Saturday, June 16, 2007

Countdown to Iowa City

I'll be writing/studying in Iowa City again this summer. Tonight I was looking at some old manuscripts and seeing how transformed they are from last year this time. It's hard to recognize the progress of something until you look at it on paper.

My classes are geared toward short story craft instead of novel, like the one I took spring semester at Stanford. Short stories tend to come easily to me, and if I can find time, I am inspired to write a couple of new stories to have workshopped for class in Iowa City. Writing short fiction is a very specific exercise which develops (for me) the writing muscle by reminding me about timing, minimalism, and plot. Surprisingly, I have developed more as a writer because of my advertising experience as a copywriter. Every project becomes an exercise into distilling a product into one compelling strategic message. I find when I have only seven words to say what I really want to say, I edit out the words that are not absolutely necessary and meaningful. This practice into the ecomony of words has served me as a writer.

The weather here has been unseasonably hot, and I am particularly sensitive to heat. I take cold showers and drench my head in cold water, although the only thing that seems to make me comfortable is being in the lower half of the house (my room) where it is cold. Suffering through the winter cold has it's summertime perks, but I won't be here to enjoy it since I'm leaving for Iowa in July.

Adam is flying out here in a week. He's never been to San Francisco, so I feel some pressure to show him everything--my city is so fantastic! I have come to peace with there is no way to show him everything, we will be so exhausted we wouldn't enjoy it. But there are a few key things and places no visitor should go without seeing. Namely, the annual PRIDE Parade. It's the most colorful display of gayness anyone could ever want to see, and an institution of San Francisco. That happens the morning of the Giants/Yankees game, so we'll have to start there. (Incidentally, I am told by my roommates that Giants Singles Game is also on Saturday. So they'll be in the singles bleachers while I'm in Right/Centerfield catching Barry Bonds #756.)

If you live in San Francisco, you should post your favorite place to go in the city. You can post anonymously, so no one has to know that you're really into doggie fashion shows in Nob Hill, or transvestite BINGO (called ba da bingo! not that I would know) in the Castro.

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