Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Quick update: it's a draft!

We had another round of ferocious storms today, and the inn (and in fact apparently the entire town of Madison) was without power all afternoon and into the early evening! Fortunately it wasn't so hot and steamy that being without a/c was onerous (it's supposed to get well up into the nineties for the next few days), and I was able to set up shop at a table outside my room near a big window where there was lots of light -- so I still got a lot of work done today.

In fact, I have sort of a draft of the manuscript pulled together! Er, slight problem, though -- it's just a wee bit lengthy. Like, I need to cut at least 1/4 to 1/3 of it. Oops. It occurs to me that what I might have on my hands is my first manuscript mooshed in with a head start on my second, so I'm going to read through the thing tonight with that possibility in mind and see if that helps me pull some stuff out without sending the entire structure of it crashing down.

General retreat advice, if anybody wants it: I've done a pretty good job of eating relatively healthy food while I've been here, and I think that helps a lot. You gotta be in shape for this kind of work! *grin* I've also realized that it is very good for me to take my meals as a break from working -- read something non-poetry-related, watch a little tennis, surf the web, whatever.

Getting outside and moving around feels crucial, too (when it isn't pouring down a deluge of rain). Tonight at dusk I went out for a nice walk/run, and I saw lots of wildlife: a small snake squashed in the road, a few deer, a couple of raccoons, a bitty little bunny, and tons of birds. (Also: mosquitoes. Hey, that's wildlife, right? Just very small wildlife.)

I also found an enormous turkey feather by the side of the road, which I am keeping as a souvenir. It's the length of my forearm, striped brown & cream, really quite beautiful. I could make a quill pen out of it! I could.

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One quick PSA -- this info came to me in the Indiana Arts Commission newsletter. Sounds like a fabulous opportunity:

29 Artist Residency Opportunities in Alaska, La Familia Gallery (Seattle, WA)

Seattle-based La Familia Gallery is now offering 29 annual artist residency opportunities in Talkeetna, Alaska. Accepting applicants from around the world who concentrate in the visual arts, music, and literature, the residency program aims to encourage a better understanding of what one truly needs live, to create, and to be happy. The La Familia Artist Residency program is designed for emerging and mid-career artists who are seeking direction, inspiration, and reflection. Eight, six and four week residences are available. Deadline dates run from June 2008 to December 2008. To learn more, please visit
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I'll have another announcement in a few days, so watch this space.


Jessie Carty said...

Congrats! The seminar I took at my MFA residency highly suggested that you have too many poems when putting a manuscript together so that is a good thing!

I had too many too but now I wonder if I have too few after paring down. I only have 52, although a few may end up longer and may be considered two pagers but even with that there are lots of contests that consider a manuscript starting at 60 pages.

newzoopoet said...

Keep the posts coming, Anne. We are reading!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Anne -- I'm vicariously enjoying your retreat!