I’ve been home since this past Wednesday, but I’m still having trouble adjusting. Mostly to my super-comfortable bed and air conditioner, which made any attempt to go to work last week impossible. My boss told me to take a few extra days, so I “made the bridge,” as the French would say, between Tuesday and Friday. Now, that’s one hell of a bridge. I think the Frenchies would be proud.
The residency was about a billion times better than my first. Maybe it was the Island in bloom, or the fact that I actually socialized and got to know people (many professors and students alike thought this was my first residency). Whatever it was, I was glad for it. Both of my workshop leaders were outstanding; I learned a lot every morning, and I know I’ve improved both my writing and close reading. Halfway through the week, as I lay on my bed reading a Hemmingway short story, I turned to my (totally rad) roomie, Daisy:
Me: You know how they told us this program would ruin “reading for fun” for us?
Daisy: Yup. Did it happen to you?
Me: Just did. I’m barely paying attention to the story. All I keep thinking is “wow, what effective dialogue!”
In the past, I’ve had to read a story two, three times over to get to that level. So that’s a big change.
My second workshop was when I had my mind blown wide open, in a good way. While we were discussing my story and its general lack of subplots, I realized that the non-fiction portion of the story had gone as far as it could. Now it’s time for imagination to fill in the holes and make it worth reading. I had forgotten that I can take this thing wherever I want–or need–it to go. The freedom of it is exciting.
I got my new mentor, too. She’s a faculty member I’ve had my eye on since last residency. I loved her reading, and she just seemed so serious about everything. Needless to say, she terrified me, but this time I decided to go and talk to her during mentor interviews. I’m so happy I got to talk with her and even happier to work with her this semester. I’m in the process of putting my current work in some semblance of order before sending it to her; she wants to read my stuff before I send new stuff. Pretty awesome.
This entry’s been all over the place. I’ll write more later, but it’s lunchtime now at work.