Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Still in Residence

It's just past the halfway point in my final MFA residency and while I'm far too exhausted both mentally and physically to post anything lengthy or terribly insightful, here's a quick rundown, some random thoughts.

- Best seminar so far? Today, one given by visiting writer
Jamie Cat Callan on what can be learned from scriptwriters and the classic structuring devices they employ. Her presentation was completely engaging, fun, far too short even at 90 minutes, and packed with usable insights; so glad my equally interesting fellow Stonecoast student Ann Rosenquist Fee lobbied for Callan to join the residency.

- That master class workshop I was leery about because it was being led by a poet? Terrific.

- That presentation I was worried about giving? From where I stood, a success; one reason -- I had a good time, so good I ran out of time way before I ran out of material. That's when I knew I could breathe.

- Got to work with a performance coach, William Steele, a USM theater professor and professional actor, in preparation for my upcoming reading. Actors know so much writers can use when it comes to reading aloud. About phrasing. Pacing. Rhythm. Peeling the emotions off the page. Volume control. Eye contact. So much.

- You know how, when someone introduces a writer they begin with, "It is my pleasure (or honor) to introduce…" Well, I found out this week – that's not just a line. It truly was a pleasant (if nerve wracking) honor to stand up in front of a packed room and give an introduction for my final semester mentor, the incomparable Barbara Hurd, who read from her new book of essays, Walking the Wrack Line. (you can read an excerpt here)

Hope you are enjoying the guest blogs that have been (and will keep) popping up here while I'm busy and slightly crazed. Next report from me will likely include the word graduation. Sniff. And, hooray.

1 comment:

Special Needs Mama said...

Oh great update! Thanks! A class in reading aloud. I'm jealous, honestly.