Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Going underground

Imagine me here, writing, for the next two days.
And send me good juju.


Months ago I had planned to be on the way to the AWP conference today. It's in Boston this year. I could stay with my doppelganger and go soak up all the writerlyness. (That's a technical term.) For a while I even entertained the notion of taking the train - wouldn't that be a luxury? All that time to do nothing but stare out the window, read, and write.

I have gone to AWP twice before and had a great time, found inspiration, made friends, discovered writers I wouldn't have known about otherwise, developed crushes (on John Wesley Harding/Wesley Stace mostly), continued my obsession with Junot Diaz, discovered that I actually like Joyce Carol Oates, reconnected with old friends, basked in time alone, come up with too many new ideas, learned things to apply to works in progress, made great new connections that I failed to follow up on at home, drank many drinks, enjoyed being in cities on my own not a mother or a wife but just me. (I have also been fortunate to have the not insignificant admission paid in the past, having won a lottery to get to volunteer at the Goddard table in the exhibition hall. This year, if such a lottery happened, I was not informed. That's OK, someone else deserves to have that.)

But eventually it just seemed impossible this year -- money I can't afford to spend right now and time that I should perhaps spending writing, rather than talking about writing. So, here I am in the 216 today.

Then I had intended to take some vacation time and make the days I would have been at AWP a mini writer's retreat for myself. Today was to be day 1, but I had too many loose ends at work, so I went in for the morning, which turned into the whole day. Alas. (There is something oddly liberating, though, about working when you aren't expected to be working -- easier to close the door and just plow through things. Maybe this is my own weird thing.)

And so, writing retreat will be Thursday and Friday. I am moved to say I will go on Internet blackout for this time. So, no blarg, no facebook, not even online "research" for the writing I'm doing (that's a time suck). Email, yes, but only for essentials and at predetermined intervals.

I'll report back on Saturday.

Reading: Lots. I am really enjoying Ex-Prom Queen. After starting two books and abandoning them (something I *never* used to allow myself to do, insisting puritanically that I read every book I opened to the end ... I don't have time for that anymore ...), it is nice to be reading something that I am eager to stick with. The question is why. It is partly the material -- girl coming of age in a different age is interesting in the realm of personal/political history and anthropology -- but it is also the voice. It is narrated very well. This I am paying close attention to, for questions of narration are big and loud right now in the ToT.

Writing: No, just thinking about stuff and planning a bit for the retreat.

Dinner: Wednesday is kid night. They (with the help of Sarah) made sweet and sour chicken and rice. In the morning, I helped them make a crazy dessert of lime-strawberry jello -- half "moussed" half tiny jiggler cubes to sprinkle on top of the mousse. (Part of my 20th century foodways fascination. There was Cool Whip. Apologies to my foodie friends. I feel like there is some penance I should do for this.)

Soundtrack: Hm. There was a great country music program on WJCU on my way home in the evening, including a Gillian Welch song called "Look at Miss Ohio" performed by Miranda Lambert. The dj did a really great job of setting this song up so I felt I had to sit in my car and listen to it in the grocery store parking lot. I'm glad I did.

Random thing: I have gone to the grocery store every day this week and still managed not to procure the basic ingredients I need for the two "limey" meals I intended at the beginning of the week. This is clearly some sort of pathological mental block. I must be meant to drink that lime juice instead.

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