Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Brother, Agents, and Writing in Class


In this one you are with me and our cousins, Hank and John, in Baldwin, on the south shore of Long Island. It’s 1950 or 1951and we are posing at the edge of a canal in the shipyard where Granddaddy keeps his motor boat. We just got back from our annual day trip through Jones Inlet. You and I stand in the middle with our arms around each other and clearly we take care of each other. We are as plain and sturdy as our scuffed Buster Brown shoes.

Hank and John, wearing sneakers, are aliens from Planet Cousin and we have no clue about them. If you are trying to cheer John up with a hug, it isn’t working. We love the person who is taking the picture, probably our mother or father, though John seems more interested in the ground in front of him.

Over the years to come the tides of our lives will pull you and me together and keep us apart, but we will always be Susan and William, Sister and Brother.

In 2001, from the rocky shore of Nova Scotia, I scattered your ashes in the cold waters of St.Margaret’s Bay, where you once took me for a day trip on your motor boat, Seaweed 2.

Now you travel on the tides to all the waters of the world.

Sent follow-up #3 to an agent who has yet to acknowledge. This time I re-sent the whole ms. requested in May.
We'll see.
Meanwhile the ending is nagging at me, as is the idea of pitching GRACE as "edgy" YA.

Writing in class with my students for 10 minutes at a time, 7 times a week, is enlightening. I have 7 classes, each meets once a week.) Twice I write on one topic, four times on another, and once a week a class with its own, entirely different, topic. I have uncovered some startling insights this way. The ten-minute student writings are always interesting. This is the only time everyone tackles the same prompt.

Homework is an "invitation," so any topic is acceptable if the invititee has other writing priorities. I often use my own writing as an example in the Invitations. For example, I used the the meditation on Will (2nd from left in picture above) as an example of writing to a person in a photograph "In this one, you are..."