To pay the bills, I'm a professor. I teach in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco. If there's one thing I feel like I've learned from reading the work of all my smart students, it's that the future of literature is incredibly bright. When people lament MFA programs, they usually criticize them as an ad hoc governing body that homogenizes student work, makes everybody write in similar modes, etc.
But in my experience, that's nowhere near the truth. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the imaginations I see my students showcase consistently impresses me.
On the first night of workshop, I always tell my students that no one else on earth has her particular imagination. Nobody can write the exact stories that she can. No one can take us on a guided journey quite like her lovely nimble mind.
So for all you aspiring authors out there, remember to play to your imagination as a strength. It's your greatest asset. Liberate yourself on the page and feel completely free!! I can't wait to spend the $30 to read your fiction some day.
Here's the third installment of the short story I've been posting in segments this week. If you need to catch up, I posted the first installment on Monday and the second piece on Tuesday.
"paris, 2009" (part 3)
The street artist drew the girl with the black eye's stomach much larger than it actually was, a huge belly and a big baby visible through her skin, and the street artist drew a black eye on the baby too because Tyler was the sort of guy to hand his violence out like Halloween candy. The street artist wanted the girl to know what her child was in for, that the boy or girl wouldn't evade Tyler's wrath, and he didn't deserve the healthy life growing in her body, and why would Tyler end up being the father of a normal child while the street artist had a life sentence of making good spaghetti?
The street artist ran his pen in circle after circle around the baby's black eye, exaggerating and indicting. Defacing the baby. He made the baby frown and tears ran down its face and splotches from his red pen on the cheeks. The girl with the black eye and the baby with the black eye, and it was time to draw Tyler. It was Tyler's turn.