Monday, July 7, 2008

Odyssey -- Day 1

Yesterday I arrived at Manchester, New Hampshire, to teach Odyssey as a guest lecturer for a week. The flights were uneventful, which is what one hopes. I was met at the airport by Jeanne Cavalos's administrative assistant, Susan Sielinski, who took me to the campus of St. Anselm's College, where the workshop is being held. This is return to student days: I have a dorm suite, complete with bunk bed, hard wooden desk chair that appears to date from the Punic Wars, and whirring fans to offset the lack of AC. It's the sort of room that really needs a pyramid of Budweiser cans on the windowsill to complete the decor.

After dinner with Jeanne and Susan, I met with the Odyssey students for informal talk and a Q&A about the short story of mine they had been assigned, 'By Fools Like Me." Afterwards, I hung around with some of them in the dorm, drinking beer and chatting. The sixteen writers have been here for four weeks already, writing approximately a story a week, critiquing every morning and writing every afternoon and evening, reading each other's work, conferencing with Jeanne (and now me). It's a full schedule. They're a lively and dedicated group.

Tomorrow I start critiquing with them in class. I'm looking forward to it.

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