Archive | July, 2013

Day Two at the Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC)

30 Jul
Provincetown beach

I stopped at the beach before class. It’s only a five-minute walk from the FAWC.

Today was a gorgeous day here in Provincetown. All sun, no clouds and a sea breeze to keep you cool. Pamela Painter assigned us three writing projects last night, and I spent all of the evening and much of the early morning completing them. Some of the assignments are pushing me beyond my comfort zone, which is a good thing. I know I wouldn’t be writing some of these pieces without some pressure. I also feel the pressure of presenting to a class–another thing that makes my work better–knowing that someone will be reading this work and commenting on it makes me more determined to write to the best of my ability. That’s exactly what I signed up for, and I am certainly getting that here.

I’ve been so busy at my job in Boston that I haven’t done much writing lately. Part of my motivation for coming here was to focus on the work, and I think I’ve been doing that. I can certainly take writing seriously, and I think that having a deadline really helps with that. I also think that talking and thinking about writing for three hours every day keeps it in mind. It helps that I don’t have to worry about getting to work at a certain time, maintaining a living space, or making dinner; all I have to do here is get myself to class and figure out which place has the best seafood or homemade ice cream. Not the hardest of decisions!

One of my assignments for tonight is to write a single sentence that is 250-words long. I am not exaggerating when I say that it could take me a few hours to complete. If you’re feeling up to it, try it at home and post your results. I may post mine if it’s not embarrassingly bad!




My Week at the Fine Arts Work Center – Provincetown, MA

28 Jul
Fine Arts Work Center

Fine Arts Work Center

Today was the first day of the week here with a brief orientation and meeting with our workshop leader and fellow classmates. The class I’m taking is Flash Fiction with Pamela Painter, an Emerson professor and widely published writer of both regular length short stories and much shorter flash or micro fiction pieces.

I liked Pam right away. We only had fifteen minutes together as part of our introduction to her class, and she led a mini lecture about the flash fiction form with some examples of the assignment she’d like us to do for tomorrow.

The class is small – right now just me and two other women, with a possible fourth classmate to join us tomorrow. I think the perfect size for a class is six people, so four (or three) is pretty small. The benefit is having more time to talk to Pam one-on-one and be able to learn as much as possible from her – something that is more difficult to do in a larger class.

View from the Provincetown Fast Ferry

We passed a sailboat on the way to Provincetown.

Our first assignment is to write the first two sentences of three different stories. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! The first two sentences of any story are – like the last two – some of the hardest to write. The sentences need to do the following: place the reader in time and place; introduce character(s), POV, voice and conflict; draw the reader in. In some ways, the story needs to be already somewhat formed in your head before you can even begin.

Luckily for my writing, it is rainy and a bit cold (mid-sixties), so I got a big mug of tea and am locking myself in my room to write. Fingers crossed I don’t come down with a case of writer’s block!

Tracy Staedter

Science writing, editing and workshops is the best place for your personal blog or business site.