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Well, who knows what’s going on in this photograph. I wanted an image with children playing, one girl standing outside the circle staring longingly at the others. But this picture (found by searching “ring around the rosie”) was so delightfully weird, I couldn’t resist nabbing it. I’ll bet a couple of these young ladies grew up to be writers.
How sorry I am to be missing this year’s Lit Fest, Lighthouse’s first in their new digs. It sounds like a delicious lineup: a two-weekend intensive on memoir and novel structure with Erika Krouse; Bill Henderson’s famous Novel Bootcamp; Jennifer Davis’s “Creating Emotional Depth and Subtext”; Andrea Dupree’s “Find Your Material”; Jake Adam York’s “Say What You Don’t Mean”; Shari Caudron’s “Stories from the Road.” I could go on and on, but really, you should just have a look at the schedule, and see what classes might still be open.
Another regret. This year two of my favorite people are flying in: Robin Black, author of the fine story collection If I loved you, I would tell you this; and Cheryl Strayed, whose recently published memoir Wild is deservedly a sensation. Cheryl wrote one of my favorite novels, Torch, and she is, of course, also Dear Sugar (!), with tiny beautiful things, a collection of her advice columns in The Rumpus coming out in July. I envy anyone lucky enough to attend these talented women’s workshops. Please take notes.
I console myself with the knowledge that I’ll be seeing some of you in Grand Lake in July. Also consoling is the feeling of glorious martyrdom derived from staying home to work. I intend to keep my commitment to finish this draft of the memoir by Grand Lake. With each day that passes it looks increasingly plausible that I will.
So. Send dispatches, okay?
And take lots of pictures.