Depending on who you ask, last weekend’s Girls Write Now workshop took place in Ancient Greece, Victorian England, 1960s Dinkytown (that’s Minneapolis, MN), 1930s South Dakota or the South Bronx in the early 1990s.
Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre of fiction to read. At its best, it enlivens my passions for history and cultural studies through great characters; I feel more intimately connected with people in different times and places. As a writer, of course, I enjoy our monthly genre workshops, specifically because they’re a place to play with language and narrative differently than I do in my daily work (what a liberating pleasure!).
My work—which I love—is with rather fast-paced, ephemeral material, as I’m a professional blogger- Tweeter-Facebooker, but I also love writing about life in the pre-Internet, pre-texting era, which prompted a quieter state of mind. Yet the world I conjured had just as much intrigue, romance and conflict as my own today. I imagined my grandparents as they first met in the 1930s, and had a lot of fun with two characters who were too shy to even say hello. (Spoiler alert: someone did.)
Kicking off our day, Hillary Jordan delivered a craft talk, which was one of my favorites during the last few years at Girls Write Now. She shared her journey to becoming a novelist and also pointed out how her previous work experience lent itself to her writer-life. Beyond her succinct, practical advice—write, write, write—she encouraged the girls to get up and share their writing proudly. With good reason: our mentees never cease to amaze me.
Thus inspired and distracted by angst-ridden people in love long ago, I headed out into New York, 2012, wondering what sort of historical fiction we may inspire someday.
- Check out what a time-traveling mentor in the afternoon workshop experienced!