Saturday, February 14, 2015


If nothing else wonderful or even particularly good happens to me this year, I won't mind, because I took Maria Semple's writing class. (My last post on January 26th was the night before the class started, and I apologize for this late follow-up).

Maria Semple's hilarious and smart novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette? has been close to my heart ever since I read it 2013. I was excited to see she was teaching a class at Hugo House, the writing center here in Seattle. I've been taking classes for there for past four years in a sort of do-it-yourself writing education.

I'm reading it again and it's still super

The intensive novel-writing class sold out in a blink and I ended up on the wait list. I was lucky to get a spot in the class five days before it started. I managed to get through a giant stack of reading in those five days, and then I managed to be in the class Tues-Friday from 9:30 to 3. It was no small feat for me. In fact, it was the biggest schedule commitment I've had since coming down with Lyme.

Yes, I was a puddle by the time I made it home at 3:30. It was all I could manage to take care of my dog Cleo and get myself turned around to be ready for the next day. It took me the rest of following weekend to get my body back in balance.

It was worth all of it, and then some. Maria filled the room with her giant, generous, funny personality. That alone would have made it worth it, but she was also an excellent teacher. She also knew her writing craft backwards and forwards. I learned more than I imagined I ever would in four days.

I feel like I should somehow go on for the rest of this blog post with endless superlatives about Maria and her class but it's enough to say that, given how Lyme puts limits on what I can do and where I can travel (meaning, mostly nowhere), the class turned out to be one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. Despite how crummy I was feeling the Saturday after the class, I managed to sit down for a couple hours to start my novel. I've been working on it every day since, as I'm sure I will be for quite some time to come. It's making me tremendously happy.

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