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Settling in

Yesterday was difficult, to say the least. I read the first three stories Sunday night, then barely cranked out the critiques before dropping into bed sometime... I have no idea. And then all of a sudden light was pouring through the blinds and I was up and freaking out, convinced I'd overslept and missed the first day of class. A quick glance at my watch convinced me otherwise: it was 5am.

For breakfast I had coffee, coffee, and a side of coffee; and then dashed to class. Chip Delany is funny, engaging, articulate, and has a brain THIS BIG. We gave our crits following the Milford critique style, and everything went very well. Very articulate and insightful analysis on everyone's part. The crits for my story were what I expected, as I've had several months to think about how it's failing as a story, and in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to have pointed out to me the places not where I failed but where I succeeded. The only problem I had during workshop was the fact that all the coffee I'd had in the morning made me get up to pee every other freakin' minute.

At the end of the class we were handed three more submission stories, and split for lunch. After lunch and a trip to the admin offices to have my student ID card made, I was determined to go back up to my room and read the stories, but instead spinelessly went to World Market for organic groceries, followed by another trip to Meijer to stock up on a few last supplies. During the trip home from World Market, I tore my flimsy old blouse apart - much hilarity ensued, followed by inquiries into whether or not I'd be ripping off various bits of clothing during workshop. (The answer, FYI, is not unless y'all really want to go insane/blind.) By the time the shopping trips were finished, it was past 6pm. I stumbled to dinner, sleepily hovered over something vaguely resembling food, then stumbled upstairs and forced myself to read until midnight, when I passed out on the bed. I woke up this morning in a panic (again at 5am) and wrote the critiques. Last time I'll do that. It was a bad day, followed by a rushed morning, and it's not a good place to put myself in, both for critting and writing.

But now that I've stocked up on supplies, things are settling down. I got the new stories after workshop, ate lunch with most of the gang (lunch in the cafeteria is becoming part of our group routine, it would seem), then dashed upstairs and read and critted two of the four stories. After I post this, I'll crit the last two, then have my one-on-one meeting with Chip Delany at 6:30, then lock myself in the room for an evening of writing. I think, the instructor meeting being the exception, this will be my normal day-to-day schedule. Mornings I'll reserve as free/catch-up time: for writing, working out at the gym, and collecting my thoughts. Well, my "thought", actually. I don't have enough time for more than one, really.

Tags:

Marine Autumn

I owe you marine autumn
With dankness at its roots
and fog like a grape
and the graceful sun of the country;
and the silent space
in which sorrows lose themselves
and only the bright crown
of joy comes to the surface.

--Pablo Neruda.


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