June, 2012 Residency in Review

**This was written on June 25, 2012**
Another residency done, one step closer to my MFA journey coming to a close. Just to explain to the one or two people who might be reading this that do not go or have not gone to Antioch University. I am in a two year low residency MFA in Creative Writing program at Antioch University in Los Angeles. Every June and December I go to 8 days of intense lectures, workshops and writing community. The five month in between are called project periods, where we (as writers and students) work one on one with a mentor to develop our work. There are five residencies and four project periods in the standard program.
This was my fourth project period and my second to last. A quick recap of my first three would be something like this:

            First residency: Everything was brand new and totally foreign to me. I didn’t schedule properly and drank obscene amounts of caffeine. I also met some of the best people in my life. People, I hope I will know for the rest of my life.
            Second residency: So much damn fun. I knew people this time, I wasn’t a newb, I monitored caffeine intake and was able to enjoy myself a lot more.
            Third residency: This one was an odd one but fun as always. Not much to say except it was a sort of residency that was just there. I did get the mentor I really wanted (Alistair McCartney) and it was the start of my work really taking shape.
Now we arrive at the fourth residency. This was felt really off from the start. That’s not to say it was bad but the energy was lacking and a lot of people in my cohort (the kick ass Sycamores) had a hectic project period from the demands of the 25 page critical paper and such. It feels weird to try to say how I feel, maybe enough time hasn’t passed to properly emerge from the fog that distorts reality from the residency.
April and Rick Moody the Rhino
Jamie and April
The Girls
I am just going to randomly fire things I remember and hope some of it translates to something that makes sense. This was the first residency that I went to The Electric Lodge reading, as my friend Karly was introducing faculty reader Bernadette Murphy. Karly was amazing as was Bernadette and the other readers (a particular kudos to the story read by Chris Allsop, he has a great voice and humor in his stories). I am going to post Karly’s intro, which will be promptly, taken down if she asks because it is currently too late at night to text her and ask if it is okay.
There were quite a few lectures that I liked a lot. The one that spoke to me the most was Alistair’s on the ‘Inaugural Scene’ or the birth place of the writer. It provided a lot of food for thought and on the last day of the residency no less, when most of us move like the walking dead rather than bright eyed students.
Bernadette Murphy at The Electric Lodge
Chris Allsop at The Electric Lodge
Oh, the reading by Steve Heller on the last Friday was hilarious. He has a dry delivery that accentuated the humor in his story. Other highlights were the Sycamore dinner, the ride around Silver Lake by the amazing Wendy Dutwin and the trip to the cemetery that Jamie and I took on the last day of the residency. I also get to work with Alistair again, and considering the amount of bat shit crazy I was last project period, I’m sure this one will be even better.

There is a danger to writing these posts at the wee hours of dawn. Coherency flies right out the window. Oh well, if this blog is ever going to make any sense, it might have to be written by someone else.
Enjoy the pictures! As always feel free to comment or email!
A mojito from the Sycamore dinner
Jamie and I at the Sycamore dinner
from the Mustard Seed
Wendy, April, and Karly at the Mustard Seed
A lamp from some cafe that I want
Karly and I at the cafe
Wendy and April at the cafe
Yes, I take pictures of food.
Suck it critical paper!
My shadow! I am deep that way.
A tree at the cemetery, also the gateway to Narnia
Rick Moody the Rhino at a lecture
I will enter Narnia!
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