>It definitely feels close to the end. The lecture on Friday morning was by San Samantha Chang (the new director of the Iowa Writers Workshop): The Breakout Section: Unpredictability and the Novel. Using examples from Philip Roth and Rohinton Mistry, Chang discussed “opening” and “letting air into” a novel by, in the latter part of the book, introducing a new character, or shifting in time, or shifting point of view. Something to think about.
In the afternoon I attended a craft class with Daniel Wallace (Ray in Revers, Big Fish) on “Making Choices” which was really about building the imaginary world of the novel. Essentially the class was a big exercise. Wallace had made humorous maps of a village and then assigned each of us a residence. Then handed out old photographs that he purchased at a flea market. Each of us picked from the photographs and then had to create an identity for the people in our photographs, which eventually began to interact with the other people in the town.
We had a nice reception at sunset (complete with hay ride!) and after dinner we listened to readings by Fellow Lorraine Adams and Poet Ed Hirsch.
Last event of the evening was “One Minute in Heaven.” Over 50 people had signed up to give one minute readings. It took about an hour, given a few short overruns and just the logistics of getting on and off stage, but it was fun. I read my short short/prose poem “Hemlock”.