I attended Kathy Stinson's writing seminar, the first of three to be held this year as part of the Kitchener Public Library's Writer in Residence program. At the library, I met a librarian who remembered my name, and who had recently visited this blog. She noted that I had "bashed the Kitchener Public Library website". Oops! Actually, she tells me that the website is being redesigned, and perhaps my comments will push the process along a little faster. Whew!
At 7:15, Ms. Stinson arrived and talked for a good hour-and-a-half about techniques for writing, how to think of things to write about, and how to make time in order to write about them. She recommended a number of books, one of which (Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott) is in our collection.
She also gave us some writing exercises. For the first one, she told us to write "There's this book I haven't written yet" on a sheet of paper, and then to keep on writing until she told us to stop. Five minutes later, this is what I read to the class:
There's this book I haven't written yet. It frightens me. I feel it seeping into my heart, across my chest, and down my arm, but I won't let it move my hand. Not yet. I'm not ready for what it will tell me.
So I divert my hand. I write fluff. I write cheesy stories about young romance. I write sci-fi action adventure. My mind writes. My heart does not.
That was fun.
The attendees at this seminar were given first crack at signing up for the seminar two weeks from now on the craft of novel writing. I'm definitely going.