Dear Mr. Wayne,
I am writing to inform you that we have resolved the issue of whether or not there can be an outdoor concert at the end of the women’s songwriting retreat next month. We have fixed the electricity issue, and so the cameras will come on, there will be big lights and much action, so everyone will be able to see you on stage and will welcome you to the retreat, because, after all, you are the main attraction! The week-long retreat will be held in the lush hills of Durham, NC. We have also replaced the grass behind the main building with AstroTurf, so your concern about the possibility of grass stains will not be an issue, though we do suggest you bring a lawn chair.
As far as the participants go, these women already know life is deep, but they still dig your ability to stretch the boundaries of rhythm and metaphor in the context of song writing. One more thing you should know is that these young women may not have had any formal education with grammar, and so you may have to explain how to use a subject and a predicate within each sentence. Furthermore, there have been a few requests from some participants, specifically from a group of African-Americans, who are interested in testing if their voices can be skewed in such a way that their singing sounds like that of a Caucasian woman.
As you have been informed, most of the participants will be young women whose original interests were in poetry, but who want to branch out to other fields. I am certain they will want to hear everything you have to say. Most certainly they will not only be eager to take in all that you have to offer and will also yearn to have more of your powerful advice. And in regards to your concern about any of our lovely ladies stealing the key to your room and entering it at night, we will change your locks on a daily basis. That said, if women do by chance enter into your quarters, we cannot take responsibility for these actions. We all know that it is in a woman’s nature to be manipulative and/or conniving, and regardless of what measures we put in place in order to help protect you, women will be women! Furthermore, our participants do admire you very much, so who can blame them for wanting to reach out to you during the rest hours of the retreat?
As far as transportation goes, your itinerary is attached to this email. The young women were a little disappointed that they would not be able to ride with you, but instead will be car pooling. Due to the fact that each day during the retreat workshops will start at 7am, complimentary coffee will be served. Please be aware that in past years, songwriters have brought their coffee with them into the main event hall in which there are no cup holders attached to the chairs and have spilled it on their laps, which unfortunately burned them. Therefore, we encourage participants to blow on their coffee until it is at an acceptable temperature. In the afternoons there will snacks provided, especially lollipops to give everyone that needed 4pm sugar rush! The first night of the retreat, there will be a wine and dine with many different hor’ duerves to eat.
In regards to activities that will take place between the workshops, in previous years we have had women argue for a scheduled time that they can go fish out at the beautiful rainbow trout lake behind the building. The schedule last year had some holes in it to provide some free time, however, the breaks were not long enough to accommodate for fishing. Our board decided against the fishing expeditions. This year, one of our sponsors is Fixodent and they have graciously provided us with an organizer who has over seventy years of experience in planning events and who has made this year’s schedule very tight.
We would like to thank you for your commitment to these women and their desire to be professional songwriters. And we would also like to thank you for your offer to be the interim president of our company. Decisions will be made next week.
CEO of The Hills Will Sing Praises of Women’s Empowerment, Inc.
Chelsey Clammer received her MA in Women’s Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and is currently enrolled in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program. She has been published in The Rumpus, Atticus Review, and The Nervous Breakdown among many others. She has won many awards, most recently the Owl of Minerva Award 2014 from the women’s literary journal Minerva Rising. Clammer is the Managing Editor and Nonfiction Editor for The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, as well as a columnist and workshop instructor for the journal. Her first collection of essays, There is Nothing Else to See Here, is forthcoming from The Lit Pub, Fall 2014. You can read more of her writing at: www.chelseyclammer.com.