Tag Archives: residencies

A Utility Porch Of One’s Own

Like many writers I know, I’m lucky enough to have an office at home.  For years, I wrote at a desk in a corner of the living room in whatever apartment I had at the time. (I wanted to keep the bedroom free of clutter, at least in theory.) When I moved into the flat where we now live, I felt like I’d graduated to writer heaven. No more hiding pages when company came over by throwing a colorful Guatemalan blanket over the entire desk.  I could close the door! Since then, I haven’t needed to go elsewhere to write.  … Continue reading

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Retreat

I just got home from the convent. A writer’s retreat, actually:  three nights in a small room (bed, desk, chair, sink, icon) at a spiritual center run by Dominican Sisters, a thirty-minute drive north.  Outside the door to my room, a long hallway that reminded me of the hotel in The Shining.  But no REDRUM on the walls, no boy pedaling his tricycle.  Just a long series of rooms identical to mine, uninhabited.  (The retreat center was expecting an arrival today, of some seventy-five people from a Presbyterian church, but during the week, my friend and fellow writer Audrey were … Continue reading

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Some of My Best Friends Write Fiction

It’s true. It’s also true that some of the most difficult interactions I’ve had in recent years have been with fiction writers. Here’s an ugly little not-so-secret fact:  Fiction writers are competitive.  Fiction writers aren’t always straightforward, or sincere. We’re good at manipulation on the page, after all; what’s to keep it from spilling over into real life?  Someone once said to me, only half-kidding, that she prefers poets as friends because poets aren’t cut-throat. There’s no money in poetry, so they don’t have to be.  Anyone who has spent time in an MFA program or at a residency knows … Continue reading

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