Lesley Residency 1.9

And so it ended tonight, a most miraculous and life-changing week — the memories of which will linger on in the depths of my soul for quite some time. We talked a lot about re-entry today, the process of returning to our "normal" every-day lives. We talked about how to answer people when they ask what it was like, how we feel, and all that jazz. I’ve just completed a week’s worth of work with some very amazing people and you’ll forgive me if I’m a little mixed-up about where I am right now.

You could say that now is when the real work begins. I have eight books to read between now and January. I have up to one-hundred pages of writing to complete in that same time span. And, I have to find a way to balance all of that with my "real-world" commitments to my wife, my family, and my friends.

It doesn’t get any realer than this.

The final day of our residency raced by. It began, as every other day this week, with my early arrival. Sadly, it also began with news of the early departure of one of our faculty members. Deborah Wiles, the exceptionally gifted and warm-spirited Writing for Children professor, had to leave early because of her flight getting rescheduled. She was a constant and inspiring presence throughout the week.

We had our final seminar of the week after that, a discussion on the use of setting in our writing, and then we had lunch. After lunch and brief conferences with our faculty mentors, Shera, Sara, Jill, and I trekked over to the Harvard Museum of Natural History to kill time before dinner and the student reading. Aside from a profound mothball smell that seemed to follow us around, it was an interesting museum visit.

Dinner was had and announcements were made and then I and several of my classmates got up to read in front of each other and the faculty who were still present. Everyone did wonderfully. I read “Scenes from the Park” which, after this week’s discussions on the importance of title, I’ve decided to rename “The Girl Who Wasn’t Ready.” If you own a copy of the book feel free to mark your copies accordingly.

I didn’t want to leave when it was all over but eventually I said my goodbyes to all of my new friends and acquaintances and took with me the final words of program coordinator Steven Cramer, which I think were profound and a great way to leave things until January’s residency.

"Work well," Steven said. And that’s just want I intend to do.