Friday, November 27, 2015

Shhh! Writers Writing!





The Bucket List
From the bucket list compiled several years ago, one more item has been checked off:  I have spent a week at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Located more or less at the end of Spring Street between historic downtown and “the most haunted hotel in America”, the Crescent, WCDH is a writer’s dream come true.
When I applied in May, I didn’t have much hope of being accepted, but then the email arrived saying I would be welcomed in November! It’s been at the forefront of my thoughts and plans ever since.
The Reality
Arriving on a rainy Monday after driving through virtual pea soup most of the way up Highway 21, I unloaded everything but the kitchen sink at “505”, a Usonian, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired house. The director explained how, when they’d acquired the house, they’d literally had to pull it up the hill with ropes before renovation could begin!

As it turns out, I had the entire house to myself, though there are six suites available. Two other writers happened to be  in residence for short periods of time, but they were billeted over the office and dining area in the main building. My personal space included a bedroom and bath and separate writing area. In good weather I might have made use of the tiny patio overlooking the park.
Once unpacked and settled, work began on Blest Be the Tie, the novel I’ve only  been working on for some 40 years. Why it hasn’t been finished is another story, but in the following week I edited/rewrote/added new words to the tune of over 45K. 

The silence, lack of distractions such as household chores, and only my classical music CDs for company inspired me to focus on the task at hand in a way it’s impossible to do in my study at home. Of course, the internet interfered occasionally, but I also needed it for some research.
 


The Care and Feeding of Writers
At 6 PM every evening, I trekked to the main building where another artist had been busy--Jana, the chef, whose cuisine rivaled anything I might have found in any of the restaurants in town! (Not to mention it was fresh food and very healthy!) I especially enjoyed going early and visiting with her in the kitchen while I watched her work her magic. (On the evaluation sheet, I politely asked if I could take her home with me, but I already knew the answer!)
After helping put away left-overs and clean up, I returned to my room for more writing and often just to shower and climb into the comfortable bed with my Kindle.
An Experience No Writer Should Miss
When I left, I learned I could return as an “alumnus” without the formal application process--definitely something to look forward to! Visit the website to learn more and take a chance on applying for an experience no writer should miss.



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