Thursday, August 9, 2012
Litpalooza Takes a Break Just in Time (phew!)...
Today at around 2:30 PM something caught up with me. After a night where I slept sitting on the edge of the bed, too tired to remember to lie down, I stumbled to the 8:30 craft lecture already with the pain in my feet. I wanted desperately to feel Dinah and Freda's enthusiasm - their rants, raves and reflections against art, which didn't feel so much against art as with it. Looking at paintings and hearing the reactions of great poets read with the strength and humor of two beautiful writers and teachers should have been exhilarating, but I nodded in and out, shuffled through my papers, and tried to get my bearings for the day.
After, I rushed for coffee, all the while thinking that goddamnit I'm the customer here, the client, I am spending good money to participate in this program and I will NOT rush around like a twenty-something college student in fear of being late for class. I got my coffee and felt like dawdling but didn't, and instead got to my workshop - MY workshop - on time.
Getting workshopped was, as I so unwriterly observed when it was over, well worth the price of admission. (Odd how musician's talk about "bread" without compunction, but to the literary academic it feels like mere acknowledgment that there is such a thing as money is rather plebeian. But when it comes to sex...bring it on, baby!) Sitting around a table with writers, all of them infinitely accomplished and talented, and having everyone focus on YOUR work...well it's a privilege that is difficult to equal. I have so many terrific suggestions to improve the chapters we discussed that I don't know where to start and wonder if it would ever end. But, like all art, at some point you put down your instrument, you put down the paintbrush, you send off your final draft...or not, I suppose. You could just keep it a secret!
The workshop high was short-lived. At 12:45 I laid down just to give my eyes fifteen minutes of soothing darkness and 20 minutes later awoke as if someone had stuck chopsticks in both my ears and had vigorously stir fried my brains. I didn't want to go study the uses of time in story writing or my ideas for a composite novel or cycle of linked stories. Didn't wanna do it at all, and that's probably why at 2:30 my feet exploded with a pain like I haven't had in months, so intense that I couldn't even rest them on the floor. So I jacked up my dose and by the middle of the next class I could barely put a sentence together much less talk intelligently about composite novel construction. There I was, just pissin' away my investment in my post-retirement future all because of a little disturbance in the force.
And thus a break. Our next class isn't until 3:00 PM tomorrow afternoon, so I have been holed up in my room at my computer doing the bookselling work that I've had so much fun avoiding since I got here. Not an effective antidote to exhaustion for sure but going out on the town wasn't likely to do it either.
So now this big fat blabbinator is shuttin' down, and these doggies are gonna curl up in that beddy-bye with the infinite comfort of knowing that there is no alarm in their immediate future and the sun will be high when they walk again.