Summer is Here.
It's been quite an incredible (academic) year.
Greetings from New York City!
This academic year has been so jam packed with two very busy semesters of teaching at SFSU where the vast majority of the students I worked with inspired me and each other into writing deeper and more interesting fiction. Then there were two runs of the Douglass Street Lab (see posts), the 1-Day Characterization Lab, an incredible year as Artist Mentor at Performing Arts Workshop, and work on the novel! I was also lucky enough to get out on the town this year, see theater, symphony, live music, art shows, and literary readings. With all that, I haven't had time to blog about all of what I've seen/heard/read. I miss using the blog to reflect on what stimulates me artistically, but something has to give, right?
After two splendid weeks of house/cat/garden-sitting for my friend Douglass St. Lab Host Marc, I spent 24 hours in my apartment, essentially unloading my bag from his house into my suitcase. Now I'm back with Greg and Michael and the dogs in New York to work on my novel. I know for sure that I'm the luckiest person alive. When I finish Letters to the Dead it will feel like a collaboration because of their generosity and hospitality...not only in giving me a place to live in The East Village, but for their kind nurturing and availing themselves endlessly for my research.
I know from experience that it's not necessary to get away from your day-to-day life in order to write. Having the opportunity, however, is a gift. When I get away to write, something shifts, I'm able to land in the world of my stories. This is true even when I go to a library, a park, a cafe.
This weekend I'm headed to Connecticut, where Greg and Michael have a house in the country. I'm not promising that I'll be able to blog like I did last year, because I'm on such a strict writing schedule while I'm here. I'm using a stopwatch to write, turning it off each time I go outside of the novel for any reason. While writing, everything is off: cell phone, email, and internet. I'm on a 4-hour a day 7-day per week writing schedule. If you're curious, you can read the July and August 2007 entries on the blog. Here's a link to the pictures of their apartment in Manhattan.