Greetings from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Arts Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska, my home away from home for the next couple weeks. That's our front entrance
(above) and the window immediately to the right is our living room and kitchen. It's across the street from the First Baptist Church, whose sign is currently featuring the message: "You think life is exciting -- wait 'til you die."
There's a poem there someplace . . . Stephen Dunn would know what to do with it, I'm sure.
Yesterday, I finally got to do what I'm supposed to be doing for the next two weeks, which is write. I wrote four pages on the first draft of the novel I've been working on (and off for the past couple years) and scribbled some wannabe poems in my notebook. I did all this despite being killer tired, but it was the good kind of tired where, if I wanted to, I could have crawled in bed for a serious nap or else done a power quickie. Contrast that with the bad kind of tired, which hits you midway through a tough day at work so that by 1 p.m. you're thinking that if someone offered you the choice of a nap or a million bucks, you'd take the nap.
I'm thinking that driving halfway across the country is exhilarating, but also way tiring. So I wrote a lot and yawned a lot. I also moved around a lot, which helped. I moved from my office to my bedroom where I sat on the bed and typed and then to the patio where the stray kitten kept me company. He also kept me awake by periodically pouncing on my toes, perhaps thinking that they were some kind of exotic white sausage.
Yesterday was also the birthday of Denise, the center's director, so the four resident artists along with Denise and Pat, the center's assistant director, walked up to Chris's Cafe for pie and coffee to celebrate. The chocolate and lemon meringue pies were architectural wonders--in fact, they brought to mind the photos I've seen of the opera house in Sydney, Australia. In a word, towering! Afterward, the other artists and I walked down the street to a thrift store where I bought this full-length Ralph Lauren sweater coat for three dollars. I now have a reason to look forward to fall.
After two days of clouds and showers, the sun is out: I plan to write all morning and then go for a swim.