Tim O’Brien Visits Sierra Nevada College

Tim O’Brien at Sierra Nevada College from Sierra Nevada College on Vimeo.

The book “The Things They Carried,” by author and Vietnam
Veteran Tim O’Brien, was chosen as a community read at Sierra Nevada College.
This short video documents O’Brien’s visit to the university, and nearby Incline
High School. The video includes excerpts from an interview conducted by Jason
Paladino, a student writer for “The Eagle’s Eye,” the college newspaper, and a
story told by O’Brien after a public lecture and conversation with author and
Iraq Veteran Brian Turner, director of Sierra Nevada College’s MFA Writing
Program. The video was shot and edited by SNC students Nick Cahill and Trevor
Jackson, in collaboration with Associate Professor of Digital Art Chris

This Is What I’ve Done

by Optimism One

Ops Desk in BaliKelle Groom told us in English 517R (Craft of Literary Nonfiction Workshop) that at one point in her writing career, a pivotal point, she put her writing desk right by the front door of her apartment so that she always saw it before she left or when she came home.

This is what I’ve done.

She also told us that she made folders–physical, tangible folders–of all the printed drafts and pieces that went into individual essays or chapters or poems, labeling each folder according to its given content and keeping those folders visible on her writing desk.

This is what I’ve done.

Finally, she said that she designed her life in such a way that if it supported her writing, then it was welcome; if not, it was not.

This is not quite what I’ve done, but I’m certainly moving in that direction.

I’m in Bali, Indonesia, from now until Christmas and the next residency. I’ve rented a nice studio apartment and a motorbike, and I have a regional mobile phone, a ‘handphone’ in the local parlance.

My responsibilities are so basic (eating and sleeping) that there really isn’t any excuse but to read and write as much as possible. Therefore, so far, I’ve read all of a few literary magazines (The Normal School, Fourth Genre, and Creative Nonfiction), parts of a couple others (Tin House and Poets & Writers), and all of Suzanne Roberts’ Plotting Temporality [awe-some!]. Also, I just started a collection of interviews called A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration. Meanwhile, after getting a somewhat slow start on my writing due to (excuses, excuses) not having and not being able to find a proper voltage converter and apparently not feeling compelled enough to simply put pen to paper, I have written a few things: “Yes and No,” a list of experiences and insights about being in the Hong Kong airport for thirteen hours; “Whipped by the Old Man,” a sketch on my first surfing expedition since arriving in Bali; and a few different parts for a much longer piece that is tentatively titled “What’s In a Name?,” an exploration of the various names I’ve had over the course of my life. All of the above are most certainly in the first-draft stage. Also, I keep my SNC MFA notebook with me everywhere I go, jotting down ideas and lines that come to me when inspiration shines. This latter idea comes from Suzanne Roberts, who said in our travel writing class that she has different-sized notebooks to fit any and every occasion.

This is what I’ve done.

SNC Welcomes Téa Obreht

Téa Obreht will co-lead a fiction workshop in our August 2013 residency.

Tea_Obreht_author_photoTéa Obreht was born in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia in 1985 and has lived in the United States since the age of twelve. Her New York Times bestselling debut novel The Tiger’s Wife won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a 2011 National Book Award Finalist.  Her writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Vogue, Esquire and The Guardian, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She has been named by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty and included in the National Book Foundation’s list of 5 Under 35. Téa Obreht lives in New York.



Téa Obrecht on PBS Newshour