WNYWP Summer Institure Daily Log: 7.25


Back in the sunlight after yesterday’s rain, we started the day with yet another delicious breakfast thanks to Beth and Kathy. Crumbcake, cheese danish, donut holes, and a very interesting blueberry pumpkin streusel were the fare. And can I just add … COFFEE!

Reading and Reflection

Patty inspired our morning writing with another selection from the ubiquitous
“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Pizza never sounded so scrumptious or Italy so argumentative in a cute-little-girl-flipping-you-off kind of way. Patty communicated Gilbert’s struggles with and delight in her “no carb left behind tour” of the boot-shaped peninsula with her usual verve and humor. The reflections followed Patty’s lead and we learned …

• perhaps a bit more than we wanted to about Scott’s Speedo,
• that Tom’s grandma Rosie O. is as pugnacious as she is Polish,
• and that Suzanne’s telephonicus interruptus led to a telephonica apolagetica

Writing Groups

As always, we broke into our writing groups for the morning. It has been interesting to see my group’s writing evolve. As we become more familiar with each other’s writing, we become more familiar with each other. Sharing writing can be an intense experience, as has been shown in some of our reflections and open mic moments. Today was also the last chance to share writing before anthology submissions this weekend.

During my group's discussions we also shared a publishing opportunity. NPR is always accepting submissions of short essays (around 450 words). The guidelines are

Good luck and happy writing to all!

Lesson Demo

Missy was introduced by Katrina. Missy’s lesson, “Talking Beads: Using Oral Tradition to Inspire Writing”, introduced us to her Seneca heritage as well as teaching us the value of oral traditions. She shared stories her father and grandmother shared with her as a girl and that she plans to share with her children one day, passing on her family’s and culture’s traditions. We listened, reflected, drew, shared, created our own stories, and made wampum belts (or bracelets) to symbolize our own oral traditions.


I ate with Karen and had a salad (and some pizza!). It was good.

Red Carpet Inquiry Work Time

Editing, editing, editing! After lunch we continued working on our Red Carpet Inquiry projects, moving to the editing room after completing most, if not all, of the filming. Speaking for my own group, editing seems like it will present a daunting challenge. I hope we haven’t been too ambitious!

Anthology Discussion

After our RCI time, we sat down to discuss the specs for anthology submissions and a title. The anthology specs are as follows:

1. Make all anthology submissions to safari135@hotmail.com no later than Sunday, July 27th. Please write in the subject line your name followed by “08 anthology” (example: Betty Smith – 08 anthology).
2. Each fellow is required to submit at least one piece of original writing for the anthology
3. Each fellow has four pages allotted for their submissions. Negotiations can be made for people who need more or less pages.
4. Be sure that your submissions are camera ready. NO modifications will be made to your work.
5. Be sure your name accompanies each and every piece – preferably following the title of the piece.
6. Every writing piece should have a title. If your piece is titled “Untitled”, then titled it “Untitled”.
7. Use only clean, legible fonts. Example: Times New Roman is good, Wing Dings is bad (try to avoid bolding too).
8. Do not number your pages.

Following the discussion of this information we turned to the issue of a title for our anthology. The early entries were light-hearted and turned to a bit raunchy. We changed course when we were reminded by Brenda that our writing is more serious and we will want to show the anthology to others. In the end we agreed upon “Exploding Camels: Storyweaving for the Seventh Generation”.

Open Mic

Our last Friday open mic included many thoughtful and personal pieces. Missy, Jess, Chris, Beth, Tom, Angela, Brenda, Patty, Greg, Ellen, Karen, and Sean shared (please forgive me if I left anybody out, I wrote the names down from memory after the fact!). Because I have seen Karen’s writing grow and evolve through our writing group, I am impressed with her writing and how her stories have evolved over the past weeks. I am sure this applies to everyone, but a little editorial shout out to my group is acceptable I’m sure!

BigJoel (you know which one ... )

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