We took the most wonderful five day family vacation in San Diego (posts on that to come at some point soon), I dropped E and the kids at the Ontario airport, and I made the oh-so-short scoot out to the desert on Thursday to get myself all set up for residency number four.
FOUR. Holy shit. I'm so happy to be here, and I have that thing going on where I don't want it to be because I know that means the whole thing is on its way to being over. It feels different this time because I appreciate it too much. It's like when I knew we weren't going to have anymore babies... I got unreasonably emotional about things like onesies.
I got here Thursday, one day early, again. Last summer I figured out that was the thing to do--it takes me a while to transition into things, and once we start the madness that is rez, it doesn't stop until the end. Since I started giving myself that extra day it's been going much better. And this year was the same. I spent Thursday doing all of my running around: hitting up the laundromat to wash clothes from the family vacation, Target, grocery store, etc. I got settled in and unpacked, then I went for a swim as soon as the blinding desert sun dropped behind the mountain.
So that was Thursday. And Friday all the rest of the peeps started arriving. Friday is technically day one, the day we check in and attend a welcome reception. I spent most of the day driving around with my poet friend Ashley, and by the evening I was seeing all the old familiar faces... Just like I said last time, I'm amazed how being here feels like coming home. A second home of sorts. I never--never--would have thought that it would feel that way when I started. I never thought that I'd form this community. And here it is.
Today was the first official day of lectures and classes, basically what we'll be doing for the rest of our time here. We had an all-program meeting in the morning where the newbies had to introduce themselves and answer an embarrassing question (and all the rest of us get to sit back and be thankful we're not new anymore) and then I attended a lecture by Jamison Stoltz of Grove Atlantic on just what, exactly, happens once a book gets purchased by a publisher. Great info. Totally helpful. I had a one-on-one meeting with Stacy Bierlein of Other Voices Books, and then, you know. Lunch.
After lunch every day is workshop--three hours where we discuss one or two manuscripts in detail. I wasn't up today, but it's always exciting to see what the group is going to be like on the first day since we have new people in class every time. (And actually I'm working with new professors this time too, so it's all a little bit different.) It was a great day, and the time flew.
Soon after, it was time for this:
And eating, too, and late night gossip with my homies.
God, I still LOVE those mountains.