It is my intention to take seven days in a row away from blogging and social networking of any kind in order to read Moby Dick and write fiction. I trust the inconvenience will be negligible or non-existent. Nevertheless, I write this blog entry today about taking a week off from writing blog entries so as to make a kind of public pledge. It may help to keep me honest–just to express my intention. We’ll see about that.
In case you’re at all interested, this is what I’m doing: I’m flying from Portland to Oakland, California, and from the airport in Oakland, I will make my way to the campus of St. Mary’s College in Maraga, where I will participate in the annual Warren Wilson MFA Alumni Conference. While I’m there, for six days, I will attend a few lectures, talks, and discussions, I will eat three meals a day, and I will attend readings by fiction writers and poets who are all dear friends and classmates, talented and inspiring individuals all. But mostly, during these six days, I will write toward finishing a draft of my new novel–and whenever I need a “rest,” I will read Moby Dick. I don’t suppose either the draft of the new novel or the reading of Moby Dick will be finished in six days, but I suspect that much progress will be made on both endeavors. When I return, maybe I’ll write a blog entry about these things.
Wish me luck. I am so grateful to be able to go and grateful to my family in particular for making the sacrifices that enabled me to go. There is nothing that revives my writer soul better than a good dose of solitude within a community as generous and as gifted as this one. And if any of you out there have ever had thoughts of earning an MFA in poetry or fiction writing, Warren Wilson College is about the greatest place for that on the planet, from my limited and very biased perspective. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being patient. You will hear from me soon.