Current weekend status for Terrible Mother:
Writing: an email to Friend One
Breakfasting on: a piece of toast with cashew butter and honey, and a cup of strong cafe con leche
Wearing: pjs, which today consists of her MFA t-shirt*
Listening to: The Garden State Soundtrack
Getting ready for: yoga in an hour
Planning on: meeting This One Guy for coffee sometime today
Eating dinner with: Friend R
Must, at some point: water and weed her garden
Will finish this weekend: her revised pitch for The Magazine, the cleaning of her house
Will work on this weekend: her new story
Is actually feeling: really good.
*Ahh, the MFA t-shirt. So, the year before we graduated, the 2nd year fictioners made t-shirts that said "Team Fiction," listing their names as players, and the professors as coaches. They were cute. We, however, took it one step further. On the front of our t-shirt, is the fabled Wedge, a tool Ehud used repeatedly, in his classes. It's basically a way to conceptualize the necessary movement of a story. He drew it on the board all the time. In the middle of it is a favorite Malamud quote ("Art celebrates life and gives us our measure"), and next to that are all five of the graduating fictioners first names.
But the back--the back is especially brilliant. Our professor David Bradley is known for his unique critiquing style. First of all, he has most of us submit our work electronically, and then he adds endnotes to it, printing it out on the day of workshop with all of his commentary. I should say here that he comments excessively. For example, the first excerpt I turned in to him was 10 pages. He wrote 156 endnotes. 156. When he's particularly cranky, he uses Roman numerals instead of Arabic numbers so that you have to also try to remember what the hell ICXV is.
He's also extrememly tough, but instead of just saying something like "this sucks," (which he will do), he'll often use the Hilarious Death Line, something that is accurate as hell, painful, and fucking funny. That first year, we all had to get used to the way he critiqued our work, how he was toughing us. So, the back of the t-shirt is an homage, more or less, to David Bradley. At the top is "WWDBD?" (What Would David Bradley Do?), with each letter numbered, endnote style. At the bottom, for the endnotes, we've each included our favorite DB insult about our work. Mine is "Look, I know you graduated college, because after your last draft, I checked. But when I read sentences like this I think 'how the hell did you pass the fifth grade?'"
Ahh, the good ol' days.