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(Somewhat) Live From Pine Manor College!

June 22, 2008
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Last night I took the red-eye to Boston.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I have certain expectations of first class.  They don’t include:

1) screaming babies

2) sitting next to the toilet

3) non-reclining seats

It was a small plane, so ‘first class’ was more ‘business class’.  And that would have been fine, except that I couldn’t sleep.  I think I dozed off for maybe an hour, and it was hardly what I’d call uninterrupted.  I ended up watching the last twenty minutes of The Spiderwick Chronicles, then an episode of Battlestar Galactica I happened to have on my computer.  My headphones were on almost the whole time in feeble attempt to keep the noise down.

When I arrived at Logan Airport, it was 6:15 AM.  In California time that meant it was 3:15. I got my bag fairly quickly, then went to grab a taxi.

The driver was very friendly, an African man I think, though I’m rubbish at judging accents.  After I told him what brought me to Boston, he interrogated me about life as a writer, and the process of writing books, which isn’t easy to explain to someone whose first language isn’t English.  It’s tough to explain it to people whose native language is English.  He threw me at first when he said ‘writer’ because it sounded more like ‘whiter’ and I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about.

He found the campus without too much difficulty, but navigating within it proved more of a challenge.  Then when he dropped me off, I forgot to take one of my bags.  Being unused to riding in cabs, I didn’t check his driver number, or even what taxi company it was.  Fortunately, the only important thing in that bag was my glasses.  I’m going to miss my awesome hat and favorite shorts though, if I can’t get it back.  I can only be grateful that I had already taken my camera out of the bag.

I was doing well for awhile, here before anyone else, and a very nice woman let me use the phone in her office to try to get in touch with the taxis.  I ended up locking my phone charger in there.

By the time the faculty was introduced, I was losing it.  I was scatter-brained, exhausted, and somewhat delirious, so unfortunately, instead of hearing the panel, I elected to go back to my room for a nap.

I am falling asleep even as I type this.  It’ll be one long row of Zs before long.  The nap helped recharge my batteries, but it wasn’t long enough to do any significant work.

I did manage to make it to my first workshop, though by now I think everyone in the program knows I’m exhausted and took a red-eye out of Los Angeles.  The workshop was helpful – I went first – and I got praised by the instructor.  Most of the questions raised had to do with my narrator’s syntax and vocabulary level, but since I am incapable of seeing those things, it helps to have someone point them out.

I’ve met lots of people, but more recap and pictures will have to wait.  I’m bushed.

 

Quote of the Day: 

“I found that I could write two kinds of short stories: I could write very absurd, kind of surrealistic, funny stories; or I could write very dark, realistic — hyper- realistic — stories. I was never happy with that, because I couldn’t meld the two. And my view of life is that it’s both.” – Dennis Lehane, author Mystic River

Link of the Day: Dennis Lehane teaching at Pine Manor College – I bought a book of his at LAX that I was enjoying, but sadly, it was in the now-missing duffel.

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