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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 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

By Lisa Hsia

Notes on Creative Discouragement

A month ago I had a couple of off-weeks, then those gave way to a few weeks of tremendous creativity, followed by a period of scaling back (which may very possibly lead into yet another off-phase). I have long known that creativity comes in cycles, but this particular round of the cycle has been very straightforward to track, and I’m sure it’s because we’re more settled now than we have been in years — we’ve been in this apartment just over four months, which is the longest we’ve lived anywhere since late 2011. That’s very strange.* Without all the other factors getting in the way, it’s much easier to observe myself just moving in and out of the phases of the cycle, almost constantly feeling quite different than I did just a week ago.

  Read more

By Deborah Davis

Just show them the page. See what happens.

A friend recently wrote a lovely blog piece for Hamline University’s “The Storyteller’s Inkpot”  about the surprising delights we may encounter—in travel, in writing, in life—when our plans don’t go as expected. That prompted me to think about surprises I’ve encountered when my teaching plans don’t go as expected. Or, as in the case I’m about to describe, when my lack of planning leads to some pleasant—and useful—surprises.   Read more

By Debra Daley

From Hedgebrook Master Class to Publication

In forty-eight hours my novel Turning the Stones is going to be launched at a party in Soho, London. The venue is a literary club in an 18th-century building, an appropriate venue for a story set in the 1760s. I can hardly believe that this moment has come at last. I’ve walked a long and winding road to get here. I had had a novel published before, but then a lot of life intervened. I had a household to support and being a low-earning fiction writer did not bring home the bacon. So I worked and brought up kids. I never stopped writing though. I had a few little things published here and there. Then some other not-great stuff happened and I ended up in a tiny one-bedroom flat in London making a highly unpredictable living as a freelance editor.   Read more

By Sally Charette

Make Space for Your Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Maybe’s it’s physical space, maybe it’s mental. Whatever your creative pursuit, it needs a little space in your life.

Years ago, I started writing by candlelight to feel closer to a character who was writing a journal in the 1820s. I still do it when I can, usually a few times a week in our library/music room. The circle of light is plenty bright enough to read and write by, and it limits my ability to see the distractions outside the glow. Maybe it even connects me to all the writers who wrote before electric light became wide spread less than 100 years ago.   Read more

By Lea Galanter

Showing Up

Woody Allen says that 80% of life is just showing up – an adage that is certainly true for me and Hedgebrook. I’ve attended multiple Master Classes and Salons, as well as other assorted special events and workshops. I first heard about Hedgebrook in the late 1990s through a friend, who pestered me to apply for a residency at a time when I had absolutely no confidence in myself as a creative writer. I didn’t get in (not surprisingly). Years later, someone dragged me to a Salon, which is when I heard about the new Master Classes. A week with Theresa Rebeck? A cottage all to myself? Sign me up!

Little did I know how much I would change over the next few years, none of which would have happened without the women I met at Hedgebrook. Every Master Class, Salon, and event I attend expands my world a little more, and today I am in a place I could not have foreseen when I first drove to Hedgebrook. Master Classes gave me the opportunity to learn story-telling (and the writing business) from phenomenal writers, to spend time away from the world, and to commune with other women writers – not to mention spoiling me with delicious food.    Read more

By Susan Rich

My Guilty Pleasure: Revision

 

 

“Revision is not going back and fussing around, but going forward into the

highly complex and satisfying process of creation”

May Sarton

“It’s not how you write; it’s how you re-write.”

Gloria Steinem

If it wasn’t for revision, I never would have become a poet. If it wasn’t for revision, I never would have become a published writer at all. There would be no way to improve my work if I didn’t spend hours, days, and sometimes years, revising. Writing is one area of life where obsession is a good thing. Or can be a good thing. I think I may have to stop writing and revise that last line. As a writer, I consider each word; its sound and sense. I want the best words in the best order. Sounds so simple and yet…   Read more

By Hedgebrook Staff

Questions for our Winter Salon Teachers

Our Winter Salon teachers share what they are reading, writing and what excites them about teaching for our Winter Salon.

Anna Bálint

 What are you reading?

I always seem to have several books on the go at once. I’ve just finished “Nervous Conditions” a wonderful coming of age novel by Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dandarembga, and have started on “Bloodroot” by Amy Greene, another novel, this time an intergenerational family story set in Appalachia and told in multiple voices, (something I love…) I’ve also been dipping into “One World: a global anthology of short stories” which I was happy to come across and is introducing me to some fantastic writers I’ve never heard of before from various parts of the world. Lastly, but no means least I’m reading “Making Peace With the Earth” by environmental activist and feminist Vandana Shiva.   Read more

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