I meant to have this post out last Friday, but since I spent most of Friday morning in a car, and my posts now come out at noon, that seemed a little impractical. And I didn’t want to rush this. Last Friday was the last day of the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. Even so, I wrote the beginning of this post on Thursday night, which was the last full day of the conference.
As I wrote the original beginning of this post, I sat in the Barn, which has been the main social location for the conference. True, I probably should’ve been socializing instead of writing, but as far as things typical to my life go, I have much more experience with the latter than the former, but I try to overcome that tendency
Socializing went reasonably well, and when the time came to have dinner I wasn’t exactly sure what I could eat, so I sat down with a glass of wine and my notebook until I found some people to sit with. That said, you don’t want a blow by blow, so I’ll just say we had peanut butter chocolate pie and it was good.
The dinner was a bit fancier than our others, what with the wine and all, but as our last one together it was nice. We’ve built a great community here at Bread Loaf, and I feel greatly connected to all the friends I have made, and thanks to social media it seems I’ll even be able to stay connected.
From Bread Loaf I have gotten more than just book recommendations and publishing tips, I’ve made friendships and gotten life advice and generally have had a grand old time. This was a great learning experience for me, and I’m so glad that I made such meaningful connections.
I’ve learned what it means to have found my narrative twin, learned more about my work, seen the great work of others, and heard beautiful poetry and prose that has made me understand that there is suffering, but also beauty in the world and I truly feel that together we can make a change. But this blog isn’t a soap box, and I don’t want to get too emotional, so here are the top 5 things I have learned and had reinforced over the course of this conference.
1. Understand the emotional heartbeat of your piece
2. Translate the author that is right for you
3. Create a dialogue between translator/author/work
4. Tell the stories you want told
5. Translate for the love of translating
As two bonus economical tips, 1. make sure you know who has the rights to your piece and 2. don’t sign a work-for-hire contract. I’ve gotten much more out of this conference than I could put in a single post, but I don’t want this to go too long. Thanks to everyone who was at the conference who made it such a great atmosphere, and thanks especially to my workshop leader Idra Novey for guiding us all so well!
P.S. It rained for most of the conference, but we had a couple days where we workshopped in the sun when it finally came out!