It's been 4 sunny days since my last confession. I swear-- 70-something degrees in the Northwest, in April. This is not normal. This is the part of me that shrugs her shoulders a bit and thinks, "Well, if this is what global warming does for my part of the world, maybe it's not *that* bad..."
What can I say, I've been under clouds and gray and coldness for the last six months. The sun comes out and everyone is in a good mood.
But I have to confess as I'm still here and still getting ready for my writing residency--
To the confessional--
I confess I had to laugh when I read this blog post about "what to do with all my old trophies" at Small Notebook for a Simple Home.
For those of you who have been following along, you'll know I do not have a trophy...not one. And it seems there are people with TOO MANY TROPHIES in this world. What is that like? What do I do with all my old trophies? is a question I'd never even think to ask. What do I do with my old journals? What do I do with my old books? But trophies? Apparently, there were many more people who were successful at sports than I was. Sports and other things...
But honestly, I loved the answer and the answer made me happy. Here's the response:
The biggest accomplishments of my life will not be represented by gold-painted plastic trophies.
The experience you gained is valuable, not the trophy. The trophy was a token for the moment.
And it's true. I have yet to receive my "I created a human life" trophy. Or the "I followed my passion" trophy. Or the "I stopped traffic on a highway to save a scared lost dog" trophy. Or my "I try to be kind to all living things" trophy.
I like looking at our lives and determining what's our biggest accomplishment. Most of mine involve another living thing who counted on me or I was there for. Myself included on that list.
Anyway, for those of you with a lot of trophies (um, I'd love to have that problem), I've uploaded some photos of other things do with them... Enjoy--
|Wine stoppers-- of course!|
|Serve your friends cupcakes on them|
|Hang things from them!|
I confess I am still organizing things for my writing residency and know I will pack too much. This is the problem with driving to a residency.
Oh there was a question whether I go to the same place and if I apply for it.
I have two favorite places in the Northwest where I love to retreat to-- One is on an island and absolutely beautiful cottages and each writer gets her own office. Plus, they call you a "scholar" when you're there, which makes my ego a happycamper. But takes me about 6-7 hours to get too, though much of that is waiting in a ferry line or riding on a boat.
The second place, the one I'm going to now is not as new and luxurious as the island cottages, in fact it's old military housing & cabins, but only about a 50 minute drive from my house. It's also haunted, but with hauntedness comes history and a strong energy which I love. They also filmed "An Officer & A Gentleman" there, so sometimes I just forget writing and walk around as if I'm Debra Winger.
I had to apply to both places, but since I've been a writer in residence there before, both are very easy for me to return to--I just need to apply early enough so there is space.
If you can, it's great to establish relationships with regional organizations where you can have a writing residency. We are lucky in the Northwest because there are many options here. Just as you throw a stick, you hit a poet--you can throw a stick and hit a writing retreat.
I confess I had 2 literary dreams last night.
One involved getting a job to type out poems and the names of books in card catalogs for a library. I was thrilled as they still used typewriters.
The other one dream is starting to fade away because I didn't write it down quickly enough. But I know it was there.
I confess I always hope to dream of poets. I used to dream of Pablo Neruda a lot. He was always walking into my dreams. My new dream poet over the last year has been Sylvia Plath.
I would really love to have a heart-to-heart talk with William Carlos Williams and hang out a bit with Gertrude Stein. Maybe she'd show me her art collection. That would make my heart sing.
I confess I hope when I return from the residency, I have a title for my manuscript.
And while the weather has been incredible in every way, I hope it rains where I am. I am so much more productive in bad weather-- this is why I continue to live in the Northwest. As I've said before, if I lived in a warmer location, I'd get nothing done.