I about fell out of my chair
when I took a second look at the subject line of the email I thought was yet another “Thank you & I am sorry to convey” message. I had been working on my Sunday poem at the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway, from a prompt that required me to crossbreed an urban legend of my choice with an angel. I am not crazy about either affiliate. Checking out the etymology of avocado at OED.com is such a good excuse for getting online, until it turns into a good excuse for checking my inbox. I skipped over the Bread Loaf Bakeless message, thinking, “I don’t need bad news while I’m here…”
But the second time I needed the OED, I noticed the caboose of that Bread Loaf email’s subject line. The fellowship’s title is so lengthy, the words “Acceptance Notification” ran off the computer screen. Things got very quiet in my head. In my head, no one can hear me scream.
The Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Foundation Residency Fellowship supports a month-long writing retreat in Cassis, France. I applied in fiction and will be hosted by The Camargo Foundation to work on a collection of linked stories.
Amazing, how much more accomplished my shitty draft* seemed to me after I learned that I was the recipient of a distinguished fellowship. My poem sent its angel on a mission to rescue the world’s avocado trees from asteroidal extinction.
I returned home on Monday re-energized by a well-spent weekend with writers–and of course the energizing good news. I read some more about the small fishing village of Cassis, where I will be spending May. I fell out of my chair a couple of times more.
I am strapped in to my chair now, and back to beating up myself and my work, but with utmost respect.
*As the Getaway’s director, Peter Murphy, encouraged us to know them–our daily poems. In other words, stop worrying about what people will think, and write.