Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jentel, Day 9

The first week of the residency was so warm that I thought to myself, "This will be a piece of cake." All those dire predictions about winter in Wyoming were off the mark, I told myself. I wasted precious luggage space packing heavy coats when I could have gone with more shoes.

Today: the snow. I can't tell if the snow is actually falling, since the sharp wind makes everything whip horizontal in the air and run in serpentines along the ground. I'm not cold in the studio -- far from it -- but the run from the house to the writers' studio (and from the writer's studio to the artists' studio, where the bathroom and microwave oven are) seem fraught with peril. Cold, white peril. Sort of like Massachusetts.

Here, the snow doesn't accumulate as much as it re-deposits. I can imagine myself getting trapped in the studio as the snow piles against the door and blocks my exit. But -- I have snacks, I have a source of hot water, and I have two teabags left. That'll last me... 3 hours? I could perhaps crush some Oreos and create a chocolatey sludge soup but can feel the enamel on my teeth peeling off already.

After a week at the residency, I've had to drastically scale back my expectation of what I would get done in a month. Though I've never been one to whom the words "overly ambitious" could be applied -- look at how often I update this poor, neglected blog -- finishing a novel was probably too far-reaching. I've gotten into the bad habit of looking at my work and averaging how much I've achieved over my stay thus far. Sort of the like obsessive word counters of NaNoWriMo, but with much, much less ambition. (My average: about 500 words a day.)

Incidentally, why does the new version of Microsoft Word even have an auto word count feature? It's going to drive me nuts. But it's okay for now. When those 500 words consist of nothing but variations on "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," then I'll start revising.

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