Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Residency: Day I-Have-No-Idea

Yesterday was dubbed The Day of Me.  I was the one who dubbed it this, of course, because in a scheduling glitch, I gave my craft lecture in the morning and then gave my reading at night. So, a long, somewhat nerve-wracking day…but as far as a Day of Me goes, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

My craft lecture was about creating characters who are alive, and Rick Mulkey, our fearless Converse leader, got to offer his rendition of the famous “It’s Alive!” scene from the 1931 movie, Frankenstein, and I got to read passages from some of my favorite fiction:  Moby-Dick, The Catcher in the Rye, We Need to Talk About Kevin, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” and (of course) The Great Gatsby.

I’m always nervous to read brand-new work, but my rant-ish story about female aging went well and was beautifully enhanced by my reading partner, visiting guest Keith Lee Morris, who read from his new collection of stories Call It What You Want a hilarious story about male midlife crisis.  The unplanned she said-he said effect was perfect!

And then the poker game.

I sat in just to show a woman could sit in on a poker game, the only one brave (or stupid) enough to do so…and immediately won two very large hands.  (Might I add that I was playing with men who brought their own cards and chips, who spoke a language I didn’t understand (high-low stud, iron cross, guts poker), and even one who was a professional ball player, savvy from years of card games on team buses and locker rooms.)  I quit while I was ahead—entrusting my chips to a trustworthy student, who managed not to lose the entire pot over the next several hours, which is surely more than I would have accomplished had I stayed in the game.

And, to cap the Day of Me, the Stanford-OK game was a thriller.  I was rooting for Stanford, but alas…the game spilled beyond midnight, beyond the Day of Me, and consequently, Stanford lost.  Such is my power on the Day of Me….


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.