Yesterday was the halfway point of Tin House; only three more days to go.
Wow, what an amazing experience this has been! I'm learning so much in the workshop that my brain is starting to feel like it's on overload, like one of those machines in a movie that is made to rev higher and faster until it explodes. It's a constant whirr of thought and excitement.
I feel like my poetry toolbox is being stuffed full of new tools. I can't wait to use them all. The flip side, of course, is that there's very little time to try out all these new ideas and techniques for writing and revision. We workshop until lunch, there are seminars in the afternoon, dinner and socializing, and then readings at night, so that by the time I drive home and stumble inside, it's already 10:00 or later. And then there's still the next day to prepare for.
I don't always stay all day, though. I sometimes skip the seminars, go home for a while, then come back for the readings. Sometimes attend the seminars then go home and skip the readings. I'm lucky that I have that option, I think. Just being around so many writers, all talking about their craft, their passion, is intense.
The readings have been incredible. Steve Almond. Aimee Bender. Mary Jo Bang. Anthony Doerr. People whose work is fresh and engaging and irresistibly seductive. I've bought a lot of books. I'll probably buy more.
And it's been a weird week, because at the same time as all of the above, my dryer isn't putting out heat, my A/C isn't putting out cold air, and my kids are far away. The world is a disjointed place, recognizable and yet foreign. I'm looking forward to a respite next week. Vacation. The girls, and a lot of doing nothing at all.
But for the next three days I will continue to read and write, to scribble my notes and listen carefully, and look at this wondrous world, familiar but new.