I feel like today started a few days ago really…
I started missing kidzilla & popzilla many many moons ago and regretting my decision to come almost immediately after accepting.
This morning was not as tough as I had thought. I think the short emotional talk I had with popzilla about being afraid to die in a fiery loud messy plane crash and feeling incapable of protecting my small precious family as I feel I do on a daily basis helped to intellectually ease me out the door and onto the plane.
The ride to the airport was actually enjoyable. I was expecting a terrifically surly BILzilla (very cool brother in law who recently came to live with us.) . I was instead greeted and driven by a very awake and breakfasted BILzilla.
The plane ride to Atlanta was smooth and I had a funny feeling that my recently departed and well loved FILzilla (father in law) had something to do with that. And I don’t feel remotely cheesy in thanking the ol’ guy for it either.
The flight to Daytona on the tiny little plane with 30 seats was slightly more disconcerting and turbulent. I actually had to walk out on the tarmac at Atlanta to board the plane. SO 70s television...
I can’t believe I paid a cab $75.00 to get to the artists colony. I was f*cking robbed.
But I was not disappointed when I finally arrived at ACA.
It’s really quite beautiful here. The landscape is gnarly and lush and vibrating with squirrely lizards and enormous butterflies and skittish birds with songs so unfamiliar to me. No standard robins or cardinals to be found.
The room itself is simple, clean, quiet and spare – a bed, a radio, a bathroom, a refrigerator, a closet, lights, etc…
When I first arrived, I unpacked and ate the subway sandwich I bought at the airport.
Then, I took a look around. I met Mia first - i'm not the token filipino! She is also in the writing residency and had already walked around and met some people. She met another filipino writer, Mae. We talked for a bit but I was interrupting her lunch so I walked around finishing my self guided tour. I met Ines, one of the ACA staff, who is originally from Argentina. She’s so pretty and reminds me of one of my best friends who is also argentinian and a knock out. Ines brought me back to the library where I saw Mia again and saw another writer in residence, Johnathan.
I left there and went back to my room to kill time before our dinner at 7 p.m. Florida FM radio sucks *ss.
There are two large housing units the eagle wing and the patron wing. The patron wing sounds like the party wing. of course, i'm in the eagle wing.
Finally, 7 o’clock rolled around and I headed out. I met my next door neighbor, Suzanne, who is here for the composer residency.
She is very friendly and actually studied at the university of Chicago. She introduced me to other people with Chicago ties. Small. World.
On our way to dinner, we ran into Mia, Jessica Hagedorn and Dina (another associate writer in residence). Jessica seems very friendly and welcoming. I’m so relieved.
I met a few more people at dinner. Amy, an accomplished pianist who is here to help the composer residents. David, another Chicagoan, is also here for the composer residency. Thomas, an artist from London, is here for the visual artist residency. Suzanne and I sat down at a table with Johnathan who just recently arrived back in the states from a few months in argentina. He was just there to write. How cool is that… he’s written a few books it sounds like and has an agent in new york. He’s pretty nomadic.
After dinner, which was delicious – salmon with veggies and saffron rice, we introduced ourselves to each other. I f*cking HATE introducing myself to people.
Then, we took a tour of the different studios. Admittedly, the studios for all the other disciplines were impressive compared to the writing groups couches and table. But, the group itself seems laid back, easy going and fun. So, I’m really looking forward to interacting and learning these next three weeks. If only, I didn’t have to actually contribute through writing! :P
After our tour, the writing group sat around and ate brownies and talked about how we might schedule our days/weeks, etc… it’s sounds like it’ll be pretty free form. I really wish I could’ve said goodnight to ellie and dj but by the time the tour was over it was much too late to call.
11:45 p.m. - time to call it quits. Early day tomorrow and lots of writing to catch up on. Sorry for the long hiatus in blogging. i've been trying to get ready for this residency and i was also setting up the drawing club. i've missed reading my favorite blogs, hopefully, i'll have some time to catch up with all of you.