Thursday, October 16, 2008

Workshop

I had the first two chapters of my book workshopped today. I'm still buzzing with the adrenaline rush. Now I'm at home, working quickly while the critiques and great advice are still in my head and while I have a couple of hours before picking up the girls.

It's so amazing to hear someone else read your words. Carol Lachapelle gave loving enunciation to the first pages until an unsupressable cough benched her and then Sue Roupp, who just returned from hearing all these great poets at the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Fest in New Jersey took up the manuscript with lots of dramatic pauses and emphatic inflection. Hearing people read my work gets me so high that it makes me laugh quietly at the backstory, at the obscure and private machinations of my process. It's usually one of the tragic spots where I snicker which reminds me of our artist friend Micki, who would giggle as she described her latest work with taxidermy and sexual aids.

While Carol and Sue were reading, my cell vibrated three times. I had locked the back door because there was a break-in across the street yesterday and I forgot that the babysitter was planning to return home after ballet to grab Mia's lunch and the backpacks. Thank goodness it was a glorious day, with clear skies and cool, not cold temps. Yesterday would have been disastrous. I sent her to the neighbors for the spare set, but there were too many locks, too many keys. "Take them to McDonald's," I told Joanna, giving up. I heard the girls' "Yays!" in the background and I snuck back into the conference room to hear another intimate moment of my past read out loud for the crowd.

5 comments:

Sue said...

Being a veteran of Piven Theater Workshop helps with reading memorable work. I also give writing workshops and this week will host a local cable show in Highland Park called Poetry Today and lots more.

Reading an intimate memoir with a theme of creating one's own life anew opposite to the chaotic family of origin is a privilege. Our writing, like our life, is a work in progress. It was clear from the energy and details captured in your work that you have the talent to do this important work we call writing.

Thanks for being brave enough to share it with members of Off Campus Writers Group. We writers metaphorically hold each other's hands as we go forward learning more and more about craft. Bravo to you Cindy. Bravo!

2KoP said...

I'm sorry your big moment was interrupted. It is a strange, exhilarating experience to hear someone else read your work aloud. I'm always amazed that my heart starts to race, even if I had no anxiety beforehand. I've said it before, but perhaps not to you: you are the most gifted writer I know. Beauty, grace and truth echo in every passage, and sometimes a sly humor. I love your sensibility and technique. Thank you.

Tracey said...

That sounds awesome! The book reading, not the locking the kids out of the house...

:)

Jojo said...

OMG! I am so sorry that I ruined your big moment. It breaks my heart to know that.

Cindy Fey said...

Thanks for the kind comments, friends. Joanna, you so did not ruin the moment. Believe me, I knew what they were reading when I was out of the room.