I really enjoyed the reading this week and kind of wish I had the books on campus with me because the last sentence of the third reading was my favorite over-all and I'm brain farting on what it was.
I am leading the discussion on Anne Lamott's "bird by bird" introduction, which excites me because I can personally relate with Lamott's representation of herself as a child growing up as a reader and writer.
The only difference between us is that I think that I slouched sometimes or at least looked at my feet and my parents were not writers nor did they smoke marijuana.
Regardless, I did spend my childhood primarily reading, writing, and being teased as Anne Lamott had been.
And like her, my youth excellence in writing was recognized and nurtured by teachers.
In second grade, my teacher would have me read to the class on a weekly basis and in fifth grade, I was given the opportunity to read a novella that I had written called "Candy Murder" to the entire grade.
Here are some of the notes I wrote about the reading to guide my prompts during today's discussion:
"I just wanted to make comment and get reactions about your feelings connected to the idea that the writer or photo-journalist is the rare specimen of the working class person 'living on their own terms. Why is this true or false? Why is it necessary or not?"
"All ways of life have their pros and cons. What does the writer lose out on by not being a 9-5er? What do they gain?"
"I want to talk about the creative process for a moment. Anne discusses hers at length- the anxiety, time consumption, bouts of paranoia and hypochondria. I was just curious as to others' creative processes because everyone writes differently."
"I love her characterizations of herself as a child because I was so very much like her. Another theme I found important was the thrill and obsession of seeing oneself in print. Reading this supported my belief in the importance of writing above all else, writing as a means of becoming a better writer especially, though I realized that I, myself, have gotten swept up in the obsession of my publication. I laughed out loud about the bits of 'needing an agent' because it's something I've said many, many times, but she really relit my fire as far as focusing on your writing and letting the rest fall into place, as a matter of speaking."
"Let's talk about getting distance following traumatic events before expatiating upon it. Sometimes this is necessary, when have you done this? When have you not done this?"