My writing-related traveling began when I was accepted into the brief residency MFA program at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and fell into the flow of flying back there twice a year, in May and October.
It continued when I was hired as a mentor, lo those many years ago, at the Loft Certificate in Writing program in Nashville (well, really, Murfreesboro, but close enough). For that gig, I traveled in September and January, and for awhile also went to Nashville in December and April when I was on the staff of the now-defunct Room to Write retreat.
Back in the day, I had clients in Los Angeles, and I'd fly (my favorite commute ever–just two hours on the plane, long enough for a good session of reading and voila, you have arrived) down there several times a year. (Now I just go visit my friend Mary-Suzanne.)
And now that I do writing retreats, I get to head off the exotic locations such as Diamond, Oregon (population, 9, and we meet in a hotel that was once a stagecoach stop), and Ceret, France, where I'm headed the first week of September.
But at the end of this week, I'm heading back to Louisville again, to be a graduate assistant at Spalding after a ten-year absence. This all started because at the beginning of the year, I started jonesing to be in the MFA environment again. I wanted to see how different or similar it might be from the kind of teaching I've been doing, both privately and at the Loft. I longed to be seriously immersed in the world of writing and literature again.
And, well, seriously immersed doesn't really begin to describe it. The schedule for the 10 days is 30 pages long! I'll be assisting one of my former mentors, Mary Clyde, whom I adore, in workshops devoted to critiquing student work, recording lectures, running errands, setting up events, attending readings by faculty and students, and soaking in as many words about writing as I can cram into my brain. (Oh yeah, and there will be lunches, glasses of wine and dinners with old friends and new along the way.)
(I will also be reading from Emma Jean on Friday the 24th, I believe at 6 PM, and selling my book. So come see me if you're in Louisville.)
I am going to attempt–attempt–to blog from the residency while I'm there. (If Patrick Ross can do it, surely I can!) But, like I said, the schedule is 30 pages long, with every day packed and lots of duties outlined for me. I am not complaining, however. On the contrary, I cannot wait.
Oh, and the best part? I don't have to take that cursed 6 AM flight to Dallas that I always get booked on. My plane leaves at a leisurely 8:20 AM.
Do you travel for work, writing-related or other? What do you like best or least about it? Please leave a comment!
Photo by Dolphin22.