Archive for January, 2011

Rad MFA news

I feel kind of like air that’s being pushed around a room by unknown forces, which is appropriate because there’s mini snow flurries outside my window every twenty minutes. I also feel like cooking.

I don’t do drugs because I don’t think I have the personality that can support them, but I’m going to pretend I’m the kind of person who can sustain hours of intense creative energy. I’ve got a lot of stuff to do. It’s interesting stuff, stuff I love, so I’m not complaining, but I’m not able to put the kind of time that I’d like into each thing, which drives me crazy, and makes me Google boxing clubs in Laramie in search of an outlet. I think they just have mixed martial arts here though, which is not really my thing. I’ve got some gloves, so maybe I’ll just buy a bag and suspend it from the Clark Street Bridge, which is a few yards away, but I don’t want to think about what the pigeons would do to it.

Yesterday was the first day I felt re-settled in Laramie. I took a look at a story I turned into my fiction class last week and kind of freaked out. It’s not very good. I think the idea was good, but I wrote parts of it in different places over the break and so it never ended up feeling real to me. I actually need to sit with it awhile. Plus, it has a lot of obvious mistakes. I spent last night fixing those. I had other things to work on, but I couldn’t move forward with that story hanging over my head. And it really didn’t take long, since I’m finally in the right state of mind to write.

I changed my mind on summer plans and spent most of today re-writing a grant proposal that I hope will be compelling enough to fund my trip, which will basically be pretty rad thesis research. Then I worked out and stood outside afterward in a snow flurry until it stopped. I was wearing the smallest shorts I own and a tank top. My neighbors think I’m insane.

Oh! And also, I’m mapping ghosts and cottonwood trees for the Laramie Atlas Project. Here’s some information on it: http://uwartmuseum.blogspot.com/2011/01/uw-art-museum-partners-with-mfa-in.html. I have to have a map done by the end of the week, which seems kind of crazy, but I’m sure the research floodgates will open, like they do after a little time figuring out where to go, and I can get some basic points to the cartographers, and hopefully the artists will like it. This whole collaboration thing is rad (I like this word right now) after feeling a little too holed up with my own writing. I also have to have an essay done about ghosts/cottonwoods in the Laramie area very shortly.

And now I’m making more coffee, since I’ve been up until the wee hours every night, with or without it. It will actually calm me down right now.

I’m having a really good time.  Just want to highlight that.

But I also can’t wait until the first week of February’s over so I can get to work on some stories again, and my life can achieve some kind of balance. Maybe four new stories this semester, as well as revisions of various old ones? That’d be awesome. Wish me luck.

I’ve just acquired an air purifier AND a humidifier to make my whole situation here more comfortable. I’ve never needed so much to survive the winter. Man, this place is rugged.



Kind of wish I was still having coffee here every morning with my lovely Baerfriend (his last name is Baer, with that spelling). After the program ... Kona? South America? Just a thought.


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New year

Semester Two of Year One of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing Concentrating in Fiction with a Special Focus on Violence in Isolated Places and Stuff started yesterday. But I was on a plane. I drove from the Denver airport to Laramie on a clear, below-zero afternoon, and watched the sun set behind the Snowies from my car, in which the last bikini I wore in Hawaii was still tied to my backpack, even though it was dry, and sort of crunchy in a sad, frozen sea-salt kind of way. I called Ryan from my driveway. He just got to his apartment in Montana. I told him I just got back to mine. We never get home anymore.

What we do get is Skype and scattered weeks together in nice places (recently, Hawaii, thanks to Ryan’s parents, who generously invited us along), which we make fun and entertaining and meaningful and relaxing, and do all the things we used to do, and pretend we’re still living together, and believe that maybe we’re connected over distances in a tangible way (like through tattoos or David Bowie’s magic eyes or something), and that we’ll have another home in exactly 1.5 years, even if it’s a railroad car or a generous palm frond, so long as it’s not just a state of mind or a picture of us smiling in front of an ocean we know nothing about and not looking like ourselves.

And actually, that picture does look like us. It’s just that we look different now. Not in a bad way. Faces change.

And I don’t have to be on an island to enjoy rum whenever I want, or to know that missing someone is better than not. So here’s to that:

Keep toastin’, friends. These years are always new.

Scientists: work on portal technology. David Bowie: get those eyes magicking. It’s 2011, people.  With any luck, in the future, love will be weirder still.

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