Is That a Tub Full of Babies? (And Other Notes on my Writing Residency)


Last week I traveled to a mythical place, which might as well have been Narnia. I lived in Austin for four years during college, and I never knew this lot of land existed. Now, The Writing Barn is a property where writers can retreat, learn, hold staring contests with deer, squirrels and more.

writing space.jpgI attended A Week in Residency with … Nova Ren Suma. If you haven’t read “The Walls Around Us” yet, then what the hell are you doing? Stop reading this and get thee to a bookstore. Do not pass go.

Nova is an absolute delight to have as a teacher. I had many surreal moments when I realized she’s here and she cares about my work and me.

But let’s just mention a few memories I made.

We were eating at a nice Italian market when two ladies walked in with two clear, plastic tubs full of babies. They were of various ethnicities and so lifelike I stopped talking midsentence and had to stare. After a moment, I realized they were dolls. But I’ll never forget that moment of panic, before someone followed with exercise balls and pillows and I realized it was for a Lamaze class. So, if you’re going to carry around a tub full of babies, I advise you to get a solid-color plastic tub.

We had an impromptu ghost story telling around an LED candle. I was absolutely terrified, because apparently talented writers are great at scaring the crap out of you. But we ended with a funny/embarrassing story that had us in tears. And I finished off with a dramatic reading from a highly inappropriate and amusing e-book on Amazon.

Suzanne Young (left) and Nova Ren Suma (right)

I attended a book signing and reading with Nova and Suzanne Young (who by the way, is hilarious.) Throughout the workshops and my one-on-one conference with Nova, I discovered many things about my current work in progress. That equates to a ton of work on my part, but one day, I do think this novel will be great.

Just like the whole cast of new friends I met during this rewarding experience.




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