First Packet Due Monday

I work on my first twenty pages of creative work for my MFA advisor all day. When I need a break, I ride fourteen miles on the stationary recumbent bicycle at my parents’ house, because I can exercise while reading Joelle Frasier’s The Territory of Men, which I must finish by Sunday with enough time to write a commentary on it.

I add six pages to the ten I had from earlier this week, which leaves four left in order to make twenty (and therefore make the most of this opportunity to get one-on-one feedback from the author I’m working with). But by 4:30 p.m. I am out of steam and can’t seem to pull anything more together.

Just when I need to procrastinate I get a friendly phone call from my traveling companion in Houston, Texas. As we catch up I imagine that he must be stuck in traffic in the fourth largest city in America, either suffocating in the polluted heat or casually chatting on his cell in an air conditioned Honda. Either way, he’s a world away from me but it doesn’t matter, because he’s listening to me gab about the thread I’m trying to weave into a series of four compressed essays to make this twenty pages and blah, blah, blah and then I get to hear about Artificial Intelligence and his grad school plans and it makes me wish, at least for the moment, for a cold home brew and the Columbia River Gorge or somewhere, anywhere, with a breeze and lots of company and four extra pages floating around that I can cut and paste into my Word document.*

We hang up and I hike the Patton Cemetery loop in my cowgirl hat and hope this will inspire something…


Note to self: Joan Didion can write run-on sentences ‘til the cows come home and sell them for New York paychecks. So can Alexandra Fuller. And they both do fragments, too. Find out how. Make this work for you.

*This is a run-on sentence, for example.

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