Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Confession Tuesday

Ms. Sylvia

Dear Reader,
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.



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