Friday, August 2, 2013

mississippi











Natchez. Claiborne. Vicksburg.

My guy took me on a roadtrip.

vermont studio center

Photo by Howard Romero for Vermont Studio Center

You may recall I had a residency at Vermont Studio Center for two weeks last January. I say you may as the "you" is aimed at my most loyal (perhaps only) readers: Sara Kaye Larson and Brendan McFadden. I'm just now, gulp, expanding upon my time there, but also announcing that I got the residency again for a whole month in February of next year. I'm going to start another book there. 

At the bottom of this post, there's a link to photos that really give the best tour of the experience. It was below freezing the entire time my feet trekked through Johnson, Vermont. As a New Orleans girl, I was in no way prepared for the shock of the cold, but I relished the blankets of snow that erased all green. Johnson is a mill town, and there's just one bar, one laundromat, one book store, one church, and that whole aspect was pretty amazing, very Twin Peaks. Upon arrival, I had been assigned a cabin to sleep in and a writer's studio that was separate. There's a red mill for all the meals, readings and slide shows, and the essential coffee refills. This divide was really effective. If I sleep where I work, I barely work. Also, going to fetch that cup of coffee allowed my thoughts to simmer while walking. Awhile back I shared a post about forest baths, which is a concept of going on walks as a sort of cleansing. I certainly felt that here and have tried to uphold the tradition even now at home. The residency was composed of writers, painters, photographers, sculptors, mixed media/video, etc., and so I was forever sitting down to meals with interesting people. On two different occasions, I sat next to women who grew up in Detroit when my book was set, which was so valuable and a gift, really. 


Here's a link to my shots from the residency.