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By Hedgebrook Guest

Donna Miscolta Interviews Sonora Jha

We asked Summer Salon teachers Sonora Jha and Donna Miscolta to interview each other for the Hedgebrook Farmhouse Table Blog. Read Sonora’s interview with Donna from last week.

Donna: What has being a journalist taught you about being a fiction writer and vice versa?

Sonora: Journalists are skeptics and they’re an anxious lot. I brought this skepticism and anxiety to my own work. I was skeptical while doing my research and my anxiety pushed me into draft after draft. Mostly, journalism has taught me to be curious. Being a fiction writer has taught me to dream a little, to trust a little, to be in the mystery of things. Together, these things have put a spark in my writing and an interesting quirk to the way I live my life.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Sonora Jha Interviews Donna Miscolta

We asked Summer Salon teachers Sonora Jha and Donna Miscolta to interview each other for the Hedgebrook Farmhouse Table Blog. Look for Donna’s interview with Sonora next week!

Sonora: You came to writing later in life, after an education and career in everything BUT writing. What part of this do you regret, if at all? And what part do you love?

Donna: Part of the reason why I came to writing late was I had long believed that it wasn’t possible for people like me to write books, and even if I had thought it possible, I didn’t believe that I myself was capable of such a thing. I regret that it took so long for me to believe. If I had come to writing earlier, it would’ve meant more years in which to learn to write and more years to produce work. My first book was published when I was 58. I turn 63 this year when my second book comes out. I’ve just finished a new novel manuscript and am two-thirds of the way through another one. My kids are grown and retirement from my day job is on the horizon. And though I feel some momentum in writing, I also feel the pressure of time. So, is there a part that I love about coming to writing later in life? I guess I just love that I came to it at all.

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By Hedgebrook Staff

Hedgebrook, the Verb: A Dual Perspective

I wanted my mother to experience radical hospitality from the moment I started working at Hedgebrook two years ago.

As many mothers do, my mother has sheltered me and lifted me up with unique spiritual fortitude and unceasing generosity. My mother is a songwriter, poet, and massage therapist on Whidbey Island. In her work, the nurturing she offers is not soft and timid.

Like Hedgebrook, my mother’s work is radical and transformative.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Scribbling Over Erasure

Last Friday, a much-anticipated symposium took place at the college where I teach, a small liberal arts university near Seattle. I had looked forward to it all semester, designing my classes around the illustrious scholars, authors, and thinkers who would be speaking at the two-day event. I required all my creative writing students to attend the keynote address by one Very Famous Mexican Author. He was introduced as “the most important living Mexican author,” an assessment that I don’t agree with (I would humbly offer that laurel to Elena Poniatowska), but understand. VFMA gave the packed auditorium an elegant, intricate speech, weaving together pop culture, politics, and literature in an hour-long treatise on the state of Mexican affairs. He was brilliant; I was impressed.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Hedgebrook Vortext: An Uncommon Convergence

In this post, Hannah Lee Jones captures her experience from VORTEXT in 2015, describing the rich details she took with her and emphasizing the broad “genre, geography, life experiences, [and] thematic passions” of the workshop teachers who will return once again for a reinvigorating weekend of VORTEXT this spring.

For four years the forested lands of the Whidbey Institute at Chinook have been host in May to a conference of women writers from all over the country. The term I prefer over “conference” is convergence, and the convergence is VORTEXT, a three-day writing conference hosted by Hedgebrook which ended last weekend. And I remember each spring how lucky I am that the non-profit retreat for women writers and venue for women’s voices exists just down the road from where I live, here on gorgeous Whidbey Island.    Read more

By Hedgebrook Staff

The Radical Hospitality Revolution

Collaboration is the essence of growth, and we sorely need both. But I think we need something beyond “growth”.

It’s clear to me that what we need is a sustainable revolution. A revolution founded on truth-telling and dialogue. A revolution that provides radical hospitality while centering the experiences of disenfranchised voices.

Hedgebrook can only host about 45 writers each year at our retreat. So, we are partnering with our alumnae community to help spread this model of radical hospitality.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

On Making The Overtly Feminist Performance That’swhatshesaid

I have this belief that as a performer, my true identity and self is inherently present and important in everything I do. This, by definition, is the exact opposite of acting. Maybe that’s why I don’t call myself an actor any more.

I used to, though. Proudly introduce myself as an actor. There was totally a Chorus Line fantasy fulfilled in the auditions I used to attend. I’d hop on the bus, poring over my monologues and drinking lemon ginger honey tea (good for your voice, I heard!). I’d get to the audition way too early, smile a lot, ignore the other 40 women warming up in the hallway, say my ‘thank you!’s and ‘look forward to hearing from you!’s and then do it all over again the next day. So glamorous! So fun! Living the dream!

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