|the little cubby in the corner|
I’m staying in this adorable little house. When I walked in, this spiral staircase with the bookshelf tucked underneath is what I saw first. It is so peaceful and simply charming. It makes me smile.
Today started with a tour of the Mailer House. What an interesting life Norman Mailer lived. He was controversial in many ways and passionate about his work and Provincetown. He won the Pulitzer Prize twice. He was a founder of the Village Voice, a novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director. He was prolific and wrote everything long-hand, much of that from his tiny attic study.
I’ve been thumbing through his book: The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing and found that someone circled “So I learned to write by writing.” I like that. It seems like an interesting book, and might be the first book on writing that has a chapter that talks about masturbation. He didn’t believe in it. His view on masturbation as it pertains to life and our connection to the world and beauty has blown my mind.
This morning we started the workshop with Lenore Hart and a critique session. She read my first ten pages aloud and the group critiqued and discussed their impressions of my work. I had to sit silently until they were done. (So hard to resist talking!)
For those of you who have not yet joined a critique group or if your crit group doesn’t have this as a rule, this is so hard to do, and yet so vitally important. I’m glad my crit group does this so I had experience sitting still while fighting the urge to jump in with explanation. The work needs to stand on its own. So, as I listened to my pages being read I could hear the places where the pacing was off, or where the word choice was clunky. When the others in the group got caught up in a detail or got lost or missed something, those were the golden nuggets I jotted down.
I got back to my little house this afternoon and have been revising my first chapters based on the advice I received today. I did take a break to ride my bike into town for some ice cream :) And now it is almost midnight and I have to get to sleep for another awesome day of work tomorrow.