How do I explain the Chautauqua Writer's Workshop?
Generous - I was greeted at the Hall of Christ by friendly faces and a Highlight's tote bag full of FREE BOOKS. That alone was enough to make me a happy gal. Every member of the faculty was friendly and helpful. Each person willingly took the time to answer questions. Any question, whether it was about books, writing, or finding the post office. No one ever made me feel that I was keeping them from someplace else they'd rather be.
Fun - Throw roughly 120 creative thinkers together for a week, and how could you not have fun? Especially when there is good food, ice cream and chocolate involved.
HOT - Holy moly was it hot! And humid. I thought I would melt and become one, big puddle of Nora somewhere along the brick road to the Atheneum Hotel. There was no air-conditioning except in the Hall of Christ, and that was to protect the pipe organ. I think the guest rooms at the Atheneum had air, but ceiling fans were the norm everywhere else. Whew!
Thought-Provoking - Every speaker gave me something to chew on. No word was wasted. Each piece of advice was rich.
Friendly - I met some nice people this week. They came from all over the world - Hong Kong, Spain, Thailand, Africa, Canada, and of course, from every corner of the USA. There are several people I know I'll keep in contact with. You can find two of them at Slushbusters. I'm sure Michelle and Sarah will also blog about their experiences. Hanna is another fun, new friend. You can find her at Luna the Typewriter. Yup. She named her typewriter after the moon.
I'm already packing for another workshop, so it might be another week before I return to the blog. I leave on Friday for George Washington's Mt. Vernon Teachers' Institute for one week of immersion in the life and times of George Washington. It should be interesting, and it will renew my teacher's license.
Before I go, I want to leave you with a list of some of the books the Highlight's presenters used as examples in their workshops. I know my to-be-read list has expanded. Hopefully you can find something helpful here too.
Patti Gauch - Conflict & Tension - turn the page power
*SPEAK, Laurie Halse-Anderson
*THE CHOCOLATE WAR, Robert Cormier
*THE HOBBIT, J. R. R. Tolkien
Patti Gauch - Books Examples With...
Voice: SAVVY, Ingrid Law
Narrative catch: HIGHWAY CATS, Janet Taylor Lisle
Transcendent moments: MOCKINGBIRD, Kathryn Erskine
Peter Jacobi - Beginnings
THE BLACK CLOUD, Fred Hoyle
A SUMMER TO DIE, Lois Lowry
THE HIGH KING, Lloyd Alexander
WIND IN THE WILLOWS, Kenneth Grahame
THE 13 CLOCKS, James Thurber
THE BAD BEGINNING, Lemony Snickett
BACK WHEN WE WERE GROWNUPS, Anne Tyler
FINNEGANS WAKE, James Joyce
Peter Jacobi - Endings
CHILDREN OF SANCHEZ, Oscar Lewis
Kim Griswell - A Sense of Place
THE HIGHEST TIDE, Jim Lynch
Kim Griswell - Mining Your Memories
Emotional Mining: HARRY POTTER, J.K. Rowling
Anecdotes and Events: PERPETUAL CHECK, Rich Wallace
FIREFLY MOUNTAIN, Patricia Thomas
People: THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY of a PART-TIME INDIAN, Sherman Alexie
TELLING TIME: ANGELS, ANCESTORS, AND STORIES, Nancy Willard
Specificity: THINGS INVISIBLE TO SEE, Nancy Willard
Donna Jo Napoli - Tension techniques
THE LOVELY BONES, Alice Sebold
I AM THE CHEESE, Robert Cormier
ZEL, Donna Jo Napoli
Rebecca Kai Dotlich - Creativity
A CELEBRATION OF BEES: ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR INSPIRING CHILDREN TO WRITE POETRY, Barbara J. Esbensen
DONAVAN'S WORD JAR, Monalisa Degross and Cheryl Hanna
POEMCRAZY: FREEING YOUR LIFE WITH WORDS, Susan Wooldridge
FOOLING WITH WORDS; A CELEBRATION OF POETS AND THEIR CRAFT, Bill Moyers
THE GLASS CASTLE: A MEMOIR, Jeanette Walls
PRINCE OF TIDES, Pat Conroy
Helen Hemphill - Writing for YA
HUNGER GAMES, Suzanne Collins
THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, Mary Pearson
SHARK GIRL, Kelly L. Bingham
GOING BOVINE, Libba Bray
Patti Gauch - Fantasy
THE BOOK OF THREE, Lloyd Alexander
THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES, Joseph Campbell
THE HOBBIT, J.R.R. Tolkien
HARRY POTTER, J.K. Rowling
WATERSHIP DOWN, Richard Adams
THE WIZARD OF EARTHSEA, Ursula K. Le Guin
There you have it. That should keep you busy. Happy reading!