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from 2011 - Numero Cinq: "What It's Like Living Here: Wheaton, Maryland" by Mary Donovan (1/22/21)

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

How agonizing, and rewarding, to read anything you wrote 10 years prior. Where’s that thick, red Sharpie, now? Even birthed from the kind invitation of a professor from your MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts (class of summer ’98) ...

All right, some of it I’d keep. The spirit of it. A good schmear of the voice. Even the pics he asked for, from my own phonetography. The very fact of his having shared it, when I had 10 years fewer of writin' under my belt ... then again, even as a writer, I'm likely now none the wiser.

Above all, all my gratitude remains for the encouragement from Douglas Glover, Canadian / Alien Resident and workshop leader extraordinaire, along with Abby Frucht, in my final VCFA residency. (If you aren’t familiar with Glover’s prodigious literary work, you have good work to do!) His “Numero Cinq” online magazine gave many of us “a warm place on a cruel web.” Thanks again and hello, Doug.

Here, then, is my 2011 response to his invite to submit a piece for N.C.’s “What It’s Like Living Here” series. (Dive into the entire series, please.) My “here” was Wheaton, Maryland:

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