I've been too busy to update regularly, so here are some highlights:
Amy Hempel gave a craft lecture on Lunging at Vacancy, or, How to Recognize What's Right in Front of You. If you haven't read her short stories, do so. She has a very interesting approach. Instead of starting with a character or idea, she usually starts with language and evoking emotions with the sounds of words--the acoustically incorrect sentence is dead. Read aloud, people! Think about pairing off words that might otherwise never meet, or turn around the meaning of a mundane thing. Your take just might provide insight and clarity.
Frank McCourt, Meg Wolitzer, Roger Rosenblatt, and Melissa Bank sat for a Q&A on novel writing today, urging us to write what is important. I know that the question "Why are you telling me this?" has caused me to rethink a few scenes in my WIP. The deeper truth is there, I think, but I just need to find a better way to bring it forward. (Hence the swelling of my brain.)
Oh, and I'm doing a reading on Saturday! Like in front of people and everything! Ack!