Monday, June 18, 2012

MMWUC: Yearning for Learning

It's almost 7 a.m., and I know where I should be. I should be at the 25th Anniversary of the Writers Retreat Workshop being held this year at the Villa Maria Retreat Center in Frontenac, Minnesota. The Early Bird Session is beginning. Pajama-clad writers crawl into the room with intravenous tubes linking them to giant coffee containers. They close the curtain against a brilliant morning sun like vampires dreading another day yet compelled to participate, yearning for learning. A writer seeks help. The featured guests or staff or agents or publishing representatives or advanced students lean forward, either eager to help or because the room is slanted. The eager beaver writer shatters the morning mumbling.

"My story is about this good-looking average Joe guy who isn't feeling well and goes to his doctor to find out what's wrong with him because he's never been sick before, or doesn't remember being sick before. The doctor runs some test. It turns out that the average Joe guy is really an space alien with amnesia. So naturally the government gets involved with blackhawk helicopters and big, black SUVs, and what's up with that? You'd think the government would wise up that everyone knows it's them coming so they'd switch to hi-powered rebuilt Yugos to throw everyone off. Anyway, turns out his fiancee is a high-powered lawyer, kind of like Gloria Allred on steroids, and she's able to get him due process because of some of the "Alien" laws that have been passed, and she gets some sympathetic judge to agree the the term alien also applies to him. She gets him out of jail on bond, but it turns out the reason he's feeling bad is because he's mutating into a higher life form. He eats her. It's okay though. No one liked her. Now he's really on the run."

"Okay, so what is your issue?" Elizabeth Lyon asks.

"Should I have him floss after eating her?"

Yes, I will return to WRW in 2013. Everyone should move out of their comfort zone on occasion and go to a workshop or conference to be with the other birds in their flock, get re-energized, learn new things about the art of writing, or re-learn things that break you out of the bad habits that have developed along the way. My 7 a.m. early morning session today is with me, myself, and I. Sydney, my cockatiel, only kibitzes when he feels like it. His own novel is stuck now after: GRT DJW S OEMMD. Don't ask me. I don't speak Australian Cockatiel. Writing may be a singular activity, but it should never be a lonely occupation.

And I would most certainly have the alien floss. He needs to make a good impression to both Obama and Romney to be able to stay in the country.

So, what do you think? Do nothing? Brush only? Floss only? Brush and floss? Brush, floss, and mouthwash for that minty after lawyer-eating breath? Inquiring minds want to know.


K.W. McCabe said...

Man, I can't believe I didn't know about that retreat :( Maybe next time...

Rick Bylina said...

There's always next year. They also have a shortened version in the fall. But more importantly, you didn't answer the poll about dental care.

Rick Bylina said...

I surprised that no one commented on the picture of the guy with the over-sized forehead. Does anyone remember what television episode it's from and which cartoon series ripped it off, and may have actually done it better?