I drew this the Sunday night I arrived. I wasn't really intending to draw a visual diary, but after the first few days I found that I couldn't stop drawing. In part, it might have been a reaction to all the reading and writing we had to do. It was roughly 40-80 pages of reading per day, workshop 9 am-1 pm, then on top of that we were supposed to write a story per week. I'm normally a slug-on-the-couch kind of person, so this was pretty tiring.
Pretty early on I started to wake up very early (6-7 am) and sit in the community garden outside our classroom. It was nice to start the day with a little bit of alone time before we jumped into workshop.
This is pretty much what it looked like! Exciting, I know. From here on out, it starts to look like a Mac commercial.
This is our common room area. The UC San Diego dorms are very spacious. They set you up with a group of roommates and you can see the other writers across the plaza through your windows. I think this is intentional to foster a stronger sense of community among the writers.
UCSD is really close to a beautiful beach and cliffs. Confession...I never actually made it down to the beach!
I spent a few mornings near the jacaranda tress on the other side of our workshop, but the petals were kind of grimy on the tables. Pretty sure I got jacaranda slime on some of my early critiques (sorry guys...).
On Wednesdays (and sometimes Tuesdays, depending on the schedule), we'd go to the local genre bookstore Mysterious Galaxy for author readings. Super fun. Support your local bookstores!!
More from that first author reading with Chris Barzak, who read from his book The Gone Away Place.
We critiqued my first complete short story, "Mungo Steals a Plaid." Haven't published that one yet, but hoping to rectify that by incorporating the group's comments/suggestions.
Mostly whined about academia to Chris in my on-on-one. I suspect that all work environments have comparable levels of unfun stuff, but I was in the complainin' mood.
I took an incredibly ill-advised weekend trip to San Francisco. Don't do it, people. All that reading and writing and thinking takes its toll. Relax on the weekends and make the time to sleep/write your stories.
Clearly I needed a drink.
The cat to the left tore up an airline blanket like it was Swiss cheese. And that brings us to the end of Week 1! Click here for Week 2.