Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back from Whidbey

Yeah, I know, I have been MfB (Missing from Blogland) for awhile now, but, you know how it can get. Real Life just takes over sometimes. In a Good Way.

This last chapter, which I am going to write about first in order to build the suspense...(you haven't had pictures of the Corn Tiger for awhile...), takes place at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, Washington, where I spent nine days, August 13-22nd, for the time, at the Whidbey Writers Workshop Summer Residency.

I am still in the after glow. What a wonderful, nurturing time we had! And I am sure I do not speak for myself alone.

Many of us, including the teachers, live in the "writer's quarters" on the fort (left picture below), old officer's base housing and/or barracks, from which it is a quick walk to class (right picture below, discussion after the Fiction Workshop class).

We attend small group lectures with writers such as award winning non-fiction authors Tim Eagan (right picture below, being watched by David Wagoner; books: The Worst Hard Time, Breaking Blue, etc.) and Scott Russell Sanders (books: Hunting for Hope, A Conservationist's Journey, etc.), contemporary "laugh out loud" novelist, Mary Guterson (books: We Are All Fine Here and Going to the Dogs), poet Marvin Bell, who taught for forty years at the Iowa Writers Workshop and has retired to Port Townsend, WA, (books: Mars Being Red (Copper Canyon Press) , Rampant, Nightworks: Poems, 1962-2000, etc.), CYA and adult novelist Anjali Banerjee (books: Sea Glass Summer, Invisible Lives, etc.) and Virginia Euwer Wolff, author of the award winning, young adult series Make Lemonade.

We learn more techniques for the crafting of fiction, poetry, non fiction and children's literature from teachers such as Kathleen Alcala, Bruce Holland Rogers, Wayne Ude, David Wagoner, Carolyn Wright, Lawrence (Larry) W Cheek, Ana Maria Spagna, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand (right hand picture above) and Bonnie Becker, who have collectively won too many awards and published far too many books to list here. Go check out the faculty page for the Whidbey Writers Workshop here and/or click on the links inserted at their names above.

During breaks and after workshop, lectures, readings, and meals, we walk on the beach or up to the lighthouse, ride bikes and get together to socialize. This year was the 1st Annual W3 Polar Bear Swim -

--see the hardy souls getting ready. They said the water was "not that cold",

and the first, well, at least in my experience, bonfire at the beach --

It was a beautiful night and a fabulous residency. Can't wait to do it again next year!


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