2018-01-06 MFA Residency Day 6 – A Song Stuck On Repeat

After a while, all the days here seem to run together and there’s no difference from one to the next. It’s a steady rotation that cycles through eating and workshop and lecture and readings and then more eating. There’s lots of eating. I’ve never eaten this regularly since before I left home at 18.

I typically like that kind of routine but without all the comforts of home it starts to feel like Work trips I’ve been on where I have to be “on”, and it’s getting downright exhausting. Last night I tried to break up the monotony by having a couple glasses of wine at and after dinner. It was a little temporary relief from my anxiety, but not much.

I slept like garbage again last night so that’s not helping.

Something else a little different from yesterday was the dynamic in workshop. It was my day to be “workshopped”.

We all had to submit a small sampling of our work before residency and this was collected into packets and distributed to everyone. Then each day in workshop someone’s work comes under scrutiny by a small group (seven people, two faculty and five students). Yesterday it was my “turn”.

I’ve never had anyone ever give me feedback on anything I’ve written before, outside of teachers in school which was over 20 years ago now. It was interesting.

Interesting is a word you use when something is different but you’re not sure how you feel about it yet. Or, in my case, you have mixed emotions you haven’t figured out how to express yet. Let me see if I can give it a shot…

Some of the feedback was obvious, and conclusions I had already come to in doing a deeper dive into my own work this past month. Having someone validate that was good though, because it means I’m on the right track. That felt great.

(I need to include less abstraction and more concrete details and imagery. Too much rhyme that’s not necessary).

Other comments were more generalizations about me as a writer and they were very intuitive and I had to hold back tears. Literally. It wasn’t bad, but just hit so close to the heart of my life and that was surprising. Perhaps those comments were somewhat colored from previous interactions at Residency, but I’d like to think it comes through in my writing, which is what I want.

Those tears I was holding back were fueled with emotion (as I often am under the surface), but it wasn’t a bad thing.

After our time was up I had to go straight downstairs for the next lecture and so I had to push those emotions down. It wasn’t until after that that I was able to go back to the sanctuary of my room and let it out. I think I had more than just workshop bottled inside.

It was probably the last two or three days of emotional moments. It felt good to let it out.

It was like that break in the middle of the song where the singer makes a departure from the established patterns of melody and verse. It was refreshing.

And then we had to eat again.

I write of this like they are forcing us to eat, shoving the food in our general direction. That’s not the case, but if you don’t go to the dining room during meal hours, you don’t get to eat. That creates the feeling of being forced to eat. One could also leave for a meal, but that would of course involve leaving and coming back, and the schedule is pretty tight for that during the day. If I left to go somewhere at night I’d probably get in my car to drive and end up at my house and in that case, I’m not taking advantage of things I’ve paid for.

This whole thing is quite expensive and why would I pay for a night in a hotel or a meal at some shitty Mexican restaurant if I’ve already paid for filet? That’s just crazy talk.

In any case, these days and nights that are like a song stuck on repeat are nearing their end, so I just want to make the most of the time I have left. At the moment that means getting off this treadmill and going back to my room to get ready for breakfast.

Until Next Time,

~Miss SugarCookie

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