This may sound crazy, but last week’s Community of Writers at Squaw Valley Writers Workshop was one of the best experiences of my life. Crazy because on the surface it’s just a conference and who ever has a life changing time at a conference? But the thing is I left feeling a sense of community that I had never before felt since I started writing fiction. I’d also been slumpy after not getting into grad school. Knowing that I had to workshop 2 stories, in the weeks leading up to it, I started writing seriously again, and I guess consequently taking myself seriously as a writer again. Squaw helped to propel me, then it caught me in its beak and kept flying. The result was magical. In the future, I promise I will try my damndest to keep at it, and keep on putting my work out there. Because good things happen when I do. (I’m using the word “good” in the broadest sense.) I am also getting better, never the same as a minute ago, which is important. I learned so much this week about myself as a writer and story teller, the things I care about and the things I need and want to work at. I filled an entire Moleskine with ideas about writing and life. I won’t tell you the substance now. First, process. And the substance will hopefully find its way into my fiction. I met some writers who I feel will be my friends/writing buddies forever—maybe this sounds crazy again, but I don’t care. It felt like falling in love with writing, again. And I needed that. I feel so motivated it’s not even funny.
So thank you, Squaw Valley. Thank you for taking me in, and doing me a solid. And altering my perception of what a conference can be.
These are a few photos of our house from the outside. I love the nighttime quiet and the noises of the frogs, and the shell of darkness enveloping my office/lair. From here, this place, I can write my stories. Oh, and in case you were wondering, we’re staying in Big Sur until next summer. At least.
(PS, I may keep revising this post. It is the writer in me, needing to make it better. It’s also helping me understand and appreciate the beautiful messy state I’m in.)