After much fiddling on my end and some (more and more desperate) emails to the Blogger people, I now have Comments!! And no doubt I will receive none. But a few people have emailed me - thank you - so hopefully now all will go smoothly.
A full day of classes yesterday, and we are into the workshopping part of the semester. Five lots in Writing for Children class and two stories in Short Story 2. Everyone is so different - diferent voices and styles, different ideas, and of course, different mistakes. And the challenge is always "how can this be made better? how can this problem be fixed?" There is never a magic answer, only suggestions and ideas, and then it's back to the drawing board for the writer.
I had a long phone conversation with a writer friend on Sunday night, describing the conference and what happened and what I heard. It helped to crystallise a few things I had been thinking about - just like workshopping really! And it reminded me, more than anything, of another weekend I went to several years ago, where two of us writers sat at dinner one night and worked out some very interesting theories on how male writers behave in public (i.e. at conferences where they are "on show") and how female writers behave. By behave I mean how they present themselves to the audience, and to those around them between sessions.
Male writers seem to have personas, and a certain confidence in their abilities and achievements. On the weekend, most of the male writers presented themselves as humorous, breezy and relaxed. And the females were serious, self-deprecating and calm. Except for one young woman who was genuinely hilarious.
So those theories were proved again - and trust me, I am not being sexist. I am merely observing how people present themselves and there are always exceptions. So I won't go on and describe the circles theory of "who you know" !!