Our Thrills: Writing Workshop Series began on October 2, 2016 with a generative writing workshop
facilitated by Hugo E. Rodriguez. Here’s what he had to say about his experience as a facilitator:
My lesson was officially untitled but unofficially I’d call it “A Quick and Dirty Primer on Flash Fiction” and the genre was literary fiction. My teaching approach was a discussion with my own background in journalism and the huge influence reading short stories as part of my MFA coursework had that led me to writing flash fiction.
I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous going in because I was presenting a workshop with some heavy hitters in Houston’s poetry scene, including my own poetry mentor Lupe Mendez. So I sought outside advice from my flash fiction mentor, writer Hillary Leftwich, and she pointed me to Pamela Painter’s You and the piano bench, found in the The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction. I used the prompt suggested there and gave it a bit of a spin in deference to the thrills theme.
The prompt that professor Painter references, and I’ll paraphrase it here, was to create a story using three objects. The one object I kept because of the potential it had given the topic, was that of an eye staring through a hole in a fence. After 10 minutes of writing, the responses were amazing. And so varied! I had stories about bars, about masks, about self-image, experimental flash pieces, and a great variety of others. The workshop attendees were really into the stories and you can tell by the passion they had when reading them.
I also led that part of the workshop while wearing a luchador mask!
I think my biggest take-away from the workshop is that it was comfortable. It felt less like any formal class or lecture and much more like a conversation about writing. Yes, the Tintero Projects are a deviation from the standard “workshop” environment, and that’s okay. The type of workshop where everyone brings something and then it gets critiqued has its place and time. At the Tintero Workshops, it’s just an educational conversation that everyone can benefit and learn from and who knows, maybe it can serve as a springboard for someone to discover a new way of writing fiction, plays, or poetry. Overall, the experience was great and I hope to get the opportunity to facilitate another workshop soon!