Thursday, May 20, 2010

Feast or Famine

After three days in what I called nunnery solitude, I've had a hectice, people-filled day today--and enjoyed it. Had a 9:30 meeting with the incoming director of the press to review the acquisitions list--and officially turn it over to him. Before that I ran a bunch of Jacob's stuff by Jordan's office, so they can take it with them on a weekend getaway tomorrow, and bought animal food. (I truly believe the man who said the first step towards wealth is not to buy anything you have to feed!)
Got home just in time to go to lunch with friends at the Cat City Grill--having weighed this morning I swore I would have salad or something non-fattening. So I ordered a lobster po-boy--but I didn't eat the bread and only a few waffle fries. There wasn't much lobster, but it as battered and fried. Will I never learn?
Came home to 50 emails that had accumulated while I was gone all morning, so dealt with them, took a nap (so comfy I didn't want to get up). About 5:15 a friend of the press came by to pick up a manuscript he had promised to read, and we had wine on the porch and a good visit. Then I rushed to eat some supper, clean up the porch--well, dust the chairs--and get ready for tonight's "Writing Your Life" class, which is the real subject of this blog.
Two weeks ago I challenged the women to write five pages about any aspect of their lives they wanted, and tonight we talked about how they felt about the experience, what obstacles they encountered, and finally, what they wrote. Three of the women shared their writing-they had brought copies for each member of the class--and we discussed them. Then I asked them to take ten minutes to write what they remembered about something they didn't think they remembered. I do these exercises along with them,and the result was pretty interesting. A couple of women shared theirs--and I hinted at mine, saying it started out in one place and ended up somewhere totally different. What all of us as a group are finding is that tortuous twisted path, where one memory leads to another. We all agree, however, that memoir needs humor--and angst. A combination of both.
Keeping the ball rolling and the conversation going for an hour and a half is exhausting--at least that's what I decided tonight, because I'm really tired. Elizabeth opens each session with a meditation and closes each with a circle--I think the class members really appreciate this. But still it's up to me to make salient comments, encourage discussion, and so on. A lot of stress and brain work, but fun. I found the class satisfying, and several commented on how much they had learned. When Elizabeth has the closing circle, she asks each of us to say one word about how we're feeling. Mine was "intrigued"--others were "interested," "stimulated," "motivated," and the like. I think it was a success.
And thanks to Lisa Wilson who brought some delicious goodies--rolls of cream cheese with pesto or tapenade or pepper jelly, tiny brownies topped with strawberry cream cheese (now there's a great idea!), and wine, of course.

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