I love them so.
Primarily because they are very often atypical of a lot of the conversations I have when out in the wild.
Writers out there will know what I mean--tell me if this sounds familiar.
Stranger at Party: Oh, so you're a writer!
SaP: You should write a book about my life!
Me: I'm not that kind of writer.
SaP: I always thought my life would be a fascinating story.
Me: I'm really not that kind of writer.
SaP: What kind of writer are you?
SaP: Oooh, naughty naughty--bodice rippers, eh?
Me: That's actually sort of a derogatory term.
SaP: But it's like porn, right?
Me: No, actually porn is sex for sex's sake--romance has sex for the sake of emotional connection.
SaP: So, chick lit?
Me: Also a derogatory term.
SaP: But it's all about the sex, isn't it?
Me: No, it's really about emotional bonding and making a happy life for the individual.
SaP: You sound so smart! Why don't you write something with substance!
Me: All writing has substance--romance is one of the most political genres of them all. It addresses the four basic human relationships, including the two that are completely by individual choice and it involves the radical idea that two humans can choose their own destiny in a world that is prone to putting obstacles--frequently political ones--in their way.
SaP: But seriously, you should write a book about my life.
Me: You could always write a book about your life.
SaP: Sure--but where should I start?
Me: Well, you should decide who your audience is.
SaP: All the young girls out there who want to grow up like me.
Me: ... Uh, maybe something a little less focused on you. It should be some lessons you've learned.
SaP: Like letting yourself go and learning to be your true self. Being true to your heart.
Me: ... Sure. But you want to decide if you want it to be a collection of anecdotes, or a complete memoire, or a self-help book or--
SaP: Yes! All of those!
Me: Have you ever read any autobiographical works?
SaP: Like what?
Me: James Thurber? Virginia Woolf? Michelle Obama? John Steinbeck? James Baldwin? Joan Didion? Anything?
SaP: Well, I don't really have time to read. What are they about?
Me: ... The lives of great people who know how to tell stories about their lives.
SaP: But I want to write in my own voice.
Me: Your voice only gets stronger if you read other people.
SaP: But I really don't want to contaminate my ideas with other people's words. Where should I start writing?
Me: You should read blogs on the internet. If you'll excuse me, I think my husband was getting me a drink. Mate...Ma--ate..MATE!!!!
So anyway, I was looking at local community college adult classes, trying to put together a seminar or two to teach, and I thought, "You know what would be a good class to teach? It should be a class that teaches people who want to write all of those things that I talk about with strangers at parties. Except maybe, if they pay me money to teach the class, they'll listen..."
What do you guys think--will it work?