>VCCA: Mid-residency

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Mid-residency, already? Afraid so. I have only one more week.

I can’t say that I’ve been terribly efficient, but then I’m floundering a little with the new work. I’m calling my output so far a “pre-draft”; it’s not really a first draft since I’m still figuring out what the story is and who the characters are. But I’m nearly done with this first phase, and may begin writing the actual first draft tomorrow. That will take some time, of course, and I’ll be lucky if I can finish a chapter or two by the time I leave next Sunday.

Since last I reported, we’ve had Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful dinner with turkey and stuffing and various veggies, plus pumpkin pie for dessert. Before dinner, the composer Andrea Clearfield was kind enough to play a selection of classical pieces (a little Brahms, a little Debussy, a little Bolling), and after dinner many of the writers did a “sampler” reading. We each read for about 5 minutes, which I thought was a great way to get a taste of what everyone is doing. Since my current work isn’t ready for sharing, I read the prologue to the novel I recently finished. It only takes about four minutes, and I think gives a good sense of that book.

On Friday evening we had a reading by Shari Motro, a law professor at University of Richmond. She’s working on a memoir and read a very personal section. (Not all memoirs are as personal, it seems to me.)

On Saturday night a bunch of the fellows went to Rapunzel’s Coffee & Books for a presentation/puppet show by another of our fellows, Katherine Fahey, but I chose to stay in and work.

The weather has been great, although a bit too warm for this time of year. I wouldn’t mind if the coming week turned cooler.

The picture above is from the woods on the grounds, although it’s a picture I took last year. Haven’t been doing much photography this year, but maybe I’ll make up for that in the next few days.

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