Saturday, April 8, 2023

I am still learning.


I arrived at The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts almost two weeks ago to work on painting. This is my first residency as a visual artist, so I'm very excited, and more than a little nervous.

The first time I came to VCCA--I was a 28 years old writer. I was young and frisky. My young adult novel, Over the Hill at Fourteen, had just been released and it was selling like hotcakes. 

Okay, maybe not quite like hotcakes.

Back then in 1982, I had arrived for my residency to work on my next YA novel--The Young and The Soapy and so I was riding high on my recent success.

Obviously, I am not that 28 year old who first arrived at VCCA--the one who went skinny dipping in the pool at midnight with famous artists, who pranced about in vintage dresses  bought for five dollars from Canal Jeans, who recited poetry by heart, and loved quoting Allen Ginsberg--America, I have given you all and now I am nothing!  

All this with great seriousness, I might add.

And now, despite my age, I have returned and I am back to being a beginner. I listen and try to learn new things. And certainly, the artists (and writers and composers and poets) have a lot to teach me. However, they have to teach me things before 9:00 p.m. because that's when I need to go to sleep!

And, I will definitely not be going skinny dipping anytime soon--so don't ask me!

Creative Friends--Do you have a practice that has grown a teeny bit stale? Is there something you've been doing for decades and it no longer offers you the same challenges as it once did? Your creative prompt for this week is to begin something that you've always wanted to do but thought you were too old to do and then do it.

Embrace beginners mind.

And as always, have fun.



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