Saturday, March 06, 2010

Update from Jentel

Hi Everybody,

Sorry to take so long to write.  I've actually been busy...writing!  Now, there's a concept!  Writing at a writing residency--who knew?

I've been making good progress editing, editing, and re-editing stories; now I'm in the throes of constructing first drafts of the long pieces that will complete my collection, hopefully by the fall.  I've submitted stories to a few a journals, both paper and online, and one longer piece to a Glimmer Train contest.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Big news on the steepening of my bloggatista learning curve:  I finally figured out how to make pages.  Very exciting.  See all those things in the upper right hand corner, where it says "about the writer"?  Those are my pages.  One of the great blessings of being here is exposure to artists further along in their careers than I.  They've had lots of good advice for me, including the radical notion that I apparently need a website.  Well, perhaps some day when this blog grows up, it will become a website.  But for now, my geeky adolescent can at least afford the rudimentary furniture necessary (supposedly) for a working artist's internet studio.
My dear friend Kim (Transier) was asking how "Jentel Presents" went.  Well, I'm so glad you asked!  It went great, and I've heard rumor that Yann Novak, one of my brother artists here, has photos of me reading, though I've yet to see evidence of this.  If they are terrible he has promised to delete them without showing me, bless him.

The evening was beautiful and a lot of fun.  The good folks here at Jentel put out a nice spread at the reception they hosted for us at Sheridan Community College, and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with some of the artists, writers, patrons and other assorted glitterati that make up the Northeastern Wyoming art scene.

Folks proved a kind and receptive audience.  I read "Negative Space," which I think I am done reading publicly now, eventhough it's the only story I have that works for a ten minute slot.  I didn't realize until that night that I published it ten years ago!  Time to update the portfolio, n'est-ce pas?

The other artists' presentations were fascinating--I will devote a separate post or set of posts to them--and my brother-writer Zachary Watterson read his magnificent essay about teaching in prisons, the basis of his forthcoming memoir.  It was a beautiful evening.

I also wanted to update you on the "to-do list fast," which is officially over.  It was like going to a resort.  I think I feel more refreshed than after a real fast.  I got deep into a blissed out place with my writing, while simultaneously taking whatever time was needed to rest, run, walk in the sunshine, and nosh.  I've done some fun cooking, including participating in a delicious potluck dinner party with the other artists last weekend, where we first shared our work with one another.  I've also begun designing a teeny, tiny strawbale studio I hope someday soon to build on the land.

I managed not to feel neurotic at all without a to-do list, which shocked me (given that it's pretty rare I don't feel neurotic about something), but that is probably how it should be at a residency where one theoretically has no responsibilities whatsoever.  But now, it's the last week, finals week, the time of all-nighters and knuckle-downers, and cleaning the bathroom for no apparent reason, and I've a list as long as my arm and twice as fat. 

I'm going to download some photos now and see if I can figure out  how to post them without making a complete mess of them.   Thanks for reading!

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