Bruce Holland Rogers‘ “Writing Even Though You Have a Life” workshop is well worth the money. I also purchased a copy of his latest book, Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer (Invisible Cities Press, $16.95, ISBN: 1-931229-17-1.) Check your local book stores for copies; if they don’t have them, they can order them. If you must support the conglomerate, you can also order it from Amazon.
Okay, the commercial is over. What about the workshop? Our workshop group was small, so Bruce was able to let the workshop roll where it wished. We didn’t stick to a specific outline or syllabus, but he made sure to cover points on the outline in which people were particularly interested. I took more notes the first night, probably because there was more pure information disseminated than on the second night, which was more discussion-based.
We did have a small homework exercise, which I completed with limited success; limited because I don’t feel I got any new story ideas that I really wish to expand, but I did learn a new technique for generating ideas. The thing that impressed me most about the writing exercises, both in homework and in the workshop itself, is that Bruce participated in them. Rather than placing a separation between teacher and student, he jumped right in with us, acknowledging that he is still a student himself, despite the Nebulas, Stoker and Pushcart Prizes he’s won.
I left the workshop highly encouraged, with new enthusiasm for a couple of stories that are currently in creative limbo. Bruce inscribed my copy of Word Work with exactly the right words to inspire me, and I particularly look forward to reading the chapters in the book entitled “Writers Loving Nonwriters,” “Writing with Children in the House,” “Death and the Day Job,” and all of Part 4, “Dangerous Territory,” about rejection, workshops and reviews.
(As for creative activity today, this update is about all I did. However, I did go to see Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and enjoyed a Rockie Dog at Coors Field as I watched the Colorado Rockies whoop up on the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. The final score was 16-3.)