David Farland Writing Workshop–Photos

The guru speaks.

Everyone has a laptop except me. They’re all using the Web to look up references that David makes (they search for books he mentions and call out prices on Amazon and eBay, or they look up terms such as “steampunk”) or check e-mail or take a furtive peek at sports scores. I love these people.

You’d think I’d be crying because I am unable to surf and take electronic notes (and you’d be partly right). But I get to watch all this and chuckle, because it reminds me of the scene in “Real Genius” in which eventually all the students just leave their tape recorders going instead of sitting in class, so the prof finally just brings his big tape player and plays the lecture into their recorders. I’m going the low-tech way, live-blogging into a Mead Composition Notebook. I find that if I just write down everything that comes to mind, anything funny that’s said, and whatever he’s saying that seems like something I should write down, I get a lot more out of the class. I think there’s some component of learning styles connected with this.

There’s also some component of jealousy, because I really wish I still had normal vision and could work on a laptop just about anywhere. . . .

I brought my lunch and my orange pen. I’m in the far right-hand corner of the room, with easy access to the A/C controls. I have the power.

My clique at break time. lurks in the back corner.


On Monday, my other clique (shown) walked over to Burger Bueno (I am not making that up) to get a guacamole cheeseburger and some inedible salty chips. The blacktop of the parking lot was melting that day. Burger Bueno is similar to an old Woolworth’s lunch counter (oh boy y’all ain’t old enough to ‘member), with the entire back wall being a grill over which two Hispanic men stand, throwing patties of ground beef as large as a dinner plate onto the flames that leap up to lick the burgers until they’re done. Condiments other than guacamole/avocados include salsa, fire salsa, and pickles. You can even get a chicken burger, but nobody in Texas wants that. We brought our food back to the hotel lobby/lounge because it wasn’t as crowded or as hot as the restaurant. They do a brisk business over there, I tell you what.

Mama has ragged on me all evening, begging me to stay home tomorrow and take her somewhere–anywhere. She’s bored to bits. It would be nice to take her in to a workshop session as a guest or as an exhibit, but they don’t have “Show and Tell.” Wonder if I could sneak her in some way. . . .

UPDATE: This morning *both* Mama and Hubby woke up around 4 AM sick with “sour stomach, swimming head, sicky-sicky.” It is possibly what they ate yesterday when I wasn’t here to supervise (and both of them are over 40, so they should be able to take care of themselves . . . right . . . right??) Or it’s something else. At any rate, I agreed to stay home until noon and miss the morning session in order to make sure they do get better. I hate to miss a session (because I like to hear what people talk about, plus I could bring up the point about “at which point do we say that we can’t write about Twitter, Facebook, Groucho Marx, or Shakespeare for fear that it will date the work and make it unreadable in five years?”), but I need to make sure all is well. It’s also rainy and foggy.

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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