Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Tobias Wolff Experience - With Audio

Some of you may remember me talking about my big, exciting Tobias Wolff weekend last month. Lots of activity packed in a short span of time and it was awesome! Tobias Wolff was in Denver and there were three phenomenal events sponsored by my beloved Lighthouse Writers Workshop and of course, I attended all of them.

Tobias Wolff was inspiring, personable and entertaining and my friends, you have the opportunity to share in that weekend with me. If you go here, you’ll see the most recent of a series of posts about the Tobias experience. There are two recordings you can listen to – each somewhere around 45 minutes and well worth making the time for.

Part I of the talks includes a reading from Wolff’s novel, Old School and his short story Bullet in the Brain.

Part II is novelist Eli Gottlieb’s interview with Wolff where they discuss everything from boring characters to writing workshops to mentors to Operation Homecoming to an anecdote about Raymond Carver being a chocolate hoarder.

If you make the time to listen to these segments, I promise you’ll be glad you did.

If you scroll around the Lighthouse blog, you can read some additional information about the experience, posted by my personal heroine, the Program Director for Lighthouse Writers Workshop and Literary Goddess, Andrea Dupree. Yes, I understand the meaning of restraining order, but I think the blogosphere meets the 250 yard distance I’m supposed to keep away from her.

Despite my penchant for yammering on line I did not ask Mr. Wolff any questions and you’ll certainly be impressed to know that the only question that I seemed to be able to focus on all weekend was to ask him how he felt about being portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie adaptation of his memoir, This Boy’s Life. I am sooo cerebral. I declined to ask my burning question and could only stammer out that I thought Old School was the ultimate novel for writers when I stood in line to get my copy signed. Fortunately, there was nobody standing guard with a taser as I made my star-struck way to the man.

Is it just me, or does anybody else get all Disney World goofy when they have a book signed by a famous author?


susan said...

Not book signings, but a couple of Willie Nelson CDs and well, yes, his book. And well yes again, I made a complete ass of myself.

thanks for sharing and I'll go check out the links.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, yeah, Lisa, I get all tingly and goofy. I'm always afraid I'm going to pull a Chris Farley (remember the skit from SNL with Paul McCartney?). So far (with authors Tim O'Brien and Elizabeth Berg and drummer Max Weinberg of the E Street Band) I've at least held it together enough to not be escorted out.

Charles Gramlich said...

About the closest I came to someone top-of-the-line famous was Clive Barker. I was going to get his autograph but he had a long line.

Ello said...

I think I would get all goofy if I was around Stephen King or JK Rowling - ok I know not high brow but I do love them!

Patti said...

i have never had that experience, but i think i would pee myself if i ever got to have a conversation with lyle lovett.

yeah, that would be embarrassing...

Shauna Roberts said...

Many years ago, I had a book signed by Ursula Le Guin. I tried to tell her how much a particular short story had meant to me (lifechanging, in fact), and my voice got shaky and I stumbled over my words. It was really embarrassing.

Even now, I usually get tongue-tied when I get books autographed, even by friends. Despite being a writer myself, there's still something magical about writers and books that awes me.

Rebecca Burgess said...

Lisa thanks for the great links. I'll have to indulge myself during the tykes naps tomorrow.

About the famous. I used to be a flight attendant for United Airlines. For a few years I was based out of LA and had loads of stars on board. Even though I'd see them all the time, and we weren't supposed to act all dewy eyed and drippy, I'd still break into a sweat and trip over my words while taking their drink orders or delivering their salmon.

Sustenance Scout said...

LOL Lisa, you're too funny. And I'm exhausted so thanks for the good laugh, ha! That's why I was one of the first in line to get Mr. Wolff's autograph; I was goofy enough when I spoke with him and knew I'd be ten times worse if I had half an hour to think about it. You've got to tell Andrea about this post; she's going to love the Literary Goddess part. :)

Lisa said...

Susan, now you've got me more intrigued about you than ever -- Connecticut, Augustine AND Willie Nelson. You rock!

Judy, oh I completely remember that! So hey, but have you had any readers get giddy when they've met you? I'll bet you have.

Charles, you're such a guy :)

Ello, good God woman, don't let Stephen King hear you say that! Despite being arguably the best selling author on the planet and having gotten begrudging props better late than never from the literary critics, he seems to still have a bit of a chip on his shoulder about not being respected. Maybe one day he'll get over it ;)

Patti, LL? First Julia and now you? I never got that!

Shauna, I understand me getting all tongue tied and goofy because -- well, it's me. I am shocked that the literary world have this effect on you too. I always consider you one of my most grown up and sophisticated blogging friends :)

Becky, A real live flight attendant? Oh my gosh, now we do need to get that lunch set up -- if anybody has got to have great celeb stories!

Karen, I actually told her about it because one of the links originally wasn't working correctly and I was emailing her to let her know. See, I'm star struck with her too?

But seriously, has anybody ever thought of anything to say to an author at a signing that doesn't feel insane? For your authors who have done signings, has anybody ever said anything that wasn't just giddy, weird, standing in line for a signing stuff?

Patti said...

oh lisa, he's a genious, a master, with words. that will do it for me everytime. plus the goofy hair helps!

Steph in Roker aka Yellow said...

Lisa, if I ever get to meet you or Scott I'd probably stumble over my words. You both have a fan in me.
In fact I've had to clear up a fair few typo's on this mailalone, but that'sprobably due to my sticky space bar and the elastoplast on my right index finger.

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.

Virginia Woolf