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post #3 about my ideal writing weekend, which is going to the my ideal writing weekend competition http://absorbingwriting.com/2008/07/writing-competition-my-ideal-writing-weekend/:
yesterday was – oh, just fantastic. or, as the thesaurus says, “so remarkable as to elicit disbelief”. yes, we’re allowed to use the thesaurus. and the dictionary. and whatever else we want. in fact, irina, one of the workshop leaders, looked uncomprehendingly at marta, a lovely 77-year old woman from rhodes island, when marta asked, carefully, what materials we were allowed to use.
“whatever! crossword puzzles, cereal boxes, the bible – whatever inspires you!” apparently, marta had been to other workshops that were full of rules and verbotens. not here!
marta and i became friends right away. on the outside, she looks like a conservative little grandmother, all crochet and lace, but boy, once you get to know her … one of the malcolm X guys was her lover for a while, she ran a plumbing business for ten years, and she grew up the oldest of ten in a poor, alcoholic family in quebec. not a victim, though, marta, no – she’s turned it all into stories, and is ready to polish them. she’s already published three books, “and this time i’m going to do it right!”
the people are wonderful, well, almost all of them. there is one couple that goes on my nerves with all the stuff they already know but you gotta take that in your stride.
the trip to lunch was pretty, how should we say, adventuresome. we almost raced off the cliff at one time. heart attack material. before we had a chance to recuperate from the shock, we had another one – this time we almost collided with a donkey. yes, a donkey! there are still a few here in sardinia. a donkey, whose owner was busy talking on a cell phone. there should be a law: no cell phones on donkeys.
i won’t even talk about the food and the wine. that’s a chapter all by itself. unfortunately, i like EVERYTHING, including the mustazzoli, a delicacy made with almonds, honey and something citrusy which normally only comes out on holidays but i guess they know that we north americans really come for the food even though we say we’re here for the writing, so they make it anyway.
okay, we come for the writing, too. but everything that surrounds us – the food, the tucked-away dreamy mediterranean beauty, the company, the exceptional teachers – everything is so inspiring. we all write like mad, and it comes so easy, the ink flows like wine.