Week two in Monson Maine!
Between writing sessions, I've been walking and hiking around and staring and staring because the trees are stupid gorgeous. Impossible colors. I have made myself stop taking a camera on my walks or I come home with hundreds of photos every day. There is an ATV trail a few blocks from the studio that I've been walking on most days. It's so quiet here. Just rustling leaves and shushing grasses.
Other than working on our goals and being bombarded by gorgeousness, this week we ten residents had short presentations for each other--just five-minute reports so we would all know what we do and our goals for the time here.
I was only a little nervous about this beforehand, but as each person presented, I shrank further and further into my seat, hoping to somehow disappear. The other residents are amazing. Check out some of their websites (and if you do, note that Sara started off the presentations--how would you like to follow that??):
I just kept thinking: I'm here with them?? How???
In the end, I did speak a little about what I'm doing (revising my young adult novel AGAIN), but I went last and started by saying: "Compared to what all of you do, what I do is the artistic equivalent of a Bob Ross painting." Which got a laugh, at least. So there is that.
Also, just to clarify: I'm NOT dissing Bob Ross--Bob Ross is groovy, baby! I love Bob Ross!
Just...Bob Ross probably isn't going to have his paintings hanging in the MET someday, and some of these folks just might. It's a bit intimidating, you know?
But despite their much more advanced talents, everyone here has been very kind to me. It's a truly nice, interesting, diverse group of people. We eat two meals a day together, at The Quarry restaurant, and have spent time hanging out in the lakeside cabin, warmed by a cheerful, cozy fireplace. It's fascinating to hear the other residents talk about other residencies they have done (this is my first--it was none of their first), their processes, their lives.
So I get to write, hike around, have interesting conversations with interesting people, and someone else is doing the cooking.
Gotta say, am liking the residency thing. This is Living the Dream!! :)
And last, some images from the Appalachian Trail. The trail is about two miles outside of Monson. This was my first time on the A.T. and it was sort of magical to step on the actual trail, to actually be there surrounded by the stunning, quiet beauty of the Maine woods.
While hiking, for some reason I kept saying, "this is legit!" Not something I typically say, but I guess my brain was trying to come up with something appropriately momentous and that's what it found. I will kindly think that it was too awed to provide more lyrical language. :P