Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Writers, Oh, My ...


So yesterday I did the writing seminar for Oregon Writers Colony. It was held at the Standard TV and Appliance store's meeting room, in Beaverton. Beautiful store, airy, well-lighted, spacious. full of fridges and stoves and televisions and all like that.

There were twenty of us in the room. I babbled and danced and did my dog and pony show from ten to five, with breaks for lunch and to go pee.

They were a good crowd, bright, ranging in age from the twenties to the seventies, pretty much evenly split between boys and girls.

I threw a whole buncha stuff at them, too much in too short a time. Kind of like trying to wash your hands using a fire hose. I lectured, we did Q&A, a few writing exercises, and it seemed to go over pretty well.

What you hope, as a teacher, is that one or two things of some value will sink in. Won't be the same couple things for everybody, but my goals are pretty simple: That the students will learn some tricks that will help them teach themselves how to write a little sharper or cleaner. And that they will leave with a heightened sense of enthusiasm and possibility.

It's always good if you have a natural talent, a gift for words. That can pave a lot of roads. But for many of us, talent is only the smallest part of the equation. In my case, I realized a long time ago that persistence will get you through times of no talent better than talent will get you through times of no persistence. (With a tip of the hat to Frank Freak.)

Um. Anyway, I had fine time, and now I can go back into my introvert's cave for a while ...

8 comments:

Ximena said...

Rob and I had a great time. I know I learned something.

The bullets especially were really cool...

Steve Perry said...

Ximena --

I enjoyed it, too. Especially that part where you sneaked off from Rob to show me your abs ...

What? I wasn't supposed to say that?

Oh, never mind ...

Just kidding, Rob.

Worked out that I got some use out of my own advice. I had a scene in my current in-the-barrel novel that hadn't gelled for me, and when I got home, the way to get it going just popped into my head this morning.

Never too old to learn.

Ximena said...

I showed you mine, now you gotta...

Steve Perry said...

Hey, I put up a picture of mine.

Besides, that's not what I really want to see, delightful as they might be.

Words. On the page. Get the book done.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

Now THAT'S a motivational speech!

Shanna Germain said...

I had a great time as well, Steve. Glad you directed me to this blog...might not have found it on my own.

You should resubmit the story that you sent me -- I bet it would find a home easily. I loved the mix of it, the sensuality of it with the darkness. Looking forward to reading more.

All the best,
s.

Steve Perry said...

Shanna --

I gave you that link so you could see I wrote some stuff similar to yours.

I got paid for the piece once, and even though I did get the rights back eventually, I've posted in on the blog where the martial artists can read it. That's enough for the old ego.

Pretty much all the short stuff I do these days is because somebody asked me. I'm getting too lazy to market stories ...

Shanna Germain said...

Pretty much all the short stuff I do these days is because somebody asked me. I'm getting too lazy to market stories ...

I think that's supposed to read, "I'm getting too smart to market stories..."

:) Best, s.