I arrived at VCCA on Thursday, got settled into my room and studio, and began to work. I had some papers to grade, but got those out of the way fairly quickly, and then dived into my novel edits. I’m in Studio W2—the same studio I was in this time last year.
It seems as though there are more fellows in residence this time, and that might be the case—they’ve now opened both spaces in the remodeled cottage and there are 2 writers in there, so we’re at least 25 or so—a nice group. Quite a few familiar faces, too, from real life in Charlottesville and also from past residencies.
So, mostly, I’ve been working. But there was one presentation on my first night, by Serge Levy. He showed slides of his work, including a series of his “street photography” and also some images—self portraits—that he’s manipulated. Beautiful stuff.
And then last night we had a presentation by the only composer in residence, Michael Remson. Michael writes operas, songs, and choral work, and played a little of each for us. It’s pretty incredible stuff. I’m always blown away by the composers here because what they do seems so very foreign to me, like they’re speaking a different language. A beautiful language, but one that I don’t understand.
It’s raining today. I’ve been taking walks in the woods each afternoon, but not today. We’re all going over to Sweetbriar College for dinner this evening and tomorrow I have to head back to the Valley for finals at Blue Ridge Community College. But there’s snow in the forecast and I’m worried about that. Keeping an eye on the weather . . .