The day before UAL 489 took me to Chicago for Christmas, nine Microsoft Word files from David, Anastasia, Tim, Hillary, Mitzi, Kelly, Scott, Jane, and Jo arrived via email from the Pacific MFA office. Nine examples of polished prose offered for public critique. Soon, on the Oregon coast, we will each have one hour where our words are discussed, dissected, and we pray, not too badly dissed by our peers.
I don’t know my fellow authors by face and barely by name, but I know them nevertheless. I know who is not afraid of dark themes. I know whose spot-on phrase brought laughter to my champagne-sipping sisters chopping onions for Christmas Eve’s pierogis. I know whose pages seem premature or perhaps experimental. And I know the talented, sensitive author I want to sit next to for my workshop.
I wonder what they know about me.