This program is made possible through a generous gift from Ruth and Russell Bolton
in conjunction with the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankfully, It Didn't Backfire

It was a dark and stormy night during the first Bolton Workshop at the quaint Dadisman/Stalnaker RFL House on Wednesday. No, wait. For the first time in days, it wasn’t a dark and stormy night. Quite pleasant, actually. Thanks for taking the night off, Irene.

It probably would have had nothing to do with the weather anyway that RFL Dr. David Pariser and his wife, Live/Learn Community Specialist Debbi Pariser, were able to round up eight students, mostly freshman, for the evening.

Now, maybe it was the promise of the free food that made them so enthusiastic to be there, but I’m going to say they were just excited about the prospect of writing. Who isn't? And, they just seemed like a good bunch of ambitious students. After a meet-and-greet in the Pariser’s comfortable, wood-trimmed living room, we adjourned to the dining room for a wonderful spread of herb chicken, ziti (?), and other accoutrements. I know. It sounds like typical wedding food. But it was a cut above, catered by the university.

We ate and wrote and talked about writing and ate and read our writing with our mouths full and ate some more. It felt like a Parisian gathering of expatriates. Speaking of which, our writing topic was home. And we talked about Hemingway’s notion that a writer cannot truly write about “home” unless he/she is far away from it. Most of the students are pretty far away from it, and I was worried for a moment that bringing this Hemingway thing up might have backfired and only serve to roil up homesickness. But it didn’t.

True to Hemingway’s theory, they each turned out beautiful, true, panoramic meditations on the subject. They weren’t meditations of longing. And I was impressed by their natural writing talents and their seekers’ creativity and I look forward to reading their pieces once they’ve got them in finished shape (they only had ten minutes).

I think at the next workshop (Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m.), we’re having steak and writing fiction. So come on over.

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