Francine Brings Class Wherever She Goes

After an eventful, heartening, laugh-packed weekend with Francine Prose, we're all on Prose withdrawal. She came in with a huge brain and generous spirit, and left with her indispensable book, Reading Like a Writer, hiking up the local bestseller list. (I'd be surprised if it wasn't number one by next week, although some of the sales venues don't report to the list, so maybe not.) This was helped by the lovely fact that the Rocky came through! Have I mentioned that Lighthouse now LOVES the Rocky? Book lovers everywhere should subscribe ASAP, or at least pick up that Friday paper. They've even tapped Chris Ransick to pick up a blog on their books site. More to come on that.

Talking to Francine before her event on Sunday at a local coffee shop, she expressed bafflement at a review she'd seen in another Denver paper about a new book. The review talked about how it's all about the language and how beautiful it is. At the end of the review, there were four or five quotations that were supposed to support this thesis. Not so, says Prose. "They're awful! They're some chest-thumping cliches."

On another front, it was generally decided that all the truisms and rules trotted out in writing classes (not Lighthouse workshops, though, as we trot only opinions--ha) should be forgotten post haste, as Cheever doesn't abide them, nor does Mansfield, and we would all be best to be like Cheever and Mansfield in that way if not others. (I'm trying others as well, except the writing in my skivvies thing.) Francine said something to me over coffee that morning that stayed with me: "The idea is to be revolutionary. You really want to do something that no one’s done before. " Easy when you've got her brain and talent.

It was great seeing you all this weekend. This will be tough to top.