Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Lit Camp Report

I returned from the first ever Lit Camp on Sunday, but I'm still in a post-camp haze of happy tiredness. I don't think I've ever been a part of planning something that came off so spectacularly well. It felt so good to be a part of something that benefitted what turned out to be the most awesome emerging writer-campers in the world. There were a lot of things that made it all so fantastic, but primarily it was the people. From the staff at the gorgeous Mayacamas Ranch (and their crazy-good cooking), to the aforementioned wonderful campers, to the refreshingly pretense-free faculty who were all so generous with their time and attention and at no time acted like gatekeepers, to my fellow volunteer staff who made it so fun to take turns driving the golf cart to deliver tables, and who sincerely kicked ass at making people feel welcomed, to our fearless leader who is already busy planning next year's conference. I couldn't have dreamed up a better scenario for a weekend of writers.

You do a lot of sitting at a writing conference; luckily there were beautiful chairs

View to inspire, check!

Just add coffee

A great spot to dream from

Some of my personal highlights during the weekend included watching all the things we'd planned (i.e. rooming assignments, workshops, cocktail fundraising auction, etc) go better than expected - it made my heart sing when I saw one roomie high five another one after performing in the talent show. I was blown away with how accessible the faculty made themselves. Case in point: Adam Johnson (author of The Orphan Master's Son) and his brood of smart children joined in an evening game of Apples to Apples that lasted hours. That's just one example of about 300 that I witnessed of generous inclusion. I want to bottle this no-pretentions-lets-just-talk-about-how-much-we-love-writing-and-books and infect the entire writing community with it. 

Happy Campers

During the free-writing portion of Mark Morford's Yoga for Writers we were directed to consider our muse and our ego, and to describe them. I never landed on a good image for my muse (but was inspired to steal another camper's when she mentioned her nine-year-old self who wrote just because she loved it so much), but an image for the ego came immediately to mind: a mangy cat that only knows scarcity and hates everyone, even though he craves attention madly. We then free-wrote a conversation between our muse and our ego, having them talk to each other about our writing. Holy cow! I dare you to do this, it will reveal more than perhaps you want to know about yourself.

What a gift it was to get to be a part of this. Can't wait to get

  

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