Return from a Writing/Reading Retreat


Oh hello, blogosphere, I’m back again.

Let me tell you, I had an adventurous weekend in an exceptionally large country house on a wee hill among the rolling hills of rural Scotland. Gorgeous.

When I say adventurous, I mean I stayed in a strange bed for almost two days because I became quite ill immediately upon arrival. (This is my awesome face). But actually, it all turned out to be very productive and I read somewhere near 350 pages — finishing both “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion and also “Housekeeping” by Marylin Robinson, and getting well into “This is not about me” by Janice Galloway. I think my only issue thus far with “This is not about me” is that it actually is entirely about her, starting with birth, and providing only close and first person narrative. So the title is a big fat lie. My poet friend Will suggested it was meant to be ironic and I said that would be fine but I wasn’t sure. And when you’re not sure about these things, it’s just best not to buy in wholeheartedly.

Anyway, productivity provided by fever and excessive sleep. Not my usual refrain. Still, I got in two gorgeous walks, took loads of pictures (139) of other people having an excellent time (which I also had, but mostly with my books in the strange bed).

Weekend high point: the clean bath tub, with amazing hot water.

Weekend low point: lying in the bath tub and noticing a large spider was in one corner of the bathroom ceiling and a small spider’s nest was in one corner of the bathroom window.

Weekend medium point: realizing that the various spider presences were not particularly active nor particularly close to me.

Good and unrelated news: Emory editorials staff likes me enough to let me write more for them. Oh happy journalistic soul.

Scotland: Green, wet, muddy


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