Log in

No account? Create an account

Earlier Spew | More Recent Spew

Fear of Regret

I took a plunge on Monday kind of at the last minute. There's an independent, college book store near where I work (which means near the Emory campus) called Eagle Eye Book Shop. They host a lot of writer-y events that cater to Atlanta's rather large population of wannabe and published authors.

For four years, now, local author David Fulmer has run what he calls a "Fiction Shop." He calls it this because he says fiction is just like any other hobby/vocation: you have to learn to use the tools properly. He likens it to "Wood Shop" or "Metal Shop" classes in high school.

At any rate, I found out about a week ago that the classes were upcoming, but took place on Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30, which put them not only into conflict with something else I do on Mondays but also with Labor Day. So I sent them a question...and then promptly forgot completely about it.

Then Monday at work at around 5:30, I saw a mention of it on Facebook and realized it was only about an hour away from starting and I had not decided, yet.

I waffled, briefly. It's sure to be a valuable experience. But it's $225. But he has published quite a few books. And they're mysteries, which is kind of what I'm writing. But it conflicts with my Second Life meeting. And I'd have to leave my guests alone for several hours on Labor Day night. And it's eight weeks of commitment. It went on like that for a while, all inside my head.1

Then, another voice joined in the chorus. Last week I heard a podcast by Lisa B. Marshall2, The Public Speaker's Quick and Dirty Tips to Improving Your Communication Skills. In this particular episode that I heard, she was talking about attending an improv class. She interviewed her improv instructor who had a quote that really resonated with me.
Transform your fear of failure into a fear of regret.
That was all it took.

I phoned the book store and asked if there were still any seats open. Turns out there was. One. I told them I'd be there and I immediately left work and headed for Eagle Eye.

Eagle Eye is one of those places that I'd like to own. They have new and used books, the place smells like a library or book store full of old books. In the back is a "readers room" with a couch, some comfy chairs, and a white board. It is in that room that I found David Fulmer and a couple of other author hopefuls when I showed up fifteen minutes or so early. I walked in and David said, "Are you the walk-in?" He had apparently conversed with the others in email leading up to the first class. There are seven of us in the workshop. Each week he will give us a writing assignment to be read aloud to the group the following Monday. Something very short in keeping with the topic of the week's session. This week it was Setting. We have to write 1 to 2 pages maximum of nothing but setting—no character, no plot, no dialogue unless it's part of the setting. Using sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste (in that order of importance, but not necessarily all of them), make the reader be in the place.

I, of course, immediately picked four settings, two of which turn that order on its head because that's how my mind works: a busy diner (smell, sound, sight), a pitch-black cave (sound, touch), a meadow on a sunny day (all five), and a riverbank in the dead of winter (all five).

So my Monday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 for the next eight weeks are booked. It should be interesting and instructive.

  1. Interestingly enough, talking out loud to yourself in your cube, which would be considered strange or at least "off" behavior for the general work populace, for software developers, it's considered normal. So even if I were to have said it out loud, I doubt anyone would have noticed.
  2. I'd provide a link to her personal site, but it's offline right now under renovation.

Atheists Are People, Too  Antispam  


( 3 hisses — Hiss at me! )
Aug. 4th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
"Convert your fear of failure into fear of regret."
Ack! That shakes me up, too. If you can find me a name for attribution, I'll make sure to note it as I repeat the phrase all over my life.
Aug. 4th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
Re: "Convert your fear of failure into fear of regret."
I googled the phrase and it's not uncommon. But you can listen to the podcast here:

Improv Interview. The actual quote is at 7:35ish.

Oh, and Patti? The improv theater in question is in Philadelphia. :)
Aug. 4th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Carpe diem. And you did.

Well done! Keep us posted on how it goes.

D*Con Fiction Writers Workshop
Class of '08
( 3 hisses — Hiss at me! )

Latest Month

April 2017
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Paulina Bozek