I am back from teaching at the Whidbey Island Writers Workshop MFA program (also known as NILA - Northwest Institute for Literary Arts). It was a great experience. The students and faculty there were incredible, a really good energy. There is something about writers, and talking with writers that is just different from talking with regular folks (no offense to the regular folks). But I realize, as writers, we can just dive into each other lives without a lot of explaining.
For example, when I talk with people who have never written, there is a lot of explaining to do-- how things work, how we get our work published, what we have published, how much time we spend alone (and need to spend alone), the rejection thang, the blocks, the insecurities, the doubts, SASEs, etc. etc. etc. But when you talk with a writer, you are already close on a level of knowing and understanding that others don't have. It's as if you've found your own tribe and you already know the language.
This *knowing* allows writers to form closer relationships in a much shorter time. For me, this is important. I *hate* smalltalk. In fact, I will avoid pick-up at the elementary school because I cannot talk anymore about the 1) rain/sun/wind/weather 2) season 3) shoes. I swear, these are the only topics you have to be up on as it's basically what the other parents talk about.
At the residency, no one mentioned the weather. It was awesome.