Friday, August 7, 2009

Day Four: Uncle Orson's Literary Boot Camp (Critiques)

This day has been awesome, but I'll say that right now, at 3:17 a.m. as I begin this post, I am at a low. I'm exhausted and I miss my family terribly.

This morning I almost slept through class. It started at 10:30 and I woke up at 10:20. Cutting things a little close, but that's okay. I was the very first story we critiqued, and they ripped me a new one. I'll talk more about that later when I'm not so dead. Let's just say, I take criticism of my work well, but it was hard to sit there silently and just let people dissect you. At the end of my critique, when everyone else had gone around, Orson Scott Card took my clumsy story and showed me how it could be a beautifully fun young adult novel. I think I will write it.

Oh, and Orson Scott Card told me to "turn in my penis." It's a long story, one I'll catch you up on later as well.

Mr. Card and his wife took us all out to an awesome little Italian place in town. I sat right across from him at a table with only four people, and we discussed everything from his fiction to religion to politics. I actually got to the point where I was completely at ease. It's amazing. I feel like we know each other to a certain extent. It was fun to realize that. He really is just a guy, but he remains one of the most creative and talented men I've ever met. His comments on our stories CONSTANTLY blow me away. There's a reason he's teaching this class.

Oh, and his license plate says, "ENDER." I discovered that too. Made me smile.

So, apparently a bunch of the other boot campers were trying to figure out who wrote "Early Birds" because it was their favorite. That makes me happy. I wish my actual workshop story had been that well written and received. But today kind of beat the grabby-ness for attention out of everybody. We're too tired to pose. I'm too tired to do anything. Heh. I have to read about eight 5000-8000 word stories tomorrow during lunch breaks. Never going to happen. My reading speed is CRIPPLING me. This is the low point: reading all these stories and realizing that I'm just getting through them slower than other people. It's a limitation I need to fix or learn to live with, but right now I'm not sure how I will get through tomorrow. It's pretty discouraging, but the WRITING aspect is really good. And the LEARNING is going great. I'm just learning my weaknesses, and it stings.

Anyway, I'm not sure if anything above was coherent, but I'm off to bed.



  1. Hey Steve, sounds like what happens when we get better... we have to look hard at our weak areas. Not fun for anyone, but you sound like you are learning and that is awesome. You must sleep close to the class...if you made it in 10 minutes. Glad you aren't giving up. I am proud of you. Squirm can spell Y E S and knows what a circle and a triangle is. Amazing. She must have smart parents.

  2. Wow! Mom gives really good advice. I want to say something to encourage you, but I'm not sure what to say... I think you're awesome, and I can't wait to read the novel that Mr. Card helped you rebuild!

  3. You can do it, Bear. Don't forget that when you're reading, you don't have to read every word. Just skim, and if you have to go back and read a few parts, that's okay. LOVE you... hope you made it to class in time this morning. :)

  4. STEVEN! After much hard work, I found you. I tried to look for you on Facebook, and Twitter but no such luck. Look me up on Facebook as Chin Alvarez. akubanochin for Twitter.