Monday, March 31, 2008


I had the best experience with my fiction workshop today.

Last night, I read the two stories that would be up for discussion. One story was about a young woman whose father is in the hospital dying of cancer. The other was about a young woman who is living with a group of friends who are deadening themselves with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, sex, and even school. Both stories were very richly detailed.

So last night, I had a dream that embodied both.

I dreamed about my own father's death at home, from cancer. I dreamed I was much younger than I am now. I returned home from school to find my father out of his bed and lying on the floor. I helped him back into his bed. He immediately turned into a piece of firewood and the bed turned into a smoldering "bed of coals." I thought how the fire was going to purge my father's pain, and, selfishly, my own grief, for I was tired of sickness and waiting for the end. Then I felt guilty and used a poker to separate the wood (my father) from the coals. This dream portrayed the conflict in the student's story, the conflict between loving her father and hating death.

The other story involved a bear. Now, there are erotic overtones in women's stories about bears. In a wonderful book by Marian Engel called Bear, a female character actually has sex with a bear. I thought my student's story also sexually charged. The story was about characters who were all essentially "dead." Spirituall dead. The story involved the narrator's moment of awarness. This moment came through a special interaction (not sex) that she had with the bear.

So the other part of my dream had erotic overtones. But that part of the dream, I will keep to myself!

Anyway, the discussion in class today was a lot of fun. Two strong stories. A great day in workshop.

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Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych



Little Deer

Little Deer



Looking Forward, Looking Back

Looking Forward, Looking Back