Monday, June 2, 2014

Novel Workshop Day 1


Day 1 mostly involved driving across eastern Colorado and Kansas, Denver to Lawrence, which is a drive I haven't done since my college days when I continued on to Columbia, Mo. I had a George R.R. Martin audiobook to keep me company. Western Kansas is like driving on a treadmill, except that the crosswinds are a bear.

After about 10 hours on the road, I parked in front of the residence hall on the KU campus about 7 p.m. Here's the view from the street:

I went inside to find that I was late. The combined novel and short-fiction workshops had already finished dinner and were going through the logistical need-to-know stuff for the next two weeks. The groups split up, and we novel workshoppers talked for a while about how the process will go. It's going to be exciting, but also nerve-wracking, intense and a lot of hard work.

I just have to remind myself, when it comes my turn for the hive mind to pick apart my outline, that failure on my first attempt at writing a novel outline is expected and that if it were perfect, there'd be no reason for me to be here.

By the time I headed upstairs to my room to unpack, I was exhausted. But being in a new place with strange noises (I'm right next to the elevator, which means every time it goes up or down, it sounds like it's doing it in my room) and a hard bed, I didn't sleep well. At least in the suite I'm sharing with a fellow workshopper, we have our own bathroom.

This morning so far has been: find a bagel shop with free coffee refills (to compensate for my no-sleep-zombie state), go through my exercise routines, shower and do some grocery shopping.

The walk downtown to the bagel shop was nice, but humid. After six years in Colorado, I'm not used to the humidity east of the Great Plains. It's like breathing soup.

We're about to head to the KU Union to get some lunch, and then it'll be time to start the workshop in earnest this afternoon.

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