You find yourself among forty fellow authors, mostly women, a handful of men, and a teenaged boy who has probably cut classes to be here at two. Within minutes of your arrival, you are separated into groups of five, in a way that wisely prevents friend from sitting with friend. You take a seat at a table with three middle-aged women and the teenaged boy.
The writing is hard: Take a memory. Alter the environment, the viewpoint, the tense. You write and you read and you listen, until you have dissolved into sound waves that stir the air. You note the moment the breeze touches the boy’s eyelids, the pull-down shade in his window, suddenly flying up to reveal the light.