Here We Go!
It’s my last night in North Carolina before this “year or two on the road” technically begins. The obvious question is: How did I get here?
First, I was laid off from my part-time job slinging coffee. At the time I was devastated. One year later, I’m still debt-free (except for student loans) and I’ve published and edited more in the past 12 months than any year in my career.
Second, in 2009 I attended my first two writing residencies; one in McCarthy, AK at the Wrangell Mountains Center and another in Amherst, VA at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. The level of focus I was able to attain at these residencies was enough to convince me that if I ever want to be the writer I yearn to become, I would have to invest in more experiences like that.
Third, my first book was published–Lost Crossings–a community funded collaboration between myself and photographer Shane Darwent. We dreamed big but went small, relying on local donations to fund our project. In the end we sold out an entire exhibition of photographs, a second round of 2nd edition unframed prints, and 250 copies of our book. We were written up in 4 magazines, reviewed in 2 states, and applauded by over 70 people the day of the book’s release.
Without the support of these communities—the ones where I was in residency and my mountain community here—I would not have had the confidence to take this leap. Through this support, I was able to see a way of life for myself then carve out the time to make that life a reality.
My rough schedule for 2010 is as follows (in progress):
January: Pacific Residency, resident, Seaside, Oregon
January-May: Interlochen Arts Academy, Writer-in-Residence, Interlochen, Michigan
June: My cousins’ graduations, then a 1-week meditation retreat in Nova Scotia
July-August: Interlochen Summer Academy, Writing Instructor, Interlochen, Michigan
August-October: Possibilities include Alaska, Wyoming, Alaska, Minnesota, Alaska, North Carolina, and Alaska.
November: Weymouth Center for the Arts, resident, Southern Pines, North Carolina
December: Home (Celo, NC)
Possibilities for 2011 include:
The Gershwin (NYC), Fishtrap Writer in Residence (Wallowa County, OR), and The Wurlizter Foundation (Taos, NM)…and?
Here goes everything…!