>I am attending the Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop at Hollins University (just outside Roanoke, VA) this week. I’m in a workshop with Pinckney Benedict, who is showing himself to be a gifted, funny teacher. The organizing principal of his workshop is “Dreaming the Novel,” and we’ve approached that subject by looking at invented and real dreams and considering the images that each narrative reveals, and then also by considering new ways of envisioning the environment so that we can present it as something new and real on the page, without resorting to mere representations and archetypes. This is great stuff, essential stuff, to keep in mind. The week includes craft presentations by Dan Mueller (on imagery in fiction) and Ann Cummins (on the growing intersection of genre fiction–especially sci-fi, horror and fantasy–with literary fiction). It’s only Tuesday, but it has already been a valuable experience.