The forecast looks to be correct this morning. The ground is wet from a good rain, and the clouds rolling in look like they mean business. There will be rain everyday for the remainder of our time here, which means more reason to stay in the studio and write. Let’s hope it at least reaches the forecasted 50F as well. We’re starting to risk not wearing our winter jackets. Optimism or foolhardiness? Both apply at various times of day.
Yesterday was the kind of productive Monday that you don’t every expect or count on. I’m going to give Eamon some credit for putting a spring in my poetic step, driving me back to the studio again and again. I spent the morning doing work-study and the afternoon slogging away on revisions.
Eamon offered some ideas about titling poems, voice of characters, and styles of poems. Since I already felt myself needing to work on those, his suggestions hit the mark. I churned out ten revisions at least, tacking up the new versions on to my corkboard for positive reinforcement!
It’s growing into a more cohesive manuscript, and I might even find myself laying them out by Friday, seeing how they talk together when side by side. I made a list last night of all the poems I need to write this week to round out some of the empty spaces in the narrative. I’ll have to think/imagine some new geographies and cultures for these poems.
I rearranged my cork board yesterday to give myself more room for revised poems. I also wanted to put up titles for the poems so that I could see where the gaps lie. Time to hit the Strohmaier-Eisen line a bit harder. I did manage to revise a poem about Karl, the German baker, yesterday. It’s now time to hit the Dutch and the Irish sides a bit harder. The Scottish Ewings have gotten some good attention, as they are so well-documented. Time to get imaginative.
Yesterday after dinner, I ran back to the studio for an hour to finish the cork board and work on the German baker poem. At 8pm the new visiting artist, Ann Pibal, gave a slide talk about her work. Like Eamon did for us writers, the visiting painter will make the rounds to various studios over the next few days to offer insight and guidance for any who may need it. Her work was not quite my cup of tea, or rather, it didn’t move me. Nice colors, cool designs, but didn’t wow me. I liked more of her recent works, where you could see messy brushstrokes, not just clean lines.
Tonight the new visiting sculptor will give a slide talk, which will also be interesting. That’s not the highlight of my day today. Today, I start off with an hour in the Life Drawing Studio. There is a male model today, and I’ve heard that his style is significantly different from the female model. Then, it’s cramming in a few hours of writing, reading, and revision, so that after lunch I am ready for a road trip.
The Von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame settled in Stowe, Vermont, which is about 30 minutes from here. A fellow writer, Kirsteen, and I were talking at lunch yesterday, and she offered a little road trip if I wanted to visit Stowe. She is writing an essay about the poet Elizabeth Bishop’s residency at Yaddo and the various entertainments (ie going to the racetrack and getting drunk) that she experienced—instead of writing. So, Kirsteen was looking for a little entertainment of her own as comparison. I looked up the ski resort the Von Trapp family runs, and lo and behold there is a tour today. So, we will head out after lunch to head to Stowe and take this tour. I’m giddy with excitement, and I’ve realized almost 18 years ago to the day, I was traveling around Europe and visited Salzurg, Austria and took the Sound of Music tour. It’s fated… There better be a gift shop… and some kitsch.