In the acknowledgments to Spiral Hunt, I thanked a number of people, most notably the faculty, staff, and students at Viable Paradise in 2004 and the members of the writers’ group BRAWL. I submitted drafts of Spiral Hunt to both groups, and the critiques I received shaped the book and turned it from a string of vaguely interesting ideas into a novel. I owe them a great debt.
But since we’re doing a shout-out Sunday, I wanted to call attention to some of the people who, though they may not have directly affected Spiral Hunt, had a hand in turning me into a writer. (Already I can imagine them recoiling from the screen, crying “What have I done? My God, what have I done?” but then again, I imagine that anyway without really needing a reason.) These are just a few of the teachers who helped me along the way — it’s an incomplete list, but it’ll do for now.
- Mary Stuart and Peter Robinson, the teachers at the summer programs who taught creative writing and science fiction, both of which got me started on my way;
- Paul Park, whose science fiction Winter Study class at Williams College first taught me the basics of workshopping and of understanding the structure of short stories. (And in whose class I got to know the resident organist, which is another reason I’m indebted to him.)
- and Mrs. Just Mrs. She was one of my teachers in the first two years of high school, and though I hadn’t quite figured the world out yet, she made those years so much better just by being there. Schoolwork, drama work, believing in myself and believing that my work was worthwhile . . . Everything’s better with Mrs.
As you can tell by the timestamp on this post, however, none of them were able to teach me punctuality. (It’s still Sunday for a little while longer, yes?)