A nightowl, generally I start writing retreats on the first day at around 10/11pm. I try to arrive wherever I am going in the early morning, take care of biological needs like eating and sleeping, and then allow my biorhythm to have its sway. I’m generally not creative until most people are asleep and the night with its hidden sounds starts to play.
Yes, in a late night stroll, if you ever looked into a window and saw a figure dancing with a piece of paper in hand, that was most likely me. We may have been in two different countries, but it was still me in doppelgänger form.
I had fully intended on starting my writing retreat this way, but life got in the way. Carpooling, work in car, catching up, etc. We arrived at around 3, hardly time for me to unpack; let alone get prepared for the work ahead with the requisite nap. (Yes, I unpack even on short trips, because it helps me feel like I belong in a space, which, in turn, helps me sleep.) Instead of doing my routine, I found myself puttering around.
After dinner and chats, I expected to begin the journey. I had, after all, managed to make a short list of things to accomplish on this trip. No go. I fell asleep at around 11pm, my usual primetime, while I awakened at 3am and generally I would have started then, I was keenly aware that if I did so, I would miss breakfast and that I had not eaten a large dinner. Hungry Raina becomes wild-eyed for sugar, and I’m really trying to break this habit. Back to bed, I went.
This morning, I had breakfast, and started …
Yesterday I had been working on setting up a class session for my Teaching and Learning I students. I nailed down the class visits for that experience and then moved on. One of the Christian Brothers in Sri Lanka asked me to write a 250-word note on education today. I found myself getting creative with it and produced a 750-word essay. Hopefully, he accepts it, although I don’t know what he’s using it for and who the audience is. Perhaps I should have asked that before going off on my little creative journey (it involves a sci-fi-ish scenario with electrified grids and dehumanizing processes in educational systems). I think it’s rather clever, but clever does not exactly equal clear. There’s probably way too much ego in there, now that I think about it. I’ll go back to it later.
I did also complete all of the information that my publisher requested for marketing the next book. It is also probably too jargon-filled, but I already expect to refine that when I turn in the final manuscript in May.
While here, I need
- to work on refining this article that I presented last year with a co-presenter,
- write a letter to Mami for the book project we are working on,
- write a book proposal for that book project (I have a press in mind),
- review the submissions for The Acentos Review,
- email one of the submitters,
- write an essay on living in the liminal,
- and work on a presentation I’m doing for a class at University of San Francisco on Tuesday.
- It would be really great if I got to this jazz collaboration proposal that has been on my agenda for months now,
- a proposal for funding bringing a poet on campus,
- and building out my Teaching and Learning I website.
Also on my agenda for February, submit to Split this Rock (conference in 2016), submit to journals some new poems, refine and submit one of my education articles.
I have a tendency to put WAY too much on my writing agenda.