I had no idea that I would be given so much more.
I have an entirely new family of writers. We support each other, laugh together, and cry together. It's like our own little sorority cult. Or something. Healthier, less cultish.
Sharing the short pieces we've written in class has made me stronger. I'm not deathly afraid of reading my work to other people, although I may still turn green and gasp for air from time to time. Courage, it seems, is not a skill learned overnight. Damn it.
Okay, and this is embarrassing to admit, but whatever, I'm going there: People like me, they really like me! (Thank you, Sally Field, for that amazing quote) I feel like I'm sharing worthwhile information with people that want to hear what I have to say. Everyone should have a group of people this amazing to spend their days with. What will I do next week when Summer Institute ends?
I am writing again. Not just the research and teaching demonstration related stuff, or the daily narrative type journaling we begin each morning and end each afternoon with.
But really writing. The ideas, which I feared had dried up and blown away for good, are back. In fact, I have to quiet the voices (ha, erm, not those voices) and put some stories aside while I focus on others.
I've realized, with a sort of forehead slapping astonishment, that I have always had a story to tell. Through all the fantasy short stories and fairy tales and poetry and everything I have ever written, there was one story that stood back, one character that was too timid to stand up and push through.
Not anymore. She has arrived, and it is painful to put her down and walk away to take care of other things each day. Silly things such as eating, paying bills, bathing ... and the ideas keep flowing, even while washing dishes and standing in the rain waiting for the dogs to pee so I can go back in, already!
So. There it is. I've rediscovered my writingness (yes, that is a word), found some amazing new friends, and have a binder full of ideas for the new school year. An impressive four weeks, if you ask me.
I've promised myself that no matter what (famous last words??) I will continue writing each day -- even if it is only 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. I must.
I have a story (or two, or three) to tell.