Sunlight, moonlight, all the light, hello, light, I see you coming back! Every year, according to my Facebook “memories,” I announce with glee around this time that daylight savings is just around the corner. I guess this transition means a lot to me, this anticipation of a sun that stays above the horizon until after seven in the evening. Oh, how it buoys me. So, friends, watch for it! And be part of it, too. Because, I like to think this return of the light, based on other things I see happening in the world, is broader than the time of sunset. I like to think it's something we're all working for together right now. I'm grateful for that.
Meanwhile, thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and support in February while I experienced the intensity (so much intensity!) of my first artist residency. Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts was amazing—and if you ever have the chance to apply, you should! I had a truly transformative experience there that included an extensive revision of my novel, and am extremely grateful. Also, while in Wyoming, I learned that the first chapter of that same novel was selected as a finalist for the Lamar York Prize and will be published in the fall issue of the Chattahoochee Review. That’s very encouraging and makes me so happy!
Now, I’m off to Tampa with my daughter and co-teacher, Sophie, for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference. I’ll be presenting on Friday at 3 PM with four accomplished writers whose work and ethics I so admire: Bao Phi, Michael Torres, Jonathon Escoffery, and Caitlin McGill. Together, we will discuss the challenges and benefits—on the page and within the academy—of writing about coming from below the middle class. If you happen to be at AWP, please join us!
As for upcoming retreats and classes, we have just two spots left for our Mystery of Yin Retreat April 12-15! Please do join us if you can. It’s a wonderful three-night retreat for women only in a secluded (closed for the season) lodge north of Grand Marais on the beautiful shore of Superior. We’ll write our hearts out in the best possible way. And the yoga instructor for that retreat, Allison Coffelt, has just published her first book, Maps are Lines We Draw. Allison and I will give a public reading together in Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 10, details forthcoming soon both here and on Facebook.
As for Solstice Retreat, we just started registering for that in January and are already half full! If this is your year to do the biggest retreat of our season, do reach out soon. It’s a wonderful week on the island, full of fire and creative catalyst that will absolutely show up in your writing. For some, the Solstice Retreat is even life changing, though all we promise is that your writing will change. In any case, we would love to write with you this summer so reach out soon if you have that retreat on your radar.
Finally, we have a remote class on the art of the person essay coming up in May, for which registration will open in March. Watch this newsletter and the Facebook page for more information in the next week or so. Our remote classes have proven to be a truly wonderful option for keeping the magic going between live classes and retreats. Two remote students published work this month, and another, who attended our revision class, said it turned her novel around. For us, remote classes were an experiment, so we’ve been incredibly delighted with the results!
Thank you again for everything. I am eternally grateful for my community of writers and writing students, which, in the end, are the same thing, yes?