Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tadpoles! And...um, The Writing Process

Expecting some drivel about how writing is an amazing internal process akin to the transformation of tadpole to frog?

Look at those little guys!
Well, forget it. You're not getting that here.

Tadpoles are on the brain because I recently got some! I went to a mini-writing retreat with Doraine Bennett, Irene Latham, and Ashley Parsons. The creek behind Doraine's place was rife with the little critters and Doraine was kind enough to help me catch some so that I grow my own. I do love 'em and can't wait to hear their croaky serenades.

I've gone to critique retreats before but I'd never experienced an actual "writing" retreat. I wasn't sure it was going to work. But there really was something cathartic about being with a group of writers and committing to doing nothing but writing ("No talking for the next several hours. Ready? Write!").

I just wish I could've stayed longer, especially after getting feedback. Ashley in particular kicked my butt about separating the PLOT of my story from the theme. Go Ashley.

It's all fun and games until someone falls off, right?
In return, I told her about planking. Yeah, I know. What would she do without me?

Still, I feel obligated to make some connection to tadpoles, frogs and writing. You know, something besides how tadpoles cannibalize (okay, absorb) themselves in the transformation process--much like we have cannibalize (okay, mine) our internal experiences for our writing.

But that's too obvious.

Or maybe how writers nurture and protect an idea (your little tadpole) for a long, long time, only to release it into the wild and watch it get get gutted by the beak of a hungry heron (aka, agent or editor).  Nah, that's too depressing.

So instead, I'll just promise to include pictures of my little amphibious babies when they're all "growed" up.


Robyn Lucas said...

oh... a writers retreat sounds like heaven. Tadpoles on the other hand-- ewwww. I'm such a girl ;)
(but I will check back for pics of your froggy babies)

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

We used to raise tadpoles when I was little - groovy! But what in heaven's name is that second photograph all about!? :)

Cathy C. Hall said...

Oh, we used to catch tadpoles, too! But it's funny...I don't remember them ever getting much past the tadpole stage. My mom probably made us put them back.

Which has nothing to do with writing, either. Clearly, I need a writing retreat to get me back on track.

Doraine said...

Hurray for tadpoles. I hadn't caught them in way too many years, kiddies all being grown and such. It was such fun. Maybe the writerly connection is just letting ourselves be kids again. Capturing another experience to cannibalize. Take care of those little guys. I feel like a froggy godmother.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

@ Robyn-it really was great. I highly recommend it!

@ e--Lol! Planking is the new viral crazy where people get photographed in strange places as straight as planks. Big topic of convo...

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

@ Cathy, yes, yes--a writing retreat!

@ Doraine--"froggy godmother"--love it!

Gail said...

A writers retreat sounds like a lot of fun...especially with you 4 fun people!!!

Karen Strong said...

Ah, memories. I used to love getting tadpoles.

Writer's retreat. Sounds really good to me. I needs me a retreat...sigh.

Glad you had fun though! ;)