The Possible’s Slow Fuse

By Genine Lentine

Editor’s note: The following post is being republished from Hedgebrook Writes!

Perhaps one condition of a capacity to imagine abundant possibilities is to then feel bereft at the intractability of executing even a small percentage of them.  I sometimes have the wherewithal, within that bereavement, to entertain the theory that perhaps all those possibilities can funnel into whatever it is that I manage to do.   Still, I feel a lag and then slow things down further by thinking everything takes me way too long.

Sometimes when this happens I try to steer into the spin by exaggerating the (perceived) torpor.  If it’s taking me forever to finish an essay, well, what if I decide to work on it twice as slowly?  The first  time I tried this strategy, as is probably not a surprise, I finished the thing (in that case, an application) with startling alacrity.  I short-circuited all the labor it was taking to have the constant stream of assessment of pace and then when that energy was freed up to do the actual work, everything came together readily.

The gleam of an heroic Act
Such strange illumination

 

The Possible’s slow fuse is lit
By the imagination.
Emily Dickinson, #1687

image: p. 14 of Slug or Snail: An Assay on Velocity and Viscosity. (unpublished ms.) You can see more of this book, slowly, one page at a time here

 

My Dream Job

By Julie Rosten

I love to cook and I love dinner parties. It becomes expensive when you are single and on a budget so the dinner parties have become rare occasions.  Denise, the head chef at Hedgebrook, who is a dear friend of mine, kept after me about joining the kitchen staff at Hedgebrook.  Little did I know that it would become my “dream job”!

Not only can I have dinner parties with some of the most interesting women from all over the planet, but I have access to one of the best designed and well equipped kitchens on the island.  Not only that–I have access to local grass fed beef and pigs (finished on apples) and local Spring lambs and organic chickens and fresh seafood from right out of the surrounding waters of Puget Sound.  To top it all off, I have my own gardener! Cathy, who lets me poor over her seed catalogs and will grow whatever my heart desires (within our climate limitations anyway). Yes, it is the best job ever…  And my dinner guests?  They are the most appreciative and gracious guests ever – after all they are women who know how to express themselves.

I feel very fortunate to be part of the Hedgebrook family.  Thank you for allowing me to express myself (my art form) in the Hedgebrook kitchen.

 

 

The Writer’s Clock

By Minal Hajratwala

Editor’s note: The following post is being republished from Hedgebrook Writes!


Far away from Hedgebrook: the other side of the planet. Spoke with B, N, and M — there are four of us alumnae in India, that I know of! — but our idea to meet across our distances and excitements did not work out.    Read more

Learning From My Old Me and My Familiar Fears

By Heidi Durrow

Last fall I had the wonderful opportunity to return to Hedgebrook for a two-week stay and the more amazing experience of meeting up with my old me.

Let me explain.  My first stay at Hedgebrook was in 1998.  I’d left my job as a corporate litigator and was pursuing a literary career.  The residency invitation was the first time I’d received an affirmation that I was a “real” writer even though I hadn’t published a word.   Read more

Hedgebrook Writes

By Amy Wheeler

The six cottages in the woods at Hedgebrook are situated in pairs, so that at night, when a writer is burning the midnight oil, she can see the lights from another cottage glowing through the trees and know that she’s not alone.

Writing is a solitary act. But for me, just knowing that someone is nearby when I’m floating in that creative space gives me a sense of being tethered. I can relax and focus. I always get more writing done when my wife is in the next room!

This balance – of being in solitude and in community with a small group of other women writers – is one of the unexpected gifts of a Hedgebrook residency. Alumnae often talk about how to recapture and recreate that experience in their life-after-Hedgebrook.

So we tried an experiment over Memorial Day weekend:   Read more

An Update from the Hedgebrook Garden

By Cathy Bruemmer

The growth in June is outrageous.  We have gone from famine to feasting and I’ve renewed my job as vegetable pusher.  Actually I’m pretty much just a salad pusher (keep reading for Denise’s amazing Caesar dressing), but at least the greens are abundant.  The pea vines are FINALLY flowering and I hope by next week we can start picking.  Strawberries began ripening this week and the first bulbing fennel are beginning to fatten up.  Mustard greens and baby bok choy are making their way into the kitchen and the first big bundle of carrots wound up in Julies Indian stew.   Read more

2012 Writers in Residence Application Now Available Online!

By Vito Zingarelli

Hedgebrook’s 2012 residency season application is now available.

I am pleased and excited to share with you that we have now shifted to an online application process and I can’t say I will miss the mountains of paper I hosted in my office for months.  After last year’s beta-dabble into an on-line process with our application, it became clear that a full transition was warranted.  If I had any doubts, they were quickly dispelled when the tubs of application packets avalanched into my office with close to 800 applicants last year.  The environmental impacts involved with the creation, shipping and recycling of such an incredible volume of paper were clearly excessive and unnecessary.

So began the transition to create an on-line process that would provide an uncomplicated experience for our writers. To accomplish this, we partnered with SlideRoom, a leading online applicant management system, and believe that we have been successful in our efforts.
I hope you find the process smooth and simple.  We have certainly worked to make it so. 

For more information about the 2012 Writers in Residence Application, please visit the application page on our website.

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