In just over a week, I will be installed as resident writer in Lafayette Flats, a luxury apartment by the New River Gorge National Park in WV. It is a writing rather than a teaching residency, three months all expenses paid (sans food) in the top floor by myself, writing. Just writing.
I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to this time.
In preparation to which, I have begun to pack:
1 case wine (one bottle per week, including two good bottles for sharing if WV writers want to get together, the rest cheap-and-cheerful for a glass with dinner most weeknights)
2 cases fizzy water (club soda and seltzer with flavors, the stuff of daily consumption, because burping helps ideas rise)
1 large box Trader Joe’s boil-in-bag or heat-n-serve vegetarian fare – cooking up ideas, not food
8 pair pajama bottoms, sweats, or scrubs with assorted non-t-shirts and five fuzzy cardigans – I ain’t going out except daily walks. Heck, I may not even pack a hairbrush. 3 MONTHS OF WRITING TIME!!!!!
1 box work papers, because even though they gave me a leave of absence, there is one project I have to keep an eye on. That’s okay – they gave me a leave of absence!
9 books to read, all Appalachian Studies Association’s Weatherford Award nominees
6 pair fuzzy ballerina slippers; if we’re playing truth or consequences, some days I’ll cop to not exiting pjs
1 CD of funny cat songs and 1 cat coloring book with markers, to lighten up once in awhile
All the underwear I own – because doing laundry is a time sink and it will sour in the washer anyway if the ideas are going well, and get meticulously folded should things go badly; don’t give that kind of avoidance space
My new Himalayan salt lamp I got from Beth and Brandon for Christmas – because I’ve always wanted one and it will glow in the dark during quiet nights
The card Jack gave me the day we got married, because Jack won’t be there but once a month.
My underheated mattress pad, because Jack won’t be there but once a month….
The lacy red cup stolen from a summer arts camp I taught in years ago, which I intend to leave in the flat as karmic retribution. (Actually, I did pay for the mug. Just after the swiping. It’s okay; that director knows. And I’m not stealing anything from Lafayette Flats, Amy and Shawn, I swear! Tell you the mug story sometime.)
1 nice outfit, which I will wear repeatedly to church until they assume it’s the only clothing I own, and will wear to any writing events and the reception for when I get there and such.
My harp, for when writing isn’t going well
My 8-pack of crochet hooks and a basket of yarn, for when writing isn’t going well
My plaid Wellington winter snow boots, for when writing isn’t going well
1 bottle port, for when writing is going well
My computer and back-up zip drive, because writing is going to go well