And we enter the last stretch. I will be leaving on Sunday morn and it's getting real! Sad times. So last time I posted I was feeling very blah about productivity. It didn't hit the first day or the second or the third really. And as much as a mofo as inspiration is it hits when it hits doesn't it? Which means Sunday. And even then it wasn't as steady so that come Monday and for the rest of the week I was on fire. I turned on Spotify and it was ON.
Pieces I couldn't wrap my head around the first several days became things I could actually tackle. Say what?!? I know!
One story was still a kick in the butt but it gained some clarity on Saturday. On Sunday my words weren't as lame as I thought and come Monday I was a friggin' genius! I tidied up three stories, not completed them but tidied two of the three up enough that I could show them to others to let me know what is wrong and/or right and the third still being a novella rather than a story but seeing where the direction is going. And then a fourth came out the woodwork and I understood the character a heck of a lot better than I initiated realizing all of the men in my Collection, when I initially wrote them were too damn passive and needed to be active and that is happening! So exciting times.
And then another story came to light and another and another and another and I read some poetry and wrote some poetry before going to bed and then I was revising flash fiction like a fiend and starting new flash fiction all the while listening to this band Spotify suggested I'd like called The Temper Trap and loving them and then I was revising query letters for my YA book and realizing I was almost done and freaking a bit and I was on Twitter and Facebook too but mainly these last several days I was writing and kicking butt and not socializing so much as staying in to write and eat and get right back to writing which reminded me of the Jentel days when it was work.
Of course it hits others too. Residents who are here for three weeks instead of two are getting into high gear come the end of this week and not wanting to get sucked into oh so wonderful and enlightening convo and then you must CHOOSE! What do I want to do? Get more work in or finish off the expensive (or at least most expensive from the supermarket) wine and talk about our lives and our art and what we worry about and bond or do we want to read and then settle in or what? Should we eat leftovers and the dessert while we're at it or just hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with water? We can't make these decisions!
And yet, that tends to course things go at the end of a residency. The rush period where you enjoy everyone's company and then have to toggle between spending time with people you've grown to care about and respect or do the work and there can be a balance but in the final days everyone is all "The hell!? I gotta get these things done!"
We all have such goals when we do these things and in the end you get done what you get done. As I had learned in Jentel and still didn't realize would afflict me here during a shorter time span is that I cannot force it. And I was and am relieved that I'm surrounded by wonderful artists that I could relate to and talk to when I was just out of it. I'm certain that was part of my process for realizing that I needed to get back in the game.
Oh, and remember the whole noise thing? Well I got moved to the Ragdale House which is much quieter but has it's own sounds, mainly the constant creaking of doors and steps when utilized and the shutters tap, tap, tapping against the structure during the (four day in a row) rainstorm we had this last week. Lame. But the digs are huge!
Each room in the House has it's own bathroom and you can literally split it in half and work on one side and sleep in the other side. Divine. And it has an outdoor sun porch! Though this could not be utilized during all this damn rain but the next occupant may enjoy it boatloads.
Just goes to show people, when you complain, nicely, you can get nicer digs. Not that I didn't enjoy the Yellow Room. It is quaint and homey and the Top of the Stairs Room is very old timey reminding me of Gone with the Wind.
We had a reading on Monday night and it was great to hear what the other residents were working on. Since there are several writers it was eclectic and there was poetry as well. The visual artists also came and listened so we got to hit the auditory senses for them as they hit our visual. Cool times. Everyone's work inspired and enticed and you feel that much more awesome knowing you're with super talented people.
I have to say beyond re-acclimating to the real world again one concern many of us residents have is how we're going to cook for ourselves once we leave. Linda, the chef, has been phenomenal in meeting so many various needs (gluten free, vegetarian, pescatarian, lactose intolerant) with so many delicious meals that just hit the nail on the head every-single-time we don't know how we'll cope! How am I expected to cook for myself after all this? The daily fee for Ragdale ($35/day) is worth Linda's meals alone. This is quite disconcerting when I think on it, so I will not.
Anywho, next post will be a full Ragdale review. Hopefully I won't be in the doldrums as it'll be three weeks and counting until WY. And who knows what my brain will do then. Hopefully I'll eke out a lot there, but I believe we've confirmed you can't plan these things.