Helloooooo, dear readers!
I've had a busy couple of weeks and have been neglecting you. But it's good for you. Toughens you up.
Here's the skinny: I went to Ashland, Ohio, just south of Cleveland, to the River Teeth Nonfiction Conference where I met and learned from and admired such writers as Hope Edelman, Scott Russell Sanders, Rebecca McClanahan, and River Teeth Journal editor Joe Mackall, among many others. The conference only lasted 3 days, but it was jam packed with readings and lectures and panels. We really didn't have much time to rest and mull over our notes. I did meet some lovely writers, fellow participants, coming from New Jersey, California, and Iowa, and feel like my community of writers grew a lot. I didn't have time to process any of the intense weekend of nonfiction advice before I threw myself immediately into crashing spring residency at my graduate program. Let me clarify - I was not attending workshops because my residency doesn't begin until July. What I was doing was driving 5 hours from Ashland back home in order to attend my friends' Cindy and Omar's graduate lectures by 1:00 PM, which I accomplished with b.o. and frizzy hair (from 5 hours in the car). The week continued at this frenzied pace, at least 1 or 2 lectures or graduate readings every day. Kate (from Nested) joined me for most of the celebrating and learning, so it was great fun. We mingled with our professors, fellow students (so many lunches!) and alums all week. Thursday night we attended a strange but fascinating lecture by author Tim O'Brien (if you haven't read The Things They Carried, drop everything and get you to the library!). I didn't stop crashing residency until graduation, Saturday night. I'm so very proud and impressed with my friends, so many of whom took my breath away with gorgeous readings of their screenplays, poetry, short fiction, and writing for children. In short, it was an inspiring week.
It was also a ridiculously distracting week.
Running on little sleep and enough coffee to stun a Stieg Larsson character surprisingly makes me a little twitchy. So, even though it was heart-warming to spend so much time with the good people I call friends, I am relieved to have a calm (sort of) week, catching up on the mundane tasks around the house, listening to my dogs snore while I click away on the keyboard.
It won't last. My kids finish school next week so we have a full agenda until then, including Field Day, class picnic, Kindergarten Graduation, and the spring festival. Saturday is a crazy quilt of birthday parties and sleepovers.
And then summer stretches out its lazy arms and welcomes us.