As everyone who was not me predicted, the workshop was a success.
Avalon Naturel, the meeting space in which I gave the workshop, has a wonderfully welcoming and comforting energy. I learned that the Avalon regulars are as equally comforting and welcoming. There were, to my astonishment (and, yes, initial panic) over twenty people crowded into the single room, some in chairs around the edges, some on mats on the floor. And they talked, bless them; they responded when I tossed questions and discussion topics out, for which I was heartily thankful, because nothing kills a workshop quicker than attendees who don’t respond. Respond these excellent people did; I had people talking to me throughout the break and afterwards, telling me how much they’d learned, both beginners and experienced people assuring me that I was making sense to them, giving them new ways to think about things or the opportunity to share their own techniques and ideas. I loved it.
It went so well, as a matter of fact, that less than halfway through it I was already thinking about what I could give from my existing slate of workshops for them. I’d been tentatively sketching a pregnancy workshop, but one of the co-directors told me that the Avalonians tend to be of below or beyond childbearing age/mindset so there probably wouldn’t be much response. But the other co-director in attendance caught me after most people had left and proposed co-leading a workshop around Harvest, which got us both very excited as it expanded and evolved into two different things.
So yes: A success, and the Avalonians are going to have a hard time getting rid of me. We have an informal agreement for me to show up one evening next month for a kaffeeklatsch type of thing once the hearthcraft book is out, so people can buy the book and I can sign them and we can all talk about lots of stuff instead of just what we can cover on one subject in three hours. (I sold every one of my previous books I’d brought except one, and signed dozens more people owned and brought along with them. Good grief.)
I know I always feel better after I’ve given a workshop or class, which is part of what gets me through the prep and anxiety leading up to the event. Part of that post-workshop feeling is relief, part of it is the sense that I’ve accomplished something, and part of that is coming away with what the attendees have given to me in the form of energy and interaction and appreciation. I came away from this one feeling so much better than I’d expected to feel that I amused myself. And frankly, I just sat back and let myself enjoy it for the rest of the weekend.
Yesterday afternoon was my monthly group cello lesson, which was so much fun. I love the group lessons as a rule, but this one was particularly enjoyable. Only four out of seven students were there, and we played some really fun stuff which I essentially sight-read because I hadn’t had time to play it through after my teacher gave it to me last Tuesday (last week = work + workshop insanity + brain burnout). I and my stand partner spent a lot of time laughing, which felt moderately wicked. I pulled some very nice stuff off when the less-confident people dropped out along the way, and tripped myself in a couple of particular places every single time because I hadn’t prepared the shifts. Last night after the boy got ready for bed I set up my cello and told him a little story about a moonlit barnyard at midnight, when the barn door creaks open and two eyes peek out, and then a little chicken steps into the barnyard to move one foot, then another, and then… dances! At this point I played the Chicken Reel for him, and he kept telling the story on his own. It was fun. When he was in bed I kept working on some of those nasty shifts and working out fingerings for various group pieces, and he sang along in the dark. This morning he woke up singing again, and when I went in to cuddle him he threw his arms around me and asked if I’d had fun at my cello practise. I told him I had, and asked if he liked hearing it while he was in bed. He said he did quite enthusiastically and asked what songs they had been (which resulted in a discussion about Dona Nobis Pacem and Ave Verum Corpus at much-too-early-o’clock), so maybe I’ll do it more often. Being comfortable enough to play with everyone at home here and upstairs was a definite indicator of how good a mood I was in. I actually liked the sound I was producing, too. Wonders will never cease.
The weather this weekend certainly contributed to my excellent mood. It was so mild, and even sunny! When we went out on Sunday morning to do groceries and errands we all wore spring coats with shoes or rainboots. Lovely! So easy to move around; no huge parkas to fight with getting in and out of the car, no mitts to keep track of! We even cracked the sunroof open on the way home from lunch yesterday. And while logically I know that we all woke up on Sunday at the same time we always do, to roll over and look at the clock and see the numbers 7:24 there when one’s son trots in and climbs into bed to cuddle is psychologically very uplifting. (This morning was a bit harder, of course, as we were waking up what felt like an hour earlier, but meh, it’s an acceptable trade-off.) I spent most of the weekend going about with a somewhat silly grin on my face. It really highlighted how hard things have been these past few months for me due to a variety of reasons, some health-related, some psychological, some SAD, and other stuff going on. Doing a really big grocery order and taking the boys out to lunch thanks to the workshop renumeration helped the mood, too. So did paying off some of my Visa bill.
I had such a fabulous weekend that this morning has hit a little hard (beyond the waking-up-an-hour-earlier thing). I slept awfully last night, basically passing the entire night in a twilight half-awake state, and I’m having a very physically achy and stiff day. The ibuprofen hasn’t kicked in after an hour, so I suspect I shall have to take another. It’s one of the fibro-related repercussions of having a terrific weekend. It’s moderately unjust that I have to suffer for having a good weekend the same way I suffer after a bad one, but at least I have the momentum of the good mood to carry me.
Today: Anthology, anthology, anthology! The rest of the submissions from the first round of invitees came in this weekend plus some early ones of the second round, so I have a week of solid work ahead.