A Writer Writes

I started my evening short story writing class last night--T/R from 5:30-8:25 at TUCC. I'm auditing and so don't have to worry about a grade, but of course, I was highlighting the syllabus and nodding at whatever the teacher said because I've had years and years of social programming to suck up to instructors (despite the fact that I've actually taught this same class at Penn State). A sign up sheet went around the class and of course the last two people to get the sheet were me and the guy next to me so I have a story due on SUNDAY via email the students and teacher. That should be interesting b/c we have dinner plans with Shawn's mom tonight and then I'll be in Pittsburgh Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I might just send it early Monday morning and tell everyone to suck it. They'll still have 3 nights to read and critique the story. I'm disappointed because I wanted to use the time to write something new or to at least improve a story that's never been workshopped, but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't focus on a piece I want to improve, like "Amazing Tales from the Heartland." At least I'd work on it some more beforehand. That feels like cheating though.

There are twelve people in the class--a perfect workshop size and I appreciate it, especially in contrast to the personal enrichment fiction class I took before with 20+ people and no sign up for stories or culpability for doing any work. All of the students are still in undergrad; mostly juniors and seniors and one returning student who's about 25-26. Everyone else has a baby face. All of the guys have four letter, solid American names like Adam, Jack, and Nick. I sat next to a girl named Tia who I liked because she laughed at my jokes. I had hoped there would be another Annie in this class--Annie's this girl I had in fiction writing classes at Northwestern--a very good writer with great clothes and an extremely dry, witty, and cutting sense of humor. One girl might have had potential but I totally hated her glasses and her mousy demenaor and her name is something like MacKenzie. In our writing exercise for the evening, we had to come up with two plots, two characters, and two settings. One of her plots was "a person spills a cup of coffee." Actually, it's better than some of the over the top, movie-style suggestions (a card playing sting, car accident, police bust), but it's still pretty boring and unimaginative. I may not make any friends as I had hoped, though I did like the older student named Katie because she took off her sandals and swung her feet.

I'm going to post the writing exercise we did last night under my "Evie" pages if you're interested.