Lesley Residency 3.7

All week I’ve been nervous about workshopping my second piece for the residency, the first chapter of a novel I’ve been working on. Today was the day. I began the day in high spirits, having bounced back from the ultimate low I was feeling after seeing Farenheit 9/11 last night. When it came time to workshop though, I was very apprehensive. I was convinced they were going to tell me it was a mess and not salvageable in any way. It’s the piece I want to work on for the next little while and I was convinced that by the end of the day I would have evidence indicating that wasn’t such a good idea.

The workshop went well. I spoke a lot more than I traditionally like to, but since it’s a novel in its larval stages it seemed appropriate. I had to help guide the conversation a bit more. Workshopping a novel is also strange to begin with. Nobody’s read the whole thing. In fact, the whole thing hasn’t even been written yet. You have to critique the section as a piece of writing that stands on its own, but you also have to keep in mind the longer work. It’s strange.

The end result, though, was that I came out feeling like the novel wasn’t a bust. I came out feeling like I had something to build on and that perhaps it was something very good to build on.

The rest of the day flew by in a haze of giddy high spirits. Tonight’s reading was offered by Tony Eprile, my new faculty mentor, and Rafael Campo, an excellent poet. After that we went to Cambridge Commons for our nightly decompressing session and watched the Red Sox lose. That, as you may understand, was not a great way to end the night.

I stopped to talk with Shera just before she headed off to bed and I headed off for my car and I expressed my sadness that it was only two days until the real world came and ripped us away from this idyllic sanctuary we’ve been living in for a week. I’m always the sad one. For most of the day today I was the happy one, but right now the truth is coming out and I’m very very sad.