Back to School


For those of you without calendars, fear not. September has not arrived yet.  It is, however, back to school time for the Wee Banshee. I am preparing for a week-long workshop in Toronto where I get to have my writing er…critiqued and molded (please, God)by none other than Alistair MacLeod.

I am not prepared, mentally or physically for this event.  A certain family crisis has left me with the mental aptitude of a sea-snail (my apologies to all sea snails) and the stability of the Titanic after the iceberg.  I cry if the cat looks at me wrong; I can only imagine what Dr. MacLeod will make of me.

Dear Alistair,  Forgive me in advance.  I might snivel.  I promise to bring Kleenex.  I won’t use your sleeve. Cheers, WeeBanshee.

The seven-day workshop involves five morning sessions with mentors followed by classes featuring publishers ( Knopf Random House, Penguin, and several independents), agents, and authors every afternoon.  We can choose to submit our writing to an editor (Random House) for a “flash assessment.”  Read: flash incineration.  I think he brings one of those mini blow torches.  Given my current state, I have declined this optional activity.  The footnote in the workshop materials said something along the lines of, “An exercise not for the thin-skinned or faint hearted.”  Right now, I am so thin-skinned I am virtually transparent.

While this workshop isn’t exactly a sublime retreat in the cool rolling hills of Vermont (something I’ve always dreamed of), it is an opportunity not to be missed, regardless of my fragile mental state.  An intensive workshop with up close and personal interaction with bona fide authors and editors is a dream come true.

I’ll be the pale little banshee in the back of the classroom, box of Kleenex close at hand.  Now, I must be off to buy myself a brand new notebook and pens!  Hmmm…a back to school outfit?


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