On December 18th, I received a cheery email containing the “no more than 4,000 words” written by the six ladies in workshop for my third semester in Pacific University’s MFA program – six talented authors whose prose crackles with conflict and swells with sensual descriptions.
A few minutes ago, I squeezed a staple into my my final story critique. I’m gobsmacked by their work-in-progress: an adoption that feels like an abduction, ghosts swirling in the relentless dust of the Twin Towers, a lesbian couple dealing with the death of their children’s father, and a wife defined in a lifetime of moments.
In less than two weeks, I’ll be huddled in a small hotel room on the Oregon coast with those same ladies and our workshop mentors: Jack Driscoll and Laura Hendrie. With luck, my gurgling gut will be from nerves, not the flu that checks in with the one hundred and twenty five people soon to be sitting within a sneeze of each other in the Best Western ballroom/lecture hall.