I haven’t been blogging because I’ve joined a creative writing group. I wish I could say this has increased my productivity, but although I’ve brought in a couple of pieces, mostly I go once a week to sit mesmerized by how amazing everyone is.
It’s at the Redwoods Rest Home in Mill Valley, which I’m sure has a more official name, but that’s where it is. It’s at the end of Camino Alto, right across the street from Safeway. If by chance you’re reading this and live there, tenants can sign up for this course for free, FYI.
My Great Grandma Myrtle lived and died there. I can’t say that’s the best of plugs for the facility, but she was 98 years old, after all. She died on Christmas Day. Remind me to tell you about the time she came back to play one note on the very piano she had bequeathed to me the year before. I was serenading the Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols as I was wont to do, when one note resonated from the piano, in its lower register. She’d already been dead by several days at that point, by the way. True story.
Our teacher is Tom Centolella. He is a world famous poet who gives back sharp feedback, and still, everyone keeps coming back. Most of his critiques I agree with, except that he told one writer in our group, who is reliving her days as an understudy in Beach Blanket Babylon on paper, that she spelled Baryshnikov wrong, Well, I fact checked on my iPhone, and no, she was actually spot on. And I hope that’s not the reason why she hasn’t returned, because her stories are some of my favorites. But I just really think, not like he’d ever read this, that if you’re going to critique someone in front of the whole group, dammit, you’d better be right about it. You can’t be all, “No, no, your spelling of Baryshnikov is way wrong.”
“But that’s how it was spelled in the paper yester-“
“No. Not even close.”
But that’s why I haven’t been writing here. I sit there in class and fact check on my iPhone, thinking I’d probably get more bang for my buck if I actually brought something in.