Just got back from a local bar where the writers associates could be found drinking and playing pool… for a group of writers – I know it looks as if we’re not doing a whole lot of writing. In fact, we really are. I think we’re all writing so intensely that we need an equal amount of time away from writing.
Let’s see… the day started out kinda rough for me. There was the whole spider fiasco last night and the subsequent lack of uninterrupted sleep…
I had a nice breakfast this morning and was able to thank my spider killer again and again profusely. I really have to find out his name – spider killer seems a little presumptive, no?
I realized today that I keep forgetting to mention my handy laptop… so, I guess about a week or so ago, I was writing on my other brother in law’s old laptop. I went to save the novel and the laptop crashed during the save and LOST about ¼ to ½ of what I had written. So, after a good long cry I endeavored to write what I lost or at least try to outline what I could remember and went to save again and the laptop crashed again and lost more of what I wrote!
So, I gave myself the ultimatum – either you buy a laptop or you forget the whole thing.
I came really close to forgetting the whole thing.
But, I really felt like I had to come and follow the path that was being dimly lit for me… so glad, I’m here and so glad, for this wonder of technology sitting in my lap.
Anyhoo… I wrote and edited from 9 until 12:30. I still don’t feel like I’m being very productive, but I do feel like I’m accomplishing a little goal every time. I was feeling very dismissive of my novel, novella or short story collection… now, I’m feeling more confident about it and the subject.
After that, lunch was served and I ate with the some of the associate writers. I’m really enjoying the company of all the associates. Mostly everyone here is interesting and funny – I need to really get over the whole shyness thing. It’s killin’ my social butterfly rep. (ha)
After lunch, we had to finish all the associate introductions. We were expected to give a five minute introduction that talked about our backgrounds as well as what we were working on at ACA. Again, the presentations were phenomenal. The level of artistry and professionalism is intense here. I really am the only associate at my level. Most of the visual artists, composers and writers hold graduate school degrees, have taught or are currently teaching in their disciplines, they are published or have had one person shows. The depth of their works and their theories is mind boggling.
I’m so out of my water and loving every minute of it. I feel like I’m back in high school but I am so part of the IN crowd. It’s hilarious!
I was the second to last presenter. I admit that I did some practicing in my room beforehand. I gave my short schpiel about how I had studied fine arts (specifically fashion design) and poetry/creative writing in school. And how immediately after school I got a job in the garment business and stayed in the business for a decade. I explained that I got married and then got laid off again and decided that journey was over and I needed to start on a new one, which led me to Chicago and the resulting birth of my daughter. I talked about how I had come to the decision that I really needed to revisit and explore the poetry and fiction that I had left behind to pursue a career. And how the move and the birth profoundly affected me and my life , my perspective, my relationships. And how I was inspired to write possibly a memoir or a collection of short stories based on the neighborhood where I was raised. Then, I totally caved and read poetry not an excerpt of my latest work because, I wasn’t comfortable reading something in such an early stage of writing and because the poems were already published. To my happy surprise, the poems were received very well. They all laughed in the right places. J I was congratulated by many of my fellow associates in all the disciplines too. Yay!
The presentations finished early and so I went back to the writing studio to write a little more. Dinner wasn’t going to be ready until 6ish and it was only 4. I realize now I should’ve grabbed a cat nap.
When I got to dinner, one of the music associates, david, the other Chicagoan, actually pulled me aside to tell me how much he enjoyed my poems and how interested he was in what I was writing now. He was very complimentary. It was so nice to hear and at the same time I was very cognizant of feeling so unworthy of such high praise... L I ate dinner with the music associates tonight. They’re a wiry funny bunch – I really enjoy hanging out with them. They have this wonderfully sophisticated vocabulary to me – like being in a room with mathematical brainiacs.
After dinner, we took some pics of the writing associates. Mae is leaving on Monday and Chris is leaving tomorrow for a few days. After the pictures, we all got into separate cars and went to the beach.
The Atlantic was beautiful and warm tonight. I was so content to stand in the sinking sand, my ankles being stroked by the waves. When we arrived, it was still light out. We finally left when we could barely see our feet when we looked down. Then, off we went to a local bar where I had the most enlightening conversation with another music composer, Del. His focus here is to write modern sacred music. So, we talked about faith and comparative religion. We talked about denominational history and current issues facing Christians today, etc… He is absolutely brilliant. Those students at Boston College are SO lucky to have Del as an instructor!
Our talk was so great that we agreed to find a church and attend together on Sunday. He was happy to attend a catholic mass but of course, I offered to attend a Congregationalist service or even Episcopalian, in case we wanted to meet halfway. J
So, I have something to look forward to on Sunday. Anyway, my eyelids are really getting heavy now. Must. Sleep. Now.