This comic began as a conversation between me and some of my writer friends about the frustration of teaching want to write, but not to read, and the fun and difficulty of convincing those students (well, one hopes) that transcending a sphere of influence differs greatly from lacking one.

But I don’t really feel like talking about frustration today. I’m all packed, and about to go downstairs & eat my last Ragdale breakfast for this visit. And then I will drive down to Chicago, and after a certain amount of wrestling with my things (and the CTA), drop my heavier bags with a friend and take the long train down to the Field Museum to prolong somewhat my mindset of being here, feeding my writer’s mind. I’ve been wanting to go to the Field Museum since Dave’s dad passed away. That weekend I had to drive into Chicago to teach a class, and the timing just didn’t work out (I was eager to get back). Today I’m writing my intention here as a sort of failsafe: if I don’t go, people might ask me how it went, and I would be ashamed. I love the Field Museum, old cavern of taxidermied beasts and un-taxidermied gems and bones. (Grammatically, yes, I’m pretty sure that “un-taxidermied” was necessary there for sentence clarity.)

So off I go. My last thought for this post is that yes, being surrounded by a community of artists is really as important as it seems, and really as poorly grasped by this inelegant phrasing as it feels. So in addition to my regular links, I’m including here the websites for those Ragdale artists as provided them. There are others without websites, but we do what we can.

Sarah Berkeley
Jaclyn Mednicov
Melissa Craig
Jane Sadusky
Alan Chan
Lenore Janacek

Ok, and also these things:
– Excerpts from Sophie Calle’s Address Book project, wherein she built her understanding of a stranger – whose address book she happened to find – by talking to the people listed as contacts in that address book.
– An excerpt from Suzanne Scanlon’s Promising Young Women.
This New Yorker piece. (Thanks to JLowe for pointing it out.)