read in class, with enough time to spare to swing by the cafeteria to get coffee before sauntering over to Ascension Hall to arrive at workshop on time.
Day 4 - I thought listening to nine pieces of writing every day in workshop, plus twenty pieces every evening at the student reading would make my head explode, but it doesn't. Instead I am enjoying the creativity. Today was my last round of conferences with workshop participants to discuss the manuscripts they sent me ahead of time. I love talking to people about their work. This is good. Now I know why I'm doing this to myself. And I love my routine; I skip dining hall dinner for cheese and crackers on the couch and work straight through until it's time to go to the readings.
Day 5 – I've been producing some new writing as I am supposed to since this is, after all, a "generative" workshop, focused on producing new work, on getting out of my comfort zone (aha! see Day 1), on stretching my writing muscles. Tonight we had an elegant dinner with the whole workshop at the Kenyon Inn, organized by the formidable Rebecca, who takes people under her wing.
|Kenyon is in Amish Country|
|The necklace was a gift from the|
workshop to me
Day 7 – See A Gift for a Fellow and Art that Went Straight to my Heart.
|Our wonderful workshop in our wood paneled seminar room in|
Ascension Hall (photo courtesy of Andrew Sidle)
Here, then, is a photo of our wonderful workshop group.