The Writing Class

Book Cover: The Writing Class
Part of the The Amy Gallup books series:
Editions:Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0312330668
Paperback
ISBN: 978-0312428419
Kindle
ISBN: B006MH345S

Amy Gallup was a promising writer once--published and highly praised at twenty-two. It was all downhill from there, and now, year in and year out, she teaches a writing workshop at the local university extension. And this semester begins just the same as the others. But then there's a threatening phone call, followed by obscene threats worked into the student's peer evaluations. Then a murder--and every one of the students is a suspect. The clues are hidden in their writing, and she (and we) can solve the murder only by looking more closely at each writer's attempts at fiction. Hilarious, vicious, and elegantly written, The Writing Class examines the desperation, perversion, and mania of the writing life through an unforgettable mystery story.

Published:
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genres:
Tags:
Excerpt:

THE FAT BROAD

lumbers into class five minutes late, dragging, along with her yard-wide butt, a beat-up vinyl briefcase stuffed with old notebooks. A contender once, it’s obvious, she’s got great hair, long and wavy and thick and white gold, but she’s pushing fifty++, pushing two hundred, and she wears polyester fat pants and a big & tall man’s white long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves ragged and rolled up. Here is a woman who does not give a rat’s ass.

She sits down behind a rickety desk in front of the blackboard, upends the briefcase, and spreads out the notebooks and crap in a neat line, like a magician’s row of cards. She’s the teacher. But I knew this. How? Because she’s the only person in the room who isn’t nervous.

Because she’s the Dominant Male.

READ MORE

She looks up and counts us with her eyes. Seven. She heaves herself up on her feet and addresses the whiteboard with a green marker:

FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP

AMY GALLUP

and she follows it up with the numbers of her home phone and cell phone, which if I turned this into a novel or esp a screenplay I’d have to represent as 555-something, which is foolish, which is stupid, but there you are, this is the world we live in, soft and womanish and lowest common D.

I, of course, am not nervous. Yes I am. Why? I’ve done this before. I’m a workshop vet, purple heart and silver cross. I’ve shown my stories to pretentious morons from sea to shining sea. I’ve been encouraged by twinkly grandmas, torn apart by gynecologists, talked down to by insurance salesmen.

Write what you know

The interesting thing about women, they get past a certain age and they might as well be men. The Dominant Male. Title? Idea for story?

Torn apart
by twinkly grandmas
patronized
by gynecologists

Six more trickle in. The Fat Broad looks up with studied disinterest. Yes, STUDIED DISINTEREST. It’s not a CLICHE, because these workshop instructors don’t get paid if they don’t fill their quotas. The quota here is ten; any fewer than that and it’s no go, we get our $$ back, The Fat Broad goes hungry, which would do her a world of good, but never mind. So behind her pleasant, scary face the gears are whirring and grinding. ( I’ve got to keep ten of these people. Not much breathing space. It’s time to go into my dance.)

And will she dance with me? Will she walk across that floor, past the losers and wannabes, the loudmouths, the grandmas, the housewives with a million stories in them, the math teachers whose characters for God’s sake wake them up in the middle of the night, will she pass them all and pick me? And will it be a fun dance? Will she tell me I’m talented and brilliant and that it’s just a matter of time and perseverance, and will she know what the hell she’s talking about and will she have any idea how much fucking time and PERSEVERANCE I’ve put into it already and will she look right at me and lie and will she for christ’s sake help me out or

2 more, more noise in hallway, here comes another, that makes 16, she must be breathing easier, the bitch

OR will she condescend me to fucking death like that pompous twit at Irvine and that pompous twat at Berkeley or look right through me like Professor Twitmore Fucking Twatface in Chi with his Recommended Reading List and his fucking Strunk & White

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW

WRITE

The Fat Broad speaks.

COLLAPSE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *