By Hedgebrook Guest

On Reaching

Last night, I was talking to my mother, who I hadn’t seen in a while, since before I left for Hedgebrook. She asked me how it was, and towards the end of an unbroken monologue (the figs! the llamas! the beveled glass in the cottage windows!) I told her that it was there I was able to start a daily yoga practice again: every morning, I woke, dozed and read in bed for a little while, then clambered down the stairs and did some postures—nothing fancy or extensive, just enough to remind my body of itself.   Read more

By Jennie Shortridge

Dear Jennie

As a Hedgebrook alum, I feel a little like Dear Abby, because I’ve received quite a few letters like this:

Dear Jennie,

I’m applying for a Hedgebrook residency and I’ve heard they’re nearly impossible to get! Do you have any advice, or tips or tricks for improving my chances to get in?

Sincerely,

Ima Writer   Read more

By Allison Green

A Sentence

 

 

“This, too, is America: two middle-aged women, one North American and one Central American, eating cheese and apples in campsite #4 of the Mountain View Campground on Little Redfish Lake.”

I wrote this sentence in a notebook six years ago as I began a writing project that would become the soon-to-be-published Trout Frying in America: A Literary Pilgrimage (Ooligan Press, spring 2015). The sentence did not make it to the final manuscript. It did not even make it into the first draft because, by the time I sat down to write the scene in which Arline and I picnicked in the campsite where Richard Brautigan and his wife and baby stayed in 1961, the idea I was trying to express no longer fit the scene.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Staff

Cooking Up Stories

We asked Betsy Andrews, food writer, poet, Executive Editor of Saveur Magazine, and Hedgebrook alumna, to answer five questions. Here’s what she had to say about herself, her work and her upcoming Master Class:

 

1) What is the most memorable meal you’ve experienced?

There’s not one! There are so many. And, of course, when we talk about food, we are not just talking about the aroma, the taste, the texture of the edible stuff you put in your mouth and chew and swallow. We are talking about a meal—a social and cultural and emotional event. Eating is very personal. It’s just about the most primal thing we do, and so it is, for a writer, a vehicle for the evocation of experience, of feeling and knowing oneself and the world. It is metaphor, and it is fact. Every story we tell about food is also a story about something, or many things, else.   Read more

By Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende

On Facing my Creative Self, Cushioned by Love

 

Mid December I got the news that I had been accepted for the 2014 Hedgebrook Writers’ Residency. I was over-the-moon ecstatic. For a mother of 4 energetic daughters and a wife, this was a precious gift and as the months rolled on I lived for those two precious weeks in July. After a 6 hour flight from Detroit on July 3, a shuttle ride from Seattle, and a ferry ride onto Whidbey Island, I was met in the town of Freeland by warm hearted Julie, who drove me to Hedgebrook farm. More warm and open hearts welcomed me. I met Laurel, a writer from the Philippines sitting contentedly on a swing with her computer enjoying the outdoors. I later learned that this was her favorite spot. I was given a tour of the property, through the farm house which housed a library in a cozy family room, a kitchen and the revered farm house table.   Read more

By Shannon Hopkins

One Hundred Words A Day

One hundred words a day — a promise I made to myself. They are born by forceps, or by Caesarian section. They arrive after hours of labor, slippery with blood and vernix and shit. They come out blue and still, and the doctor turns away from me. They come out screaming, with an APGAR score of nine, and the doctor tells me to be patient as he cuts the cord. They present as breech, or get stuck and won’t budge, or slide out so fast the doctor doesn’t need to turn the shoulders and almost drops them. Sometimes labor is short; breathing controls the pain. Sometimes it is induced, after pre-eclampsia sets in, and the pain is indescribable; I tear the sheets with my teeth and beg for comfort. After the birth, after the cord is cut and the fingers and toes are counted and the weight and length recorded, after that… after that… there is the flood of something joyful and welcoming and strange.   Read more

By Jennifer Munro

Drano Dreams and the Writing Mind

I went nine months without REM sleep.

This must be an exaggeration (me? exaggerate?). I recall a general truth that a few nights without REM leads to insanity.

So maybe it’s not an exaggeration.

What I know is that suddenly, for the past few nights, I’ve swirled deeply once more into the darkness of REM: I’ve had to perform in a play for which I’ve not read the script, which I have to (unsuccessfully) piece together from crumpled up wads of paper before hitting the stage (thankfully not naked).   Read more

By Jenny Kurzweil

15 Minutes

 

“Just bring a notebook with you wherever you go,” Erika said and then took a bite of the sea salt caramel glazed doughnut we were sharing, followed by a slug of coffee.

Erika Schickel and I were having breakfast at an impossibly hip diner in downtown Los Angeles; one that I joked was way too cool for my nerdy self.

“We’ll become hip by osmosis,” Erika assured me. “Who knows, we might even walk out of here with tattoos and beards.”   Read more

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