Day One

Casita, sweet casita, view #1

A good night’s sleep, a semi-hearty breakfast (as hearty as it gets for a vegan who doesn’t really do breakfast), and it was off into the first day of my writing retreat. It’s very odd to be in place I’ve been to several times before as a tourist and not set out for a day of driving and exploring and relaxing. No, today was like any work day at home, hitting the computer early, cranking out the words.

What Sana Fe abode would be complete without the steer head on the wall?

Only, the crank really didn’t turn. I sat there, staring, waiting for inspiration, and it didn’t come. When there’s a paycheck on the line, I have no such thing as writer’s block, but today – nada.

The desk where so little work took place

After a few false starts, I did produce the first five pages of my “novel” (in quotes because I have no idea if I can see this through to its completion) and do some research on my new play, a play I’m intellectually jazzed about but emotionally uncommitted too. OK, I realize, I have to produce something on this trip; the nice people at the Greater Hartford Arts Council did not give me money to just sit on my hands and enjoy a break from the IMD. There should be some serious creating going on, damnit. But when push came to shove today, it was not easy to get the brain thinking in a creative way. I wanted to be heading into the mountains or going to the historical sites I missed on the first trips or just sitting downtown with a coffee and watching the world go by. Instead, it felt like any day in West Haven: hours at the computer, a short break to walk to the store, cooking dinner at home, no social interaction with anyone. What an exciting existence.

A gorgeous fall day in New Mexico

Well, this is different from the usual work day I would have had in CT. I’m surrounded by artifacts of the Southwest. I had an apres-dinner beer at the brewpub five minutes away, where a duo played some pleasantly off-beat blues. I saw artsy folk all around. And unlike the cool rain that fell in the Northeast, we had bright sun and temps in the mid 60s. Not bad.

I think the words will flow a little easier as time goes by. I feel I have the discipline to get something done, even as I would rather be in true vacation mode. Of course, I have little confidence that what I write will be any good. Oh well.

Tomorrow, after whatever meager words I can produce, I’m off to the O’Keeffe museum for their free First Friday, then seeing a play at a theatre not too far a walk away. Saturday night, I have dinner with a friend. It feels like a good mix of fun and work, much better than what I would have at home. It’s good to be here. Good – god, it’s been so long since I’ve thought this – good to be me. Things are ok. No roller coaster, at least for today. I guess a change of scenery can do that, writer’s block or not.

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~ by mburgan on November 5, 2010.

3 Responses to “Day One”

  1. It’s OK if you don’t get anything much done on the first day….you just got there!

  2. I love that museum! I love Santa Fe too. Wish I was there writng woth you instead of back in DC tech writing.

  3. @Judy–I know, but there is some pressure to have something to show for this trip. Today was very productive–15 pages in my new play!

    @Beth–yeah, there is some great stuff there. And I poked around in some galleries too. But I think just walking the streets and checking out the people was the most fun of all. This is so not like CT, in every possible good way.

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