July 5: "Ragdale, Day 1. What is it? Two weeks at an artist residency on the prairie. What do I hope to accomplish?"
July 6: "I fantasized before arrival
of all I would do here
yoga every morning
a two-week vegan diet
endless walking on the prairie
July 6, later: "There is nothing to do here. There is nothing I need to do. I have showered and dressed, made my bed, made and eaten breakfast."
July 7: "This is a healthy place, Ragdale. I wasn't sure what an artists' residency would be like; I thought perhaps there would be a lot of carousing. Gluttony, endless liquor, maybe even wild sex parties."
July 8: "Kevin is somewhat envious that he can't come here and do math. They don't take mathematicians, which is a shame, because I would totally watch the kids so he could come be creative and awesome with his math stuff."
July 9: "There was some unexpected drama today, after what had seemed to be a typical Ragdale day."
July 11: "This is the restructuring draft, in theory. When I first drafted this memoir, I wrote it as two separate threads, juxtaposed."
July 12: "This is where I revised a lot of this book, the living room at the Barnhouse. It's not perfect, I have to admit -- the sofas could use re-springing. If anyone rich happens to be reading this and wants to make a donation to support the arts, I'd like to put in a request for two sofa repairs, please. "
July 13: "I started reading Pico Iyer's collection Flight into the Foreign, and I was immediately depressed, because it was ridiculously good, and I suddenly felt that my writing would never measure up to this."
July 16: "Time becomes strange at Ragdale. At first, there's a bizarre freedom."
July 18: "Last day at Ragdale. I should be productive, but I am just saying goodbye. Goodbye goodbye goodbye."