Jan 5, 2011

I've Got You, Babes

I'm still in Vermont and I'm really busy attending workshops and lectures and readings and I didn't think I could get to my blog.  But then I realized, I have followers who count on me. There are ten of you out there! That's more than a softball team, more than many town councils. It's nearly a dozen.  We are approaching the head count of an egg carton!  So don't worry, Alan, Molly, Marian, Kate, Jacqueline, Cindy, Maggie, Woody, Carol Ann and Tina, I will not let you down.  I will blog on.

By the way, this thing I'm doing in Vermont is wonderful.  I'm enrolled in the low residency MFA program in Writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. This is my first residency: ten days of back-to-back offerings on the craft of writing, getting published, reviewing, what have you.  We attend workshops where we discuss our writing and the writing of others.  We go to readings of other students and big name writers.  It's all too much for my slow, old ass, but I attend everything I can and I'm learning so much.  Meeting great people, too, from as far away as Australia and Vancouver.  

I've been assigned a mentor, Jen Bervin, who has given me a list of thirty plus books to read between now and the semester's end in late December.  Didn't she get the memo on me having a slow, old ass? No, she did not and that is a very good thing.  She will challenge me and encourage me and she is also just a very nice person so I think I'll like getting to know her.

As an aside, a great thing about Vermont is the maple syrup.  Of course you know that; Vermont is known for its maple syrup.  But I come from another part of the country, where I often have to ask for and pay extra for real maple syrup, where I have sometimes found myself staring into the blank eyes of a waitperson who is baffled when I ask for 'real' maple syrup, and who seems to think I am asking if the container they are holding exists, as though I may be in the middle of a bad acid trip or am just one strange customer.  Being in Vermont’s maple-syrup-friendly zone is like stepping into a world one hoped existed but hardly dared wish for. Yum.


  1. Maybe it's all in how you pronounce it -- do you say "sirrup" or "seerup"? I think the Midwestern thing is the latter, right? I just recently learned from a friend who grew up in Orange County that she (and her peoples) pronounce "buoy" like this: "boy" -- and she was astounded to learn that people from other parts of the country (i.e., the armpit) say it "boo-ee" ... Boo-ee boo-ee boo-ee, damnit! You know, I guess it's the little things that set us apart, and they're actually infinite, aren't they.

  2. Keep on writing sister! Soon, you'll have enough followers to occupy a lunch room, or enough followers to capsize a yacht, or even just enough to congregate as one of those dance groups that can only perform at the Macy's thanksgiving parade (we'll all wear white mittens and t-shirts, awesome!).

  3. Hey Kelly: It is not how I pronounce it, although I'm sure I mispronounce many words. It is the disgusting Karo-y stuff that passes for syrup in many parts of the country. By the way, my mother (we were poor) used to 'make' syrup by cooking down a sugar/water combination on the stove top and adding maple flavoring. We also ate fried baloney sandwiches and drank Kool-Aid all day but that's another story.

    Jacqueline...yacht capsizing, hmm. And suddenly there were 16.

  4. Flash Mob....We could have a Carol's Blog Flash Mob...? And Carol....though you've met people from as far away as Vancouver and Australia...you also know people (Me) from the good old state of Vermont. So when you are in the middle of the semester and you NEED your next real syrup hit you can call me up. You've now got a supplier.

  5. Thank you! My own supplier. Sounds dirty.

  6. Glad you're enjoying the program Cathy. It sounds exciting. I like real maple syrup too. I grew up on Log Cabin and I'll never go back there!