Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Last Workshop Before the Wedding

Tomorrow night, I get to reap the benefits of the Chicago-SF writing workshop without having to put any selfless work into preparation. I get to bring a book with writing exercises, but I don't have the fairly demanding responsibility of criticizing other people's work. They certainly provide some entertaining stuff to read, but providing constructive reactions and advice can get somewhat strenuous. It requires a good deal of attention while reading and dedicating some time to read pieces more than once.

I've submitted a total re-working of the piece revolving around the high school kid who has some powers, some angst and a bit of growing up to do. It only amounts to a page and half, but it takes a scene from the middle, puts it in the beginning and provides a little more of an introspective viewpoint from the main character's viewpoint. I hope it provides something more compelling and original. The last workshop really did a constructive number on both my ego and writing skill, creating quite a challenge for me by someone saying that one character came off as stereotypical and both "colleagues" telling me that they wanted more detail about the main character. Has it really only been a month since the last meeting?

The workshop meeting also marks a turning point, being the last writing workshop I attend as a legally single man. Our first out of town wedding guest arrives this Friday. My wedding "vacation" from work starts next week, on Wednesday. I have a bachelor party Thursday night, the rehearsal dinner on Friday and the wedding happens on Saturday. The future wife (let's toss the whole fiancee thing) and I have practiced our foxtrot Sunday and Monday. After doing some errands and meeting with the photographer, we were too tired to practice tonight, and tomorrow, I'll have the writing workshop. After that, though, we plan on practicing more every night that we have the chance. And, of course, tons of stuff to be done to prepare for the big day.

My first real gut feeling of getting married hit me this morning. It's really pretty hard to describe. Things just felt grounded, and my gut felt a little droopy, not in a sad kind of way. . .more like a "things will be changing and this is realization setting in." It didn't feel bad or good, just real and focusing. Up to now, I've just been thinking, "It's going to happen. Maybe it won't be perfect, but we're going to get married. Things will change but how much can they really change? We've been dating each other for so long, been living together for awhile, we've worked through some difficulties, we realize that we'll go through some tough spots and throw wedding rings at each other and around the room. . .but really, how much will things change?"

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi makes a good point in Flow.

When two people choose to focus their attention on each other, both will have to change their habits; as a result, the pattern of their consciousness will also have to change. Getting married requires a radical and permanent reorientation of attentional habits. (p. 177)

Heavy stuff. Nonetheless, it sounds like a good thing to keep in mind, especially since there will be some big deflation after the wedding. Our attentional energies will be changing. Tonight, I said I'm looking forward to the wedding to get done with, so I can focus my attention on finishing my bachelor's project. The future wife looks forward for the wedding to end so that she can focus more attention on classes and hopefully longer work hours. The strange thing, really, is the realization that we don't just work to do these things to just realize ourselves and our goals, we do them also to make our relationship stronger and push the existence of our marriage and relationship stronger, further and onward. This is just the beginning of the journey, and I think tomorrow's workshop makes for a good "final" marker. . .the death of single writing The_Lex to the married writing The_Lex.

I could probably go on forever about this whole thing, and it probably could be beneficial for me to do so. It's getting late, though. Besides, I probably have plenty of gut feelings to experience as the wedding grows closer. Here's to the gut, truthiness and getting married.

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