I’ve been pretty much all consumed by working, swimming, and keeping up with my writing class. We made it through the poetry segment of the class (so happy that’s over…). I had to write some (terrible) poetry and read it out loud in class. I was shocked when many people in the class actually seemed to like what I wrote. Especially since one of the poems I wrote, the one I read aloud in class, was an ode to my extreme dislike of poetry. Regardless of feedback from the workshop, I don’t think publishing poetry is in my future.
We’ve now moved on to short stories. I’m no expert on short stories. I definitely came late to this party. I don’t remember reading any short stories outside of school until I started reading the Completed Collection of Sherlock Holmes last year. Shortly after purchasing that for my Kindle, I picked up a “best of” collection offered through a Kindle Daily Deal. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011 contained a section of short stories. I fell in love with this book and wrote the following review:
This little gem was edited by Dave Eggers (of Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, McSweeney’s, and 826 Valencia fame), and has an introduction by Guillermo Del Toro (producer/director/writer of fan-boy classics such as: Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and the upcoming Hobbit movies). The selections for inclusion were made by high school students. One of my favorite parts is the “Best American WiFi Network Names” (who knew people were so creative with WiFi network names?). If this isn’t enough to make you want to get a copy to read by the pool this summer, maybe this article will convince you: http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-11-30/culture/best-american-non-required-reading-dave-eggers-826-valencia/
At the same time I was trying to finish my first UC Berkeley Extension writing class and attempting to write my first short story since my high school creative writing class. These short stories and my attempts at writing them inspired me to purchase a subscription to Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Basically, I was giving myself a crash course in short stories.
With the exception of Asimov’s, I haven’t been reading short stories recently, and I certainly haven’t attempted writing any (bad me). But, I’m steadily increasing my appreciation of this genre of fiction. My next writing assignment is to write a short short story. I haven’t made much progress yet… okay, I opened a file, typed in my header, and saved it… I am going to start writing for real any minute now…
While I attempt to determine what in the world I am going to write about, I am inspiring myself with one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, who is doing this project with Blackberry called “A Calendar of Tales” that also involved Twitter. You can check it out here if you have no idea what I’m talking about: http://keepmoving.blackberry.com/desktop/en/us/ambassador/neil-gaiman.html?CPID=E70C215 (you can download the stories from there)
As a result of all the working and the swimming and the keeping up with my writing class, I’m making slow progress with Blue Remembered Earth, even though I am enjoying it and wish I had more time to read it. Every time I find free time there seems to be something else more pressing to do, or I’m too tired to read. At this rate I’ll be happy to finish one book this month (and one blog post, for that matter).