Radically trusting as first time attendee, I blindly volunteered as a grades 9-12 Camp Counselor.
Two thoughtful soft-spoken MN authors – Alison McGhee & Pete Hautman – shared personal writing histories and taught a writers’ workshop.
Rapid-fire book discussions provided deeper understanding via diverse perspectives of teachers, media specialists and public librarians. Participants offered additional book recommendations, which I valued.
Alison McGhee described the ‘loneliness of a long distance writer’. Childhood impressions are the material from which adults write. Pete Hautman seemed to agree, stating that emotional memory drives the imagination of authors.
Alison shared her ‘most favorite (reductive writing) exercise for all time’. Make a list of life event. Leave out emotion, point of view, narrative structure and chronology. Write experimentally with the list from different points of view, adding context in various tenses and chronologies.
Pete suggested ‘point of view solves everything’. Picture scenes like a film maker. Start with one story sentence. Add context. Reverse the technique. Write a full page. Cut it until the story fits concisely into one story sentence.
Camp offered three unexpected bonuses: 8 books received; learned Dr. Jill Clark’s Pilates and Cortices techniques; experienced Escape Room Activities!
P.S. Both authors touched their foreheads while presenting: a light brush of bangs with her ring finger, Alison; a brief touch of fingers on forehead, Pete