Sunday, August 3, 2008

Artist Residency

I have always been a bit of a sceptic about writer's residencies--why not just buckle down and write at home? And then, last year, I stayed home and graded and graded and then for a bit of spicy fun, I did some lesson plans and some course readings. When I wasn't obsessing about teaching, I was obsessing about how I wasn't writing.

Thus: Soaring Gardens, PA.
Time: 18 days
I applied for the residency with Lorissa (along w/ another friend who ditched us for the south of France). Lorissa and I became friends in Prague, where we attended a writing workshop. We're both nonfiction writers. Both writing about family tragedy. We arrived at Soaring Gardens at midnight and were instantly charmed by the old farm house, the sweet wallpaper, the spa bathrooms, the walls and walls of bookshelves. How were we so lucky?

In the mornings, we would sit on the back porch and drink coffee and watch the birds and critters. In the evenings, we would take long rambling walks around the farm land. In between, Lorissa wrote like someone with her hair on fire. I picked berries, sat in the hammock and read, and then casually opened my computer and revised here and there. And somehow, at such a languid pace, I got tremendous amounts of work done. It was lovely.

Soaring Gardens

Soaring Garden's Artist Residency

Taking walks with artist Lorissa

The raspberries were a delight!

A serious day of reading