Tuesday, January 17, 2006


The long absence at the beginning of January is due to MFA residency. There was so much I thought I could do while in Asheville, including learn software developed for disabled kids so I could adapt it for Robert, keep up with the blog, etc. You would think that by my fourth residency I would know that at residency there is really only time for residency.

This was a residency, though, where the world crept in. Roger and I spent time arguing with our insurance company by email about an expensive communication device for Robert that would allow him to activate a computer communicator with his eyes. I spent a fair amount of time coming back to my room periodically to read emails and then collapsing in tears. But, in the end, after I completely lost my temper, called them snakes, liars, and worse, they caved and agreed to buy it for Robert. Now we'll see how long it takes them to come through.

Also, some of the publicity work I'd been working on for Brian Turner's book came through: a spot on NPR Morning Edition, which aired while I was in Asheville, and a brief clip on the PBS NewsHour, which has yet to tape. But my work as a literary publicist is definitely over--too stressful!

Coming back is always this big adjustment for me. Not only a shift from a 10 day stint where I can do what I want when I want, but that shift from living in a writer/artist mentality to living in a WDC mentality. Friendships at Warren Wilson seem so much more open and emotionally intimate--but I can never quite get myself to adjust to those even there--because WDC friendships are close in many ways as well, but socially, everything here has a certain distance. It's such a claustrophobic city--big enough, but at the same time, a very small world, and you do have to be careful about what you say as you don't know who other people know--and everything here is interconnected work-wise.

What I like about my art right now: turning off my near-constant self-editing feature. Even here, the self-editor is always on. Turning it off is such a big release--so much energy, so much creativity.

Anyway, back to the frustrations of dealing with the county school system, back to the frustrations of never having enough time to do everything necessary with Robert, back to the frustrations of realizing that if I do everything for Robert, Edith gets short shrift.

I should start my job soon--am waiting for Federal Government Central to schedule me for an orientation session. I'm interested in starting the new job--I really like working on student aid policy, but I am anxious about constructing the right firewalls between that and creative work and that and my kids.

I think I may set myself a task to and from the metro: notice five things everyday and write them down. Re-read Frank O'Hara--only he was lucky enough to work in an art museum.

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