the words return

For a writer whose days are mostly spent by choice by herself in front of a screen, eleven days of amazing and stimulating workshops, lectures, and readings–connected by speaking to people, finding seats, speaking to more people, making plans for dinner, and speaking to yet more people–can be quite disorienting.

I used up all my words.

The people in charge of the residency encourage us to get away from it even while we’re in the middle of it. So I would often run, or take a walk and take photos.

After a week of posting some of those photos and very few words in an effort to recover from those eleven days in Vermont, as you can see, I’m starting to feel the words return.

One of the main events at residency is the announcement of the advisers for the next semester. The list is posted around 7pm on a bulletin board. People trickle in, huddle around, emit small sounds or large ones, sometimes kick things.

My adviser for my last semester will be my first choice–Douglas Glover of Numéro Cinq and the author of, among other books, Elle, which won the 2003 Governor General’s Award. This semester I will finalize a creative thesis of 75 pages, write a 45-minute lecture, and prepare for a 20-minute reading. I will give the lecture and the reading at the winter residency, on the last day of which I will graduate, ending this wonderful journey.

18 thoughts on “the words return

  1. Indeed, thanks for taking us along and inspiring with your experiences. I loved looking through your picture posts! Would move to Vermont in a heartbeat if I could!


    • Tricia, nice to see you here again. And thanks for leaving such a nice comment on Darrelyn’s post [ both of them : ) ].

      I love that door too, and the flowers there in the corner that echoed the color of the door… In real life, it’s purple, not blue.


  2. Lovely, Cynthia. It was wonderful seeing you at residency and I so wish I could be there for your graduating lecture and reading. Have a wonderful last semester; soak up every minute. As you know, the experience is fleeting, but profound.


  3. If your writing after this residency is as quirky and original as your photography here, it was time well spent. I love the odd composition of the door shot especially. I’m feeling a little disoriented myself after my stimulating time abroad and am looking forward to some solitary writing and painting time when my daughter goes to camp soon.


  4. I love these photos. I live in LA, but as another person commented, your photos make me want to move to Vermont! I often rely on music to inspire my writing, as I am a singer, composer and music teacher. So I understand your use of visual stimulation to inspire your writing muse. Good luck with your continued writing. Moving on to another project or place or situation is always an event in and of itself, and I wish you luck.


    • Welcome to Catching Days, Olivia. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and for your good wishes. I often use music for inspiration too–at the moment, Tori Amos’ Silent All These Years…

      I hope you’ll be back.


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