Monday, April 08, 2013

Day 9: Monday, April 8, 2013, 6:35am in the Studio

As Todd and I were walking to the studio this morning, the sky layered with clouds and light from the sun rising behind them, we both relished the beauty of the mountains in the distance. Todd said, “Maybe it’s the Irish reaction in me, but I feel like I’m already mourning the loss of this place.” So it begins.

5 more days of precious studio time. Every minute in the studio will count this week. It will be a race with ourselves to get as much done as we can, knowing we won’t get it all done.

Yesterday, Sunday, was a mixture of productiveness and practicality. Only two meals: brunch and dinner, so that rearranged the day a bit. In the morning after breakfast, I spent time in the library with the gas fireplace, letting the warm heat dry my hair, reading two books I brought with me, Into Such Holes…, which I wrote about yesterday, and Late Wife by Claudia Emerson. The various structures of their narratives give me ideas for my own, and the simplicity in which they write also appeals to me.

After a few hours, it was time for my conference with Eamon in the library. He strolled in and we enjoyed an hour conversation about my genealogy manuscript and the twelve poems that he read. He offered such thoughtful suggestions and genuine encouragement for my project. He gave me some fine detail edits about specific words and lines, but he also looked at the project as a whole, giving me ideas about structure (of the individual poems and the manuscript) and further writing. Todd has given and continues to give great feedback, as have quite a few other poet friends, but it was pivotal for me to get insight from Eamon and in this space. I felt light as air after that conference.

I came down to earth quickly with a rumbling stomach, so I inhaled my leftover Chinese food and waited for Todd to finish with his artistic conversation with Connie. Then, it was time for the practical: laundry. We rolled our suitcase full of clothes to the Laundromat, and rehashed our day to the tune of the spin cycle and tumbling clothes. We attempted a long walk as the day was warmer than usual, but spitting rain drove us back into the world of washing.

After a dinner of BBQ ribs and BBQ tempeh, it was time to cram for the evening’s reading. Six of us resident writers were reading from our various projects in front of the rest of the residents—much like the artist slides we saw last Wednesday night. The lineup included a short story, a tv pilot, and four eclectic poetry sets. Kat, the screenwriter, gave a few of us parts to read, so that was quite fun. I really enjoyed reading to these new friends, to hearing their reactions afterwards. Many of them don’t hear poetry often, so they come to the reading fresh, but they are also highly engaged as artists of different mediums. So, an unusually exciting reading. 

We were too excited after the reading, so Eamon, Scott (another resident poet), Todd, and I went to the one pub open in the town for a celebratory drink. We chatted about poetry and our reading, Poetry itself, and our various projects and histories. It was a perfect cap to the day. Such good conversations of an evening really set the tone for work. And here I am, taking these last five days by the horn and having my way with them.

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