Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bright ideas

Toying with the idea of taking a week off in February or March, heading out to Provincetown, finding a cheap off-season cottage or apartment or at least a room with kitchen privileges, and giving myself a little writing retreat -- perhaps to start working on MFA application essays and suchlike, perhaps to futz with a chapbook manuscript, perhaps just to read and write like crazy. I have never been there earlier than early June or later than mid-September, and I want to see it when it's bleak and everything is closed. I imagine the moors glinting with frost and the ocean stretching out forever in more shades of gray than I knew existed.

Toying with a lot of ideas, actually.

(Don't you love how I just tossed out that phrase, "MFA application essays," like the whole process of coming to this decision hasn't caused me several years of more-or-less angst? Lordy. After all this dithering and grumbling, I sure as hell hope I actually get accepted somewhere. I'm going to feel fairly ridiculous if I don't.)

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The people across the street are sitting out in their yard and playing their hippie drums. This makes the kitten nervous for some reason.

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I had a smallish epiphany while sitting at my desk in Provincetown, and jotted down a title. Said title seems to fit most of the poems that I'm particularly fond of but have not ever seemed to quite fit into the chapbook ms. currently making the rounds. Also, as soon as I thought of the title, I thought of several other poem ideas that fit with that title. Perhaps I am working on my second manuscript now. I wouldn't know. Some of what I'm writing feels different to me, though. I can't quite put my finger on how.

Also, memorization is going better than I expected, and is more fun than I expected. "Stasis in darkness..."

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I promised several people that I would blog about the exercises D.A. Powell gave us in Provincetown. I still intend to do that, and I'm working on it. I need to dig out my folder o'papers from that week so I can report on exactly what poems we read to go along with the exercises, since I didn't include complete citations in my notes (but do have them on the handouts). They were good exercises. Of course, the one that was supposed to be easy was the one that caused me the most anxiety -- which figures, doesn't it?

Yeah. It figures.


jeannine said...

Hey Anne,
I just found this blogsite chock full o' info on MFA programs. Wish I'd had it when I was starting to apply...
Good luck! I'm rooting for you!
Hugs, Jeannine

Anne said...

Thanks, Jeannine! I actually stumbled across that blog not too long ago myself, and scoured it thoroughly for any & all posts about low-res programs. :) It is pretty funny how all of a sudden it feels absolutely right to be planning to do this... crazy, probably (okay, crazy definitely), but still absolutely right.

Laura said...

P-town is *wonderful* in the off-season. We try to go every February -- maybe I'll see you traipsing up Commercial Street. :-)

And good luck with the applications!

jenni said...

B-town and porches with people playing hippie drums -- I miss that!

I'm thinking of going to P-town in the fall for a weekend workshop . . . we'll see.

May the force be with you on tose MFA apps.


Anne said...

Laura: Thanks! Maybe I will see you. We'll see what happens with money and vacation time...

Jenni: Hee! Yeah, these neighbors are sort of quintessentially Bloomington -- although they were in their back yard with the hippie drums, not on a porch. I keep looking at the FAWC website hoping they'll have the fall schedule posted, which is silly, because there's no way I can afford to go back out there! It would be awfully fun, though. You should do it.

Radish King said...

I've been toying with the idea of a week in Provincetown too. You've made me fall in love with it. As for writer's conferences, I'll just come here and read about them when you go. It is always a delightful read and I feel like I've been part of.

So when is your next?


William said...

I was told that the FAWC may be doing away with the fall program! :(

I was hoping to make it up there this fall...

LitByFire said...

No, not March. Very raw. September-October are golden, spectacular. November-December are moody and grey and wonderfully poetic. January-February can be anything. March and April are the only months I do not love completely there.
Frank Shaefer has studio apartments at the White Horse which rent by the week. About $100 a night last I went, but you save a lot by being able to cook. He also has clean charming rooms with bath down the hall much cheaper. Also the Cape Codder is lovely and reasonable. A lot of whale watch parties stay there because it's owned by Stormy Mayo, the whale-rescue hero of New England, and a gorgeous guy.
I need to go this winter. I've stayed away two years (a record) since a heartbreak, but I can't stay away forever. It wouldn't be right.

Anne said...

Ms. Radish -- maybe I'll see you there sometime! Glad you've enjoyed the posts. In some ways I don't know why I love that place so much, but who knows why anyone loves anyone or anything, really?

William -- That would be a drag! Although I kind of understand it, with their visual MFA program taking off (& all those students in residency during Sept.) and with plans afoot for the writing MFA. It almost seems like something's got to give.

C. -- argh! September's too early in the semester for me to take off. October's a possibility work-wise, but I don't think I'll have enough money to go by then. December actually appeals to me almost the most, but I can't take off work at the end of the semester, and then it's Christmas and I need to do family stuff. Feb. through April are really the most possible times for me this time around. Well, a lot can happen... who knows, maybe money will show up and I can sneak out in October, which is one of my best writing months anyway.

I do understand about staying away because of heartbreak. I have someplace I won't go back to for similar reasons. I hope you do go back, though... I think there's a lot of healing to be had in that landscape.

LitByFire said...

Re: healing. I think you're right.

Go in February, it will be good.