Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jentel, Day 6

So this is where the magic happens: my writing studio!

We chose both our sleeping quarters and our studios at random -- sort of like a key party, but without the swinging. It doesn't matter much for the writers, however: there are only two writing studios. Mine (named Sunset for what I assume to be a west-facing view; I'm really bad with cardinal directions, folks) faces the mountains, and at the moment, the sun is setting, with some low-lying clouds just above the peaks, glowing the sort of pinkish-orange that keeps pastel makers in business. From my window, as well, I see the occasional barn cat (named Grey Kitty) and overly energetic dog bounce by in the snow.

The visual artists get all the perks, of course; each of their studios is outfitted with a bed, and their studio complex has a bathroom and kitchenette. We writers have to trek out into the Wyoming tundra just to pee, and while the recliner is comfortable... come on, a bed! (Of course, if I had a bed, I'd get absolutely nothing done.) I keep my studio at a toasty 65 degrees, and there's an industrial-sized Thermos for me to replenish my tea.

Strangely, though, both of the writing studios have been invaded by flies. Big black flies, the size of pennies. When I walk into my studio first thing in the afternoon, little black corpses litter the floor, and I use the handy Dustbuster to suck them away. Perhaps they're attracted to the Oreo and Mint Milano crumbs that ring the area around my desk chair. Maybe it's the beef jerky. Maybe the growing pile of used tea bags. But it's a war of attrition. I dread the day when I have to empty the Dustbuster.

The other writer, a poet, and I cross paths in the studio rarely, mostly because I prefer the late nights. When I walk out of the house towards my studio, the stars seem preternaturally bright. Huge things in the sky, and so wonderfully crisp. I'd stand and stare at them, but nighttime bring the promise of hypothermia. The melted snow puddles during the day become ice hazards at night, and it's a mad dash from one door to the other.

I think my period of adjustment has now passed, and despite the promise of terrible, made-for-cable horror movies on the SyFy channel, I'm being semi-productive.

Ah, look. The sun has gone down behind the peaks and the clouds have gone from pastels to charcoals.

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