Thursday, January 13, 2011

Residency Day 6

This is the hotel from the edge of the water. It doesn't look like this today. Today, it's raining. A lot. All the better to get work done, right? :)

Well, I've finished the sixth day and am now more than half done with my first residency, which leaves me just a bit melancholy. I miss my family, and my home, the puppy and the snow that's coming down there. But still, there's a little part of me that doesn't want this to end. Back home there will be no classes every morning, no group of fellow writers to spend hours discussing stories with and then spill out into the cafe with to grab delicious food made by someone else to spend more hours over that food talking even more about the things that are so important to me, but not to anyone else I know at home. At home I will have to do the hard work of learning instead of the fun work of absorbing. Before I came, I thought ten days was a massive chunk of time, and now, I'm already missing it.

What a glass-is-half-full idea, eh?

Maybe it feels that way because Day 6 was such a breakthrough, relevant day for me. For one, my story was on the chopping block to be workshopped, which was a terrifying prospect for me and ended up not even coming close to my expectations but blowing them to smithereens. It's one thing to be a part of that discussion on someone else's story and think you have some hope that you are contributing to it, and another thing to be on the receiving end. I didn't really know what they would criticize, but I felt like I walked out of that room actually seeing my own writing for the first time.

Suddenly my head is spinning with the possibilities. For the first time, I can actually see HOW I can get to be a better writer in this program. I can see how far I have to go, but I think I see the first steps of how to get there. I have a new possible plan for my writing which I should be able to let you in on once I clear it in the next day or two. It's a complete switch from what I've been thinking. I'm excited. Charged up. Ready to blast forward.

The classes today were on revision, and I can say I've never been so excited about revision. I'm a huge believer in revising; I love revising. And now I have some real tools to help me do it well.

I am starting to get exhausted. I don't know if I'm still struggling against the time zone change or it's all the busyness of the day that makes it so hard to focus once ten o'clock comes. I still have an Alice Munro story to read for Thursday that I've been putting off in light of more pressing assignments. It's now become the more pressing assignment.

I think I'm not doing the blogging thing very well right now - not giving you much of anything concrete about what I've learned, but that takes time I just don't have right now. Not that I'll have it later.  Maybe in two years.

Okay - before then. I promise. But tonight... sleep.


  1. I'm excited to read what you learned and how you will pass it on as I'm starting revisions soon! Enjoy this time--home will be there.

  2. What a beautiful picture. I like that colour of sand. I'd be exhausted too, partially from the conflicting emotions your feeling. Excitement to see family, sad to leave what you discovered. I'm sure it will follow you home though, and you have more sessions to look forward to, lucky you!!!

  3. How exciting! Can't wait to hear more, Heidi.

  4. Yes, sleep! I'm excited to hear about your major breakthrough. Time does have a way of slipping by too fast, doesn't it?

  5. Your blog is great, Heidi! Don't be hard on yourself, I love everything you're sharing about this experience. I have been so behind in reading what you're up to that I had to go all the way back to your December posts to catch up to where you're at!