Well, when I promised I would not spam you with this blog, I guess I meant it, since it's been six months since I last wrote in this space. A very intense six months in our world, as I am sure all of you have been feeling deeply, as well.
In many ways, it's only now that I am beginning to come home to my senses, at least in part, since the disorientation and heartbreak of our very unpresidential election. To those writers who joined me at Naniboujou Lodge on the shores of Lake Superior for the Mystery of Yin writing retreat that weekend immediately following the election, I cannot thank you enough. I never could have anticipated, when I booked those dates for the retreat, exactly how "deep and dark" November would feel. Ultimately, however, that gorgeous lodge and crazy beautiful shore full of writer energy and heart under a super moon was exactly what I needed to begin the process of resistance, including and perhaps especially through my art, which is the one way I know best.
“To make people free is the aim of art, therefore art for me is the science of freedom.” (Joseph Beuys, 1921-1986)
Meanwhile, despite my quiet here, and despite the long road back home to my senses, I have been dizzyingly busy since August when I last posted to you. First and most important is the upcoming Fifth Annual Elephant Rock Summer Solstice Retreat. As always, the retreat will take place on the incomparable and ever more magical Stout's Island Lodge. We have three spots left as of mid-March, and I hope you will join us. We'll explore, as we always do, all kinds of unconventional side doors into our creative unconscious. We'll also try some new tricks I've picked up in the last year, including some techniques for writing very short pieces that pack a punch. Summer Solstice Retreat is always a highlight of my year; much of my best work begins there, and I can't wait to write for a week with some of you.
Second, I have had some good writing news this past half year, the highlights of which are that my essay Four Dogs, Maybe Five was selected by judge Paul Lisicky for second place in the Proximity Essay awards, and has also been selected to appear in that journal's forthcoming print anthology. And my short story Family, Family, which explores the competing shapes of power and love as experienced by a first-grade boy who cannot quite find his way with his class and a brand-new teacher unsure how to help him, won second place in The Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest judged by the amazing Kelly Link.
Meanwhile, my novel is nearing completion and it will be, in its full draft, my creative thesis for graduation from Vermont College of Fine Arts this July. After that will begin the hard work of revision and an agent search, but that's later. For now, it's just me and this draft, in active, sweaty labor day after day. I can hardly wait to push.
Thank you for being part of my artistic community, a community I value more with every day that passes. I am grateful for your presence in my life, however near or distant, and perhaps I shall see you this summer at Stout's!