That’s right.  I feel better, thanks for asking.  Turns out I had a “touch” of the stomach flu.  That “touch” had the wallop of a backhanded bitch slap if you ask me, but I’m better now…and back to my bad eating habits.  Yay!

Despite being down for the count so many days in a row, I still had a pretty productive week as far as writing goes.  We’ve just ended the poetry section of my creative writing class, and so I revised everything I had produced so far for my portfolio and was pretty pleased with some of the pieces.  A huge deal considering my limited experience with poetry.

Now that we’re done with poetry, we’re finally wading into fiction, familiar territory.  Cheers went up in the class, I tell you.  But when I say we’re wading, it’s serious baby steps.

Our first assignment was to select a handful of pictures from a stack the professor brought in, just anything we liked.  Then we had to write a short story outline from it.

My pictures were a flock of parrots, an aerial shot of a stone ring, a goatherder holding a baby goat (with an oddly long tail), a group of men playing dominoes, and a man resting in the foreground while a group of people apparently dance the conga in the background.  Hmm.  Wish I knew that was going to be the assignment before I picked out my pictures.  But I made it work. <g>

Next week’s assignment is to write the first page of our story.  So as you can see, we are taking tiny little baby steps.  At first I was a little bit put out.  One page?  One lousy page?  I wanna write stories!  But this process is making me take a closer look at how I put together stories.

The professor brought out the old graph that looks like a mountain, with the inciting incidents, climax, et cetera.  And I just thought, oh, man, I don’t put my stories together like that.  I just don’t.  But as we’re going along, I’m seeing the value of picking out tiny little elements and just writing that and nothing else.  I’m enjoying this process of story construction via microscope.  We’ll see what happens with my goatherder and parrot flock.

Speaking of the writing process, I discovered the other day that the very esteemed Steven Pressfield has started doing a series of blog posts on his blog entitled “Writing Wednesdays.” Wonderful, wonderful stuff.  Check it out!

Also, heads up!  NaNoWriMo starts this Sunday!  That’s right, folks.  Mark your calendars…then clear them.  Turn off your phones, ignore your email, and get ready to write.  I’ll be up in the wee hours of the night along with the thousands of other foolhardy fools across the globe racking up the word counts.  This is the year I reach 50,000 words!

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