We had an esteemed houseguest recently, but someone wasn’t pleased. Beware of the calico personality! Our visitor, Ann, is the author of the lighthearted-with-serious-subtext novel, On Maggie’s Watch. Ann makes me laugh more than almost anyone, but Corabelle fails to appreciate the humor. “How long is she staying?” she seemed to be asking.
Before Cora’s patience was stretched to dangerous limits, Ann and I left for New Hampshire’s north country. The MFA winter residency — a week-long gathering of students and faculty for workshops, readings and community — is always intense, and for me, a 24/7 responsibility. Ann’s on faculty; I work behind the scenes and help to keep things running on schedule. There was no time for outdoor exploration, but I managed to capture a few scenic shots from the hotel.
One of the unofficial perks of the job is that on occasion I am able to attend a writing craft workshop, as if I were still a student. Wiley Cash’s session on “place” let loose a watershed of revision inspiration for that manuscript of mine that has been accumulating dust in the closet.
Now that I’ve had a week to catch up on post-event administrative tasks, it’s time to get back to my own projects. It feels great to be back. Happy New Year!