Questions and Deadlines

Took the day off to work on my portfolio for writing class, which was due today. True to my reputation as a world-class procrastinator, I didn’t start working on it until today.

Initially, I was supposed to do rewrites on the short blog story I’d presented to the class, but earlier this week, I’d told my instructor that I just wasn’t feeling it right now. She’d agreed to let me work on the older pieces I submitted directly to her a month ago.

So, I woke up this morning, walked Dog, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat down at the computer. First, I went ahead and made all the changes she initially suggested as far as formatting and line edits. Then I read her notes on content:

“If you want to write a story about love, you have to show it, and if you’ve been in love, you can probably do that.”

Fuck.

So I check the syllabus to see when her office hours are, jump in the shower, get dressed in one of Boy’s t-shirts and a pair of jean shorts, and head up to the campus. I park my car in front of Plant Park in admissions parking, grab my story and her notes, walk across the cobbled street past the fountain, climb up the marble steps, and wade through a group of eight-year-old’s visiting the school’s museum on a field trip to climb up the big mahogany staircase to the second floor where my instructor’s office is located.

I sit and wait patiently on a bench outside her office while she consults with another student on his work. Then, I wait while she talks with the young man who’s come up to speak with her about a visiting lecturer whose trip he’s organizing. When it’s my turn, I sit down in the leather chair across from where she sits at her desk, purse still on my shoulder, notes in my lap.

She looks at me expectantly. “So what’s going on?”

I show her the story I’m working on with her notes. She nods. She remembers. I tell her what I’m trying to do, and what the story is supposed to be about.

I tell her, “I wrote this ten years ago, and I don’t feel as close to it as I did then. So I feel like I have to approach it from where I am now, who I am now.”

She nods again. “You should do that. You should steal from yourself for all your characters. Steal from your life.”

I nod and say, “Okay. So, how do you know what was love?”

She laughs. Then she sees I’m serious and says, “Hmm,.. Do you think you’re going to need more time to work on this?”

My portfolio is now due on Monday.

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