January-July 2010: Writer-in-Residence for Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI.
In the far reaches of northern Michigan, I was given my own cabin along the shores of a snowy, frozen lake. I had all the privacy in the world while also living on a campus filled with music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and more. Favorite posts included: Ice Fishing, The Great Lakes, Leon Time, Week 8 Reflections, Hunting for Mystery, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (series), Advisors (series), Flags at Half Mast, Week 16 Reflections, Summer Arts Stats, and How I Write.
August-September 2010: Self-designed roving residency across Alaska.
Thanks to the kindness of friends I met in 2009 (which led to its own unique series of posts), I flew into Anchorage, then spent roughly 2 weeks in Fairbanks with another author, 1 week backpacking in the White Mountains, 2 1/2 weeks in Denali (including time with sled dogs), and 1 week in the Chugach. Each link corresponds to the first post for that part of the trip.
October 2010: Writer-in-Residence at Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines, NC.
As recipient of the Linda Flowers Literary Prize, I was awarded a 1-month residency in a 22-bedroom (haunted) mansion that is preserved and kept up by the Weymouth Center. Over the course of the month, I edited my manuscript, considered ghosts, and walked the beautiful grounds of longleaf pine forest. Popular posts include: Welcome to the Mansion, Calling Forth the Ghosts, Doing My Job, Words of Wisdom, and Wandering.
November 2010: Artist-in-the-Schools for McDowell Arts Council Association in Marion, NC.
I spent two weeks teaching flash fiction to middle school students as a visiting artist in the schools. This program is sponsored in part by the North Carolina Arts Council and Western Art Agencies of North Carolina. Favorite posts include days 2, 4, and 5.
November-December 2010: Resident Fellow, Jentel Foundation in Banner, WY.
Cloistered with 2 painters, 1 poet, 1 printmaker, and a photographer in the high desert of Wyoming, this 1-month fellowship was truly memorable. We lived together, worked in separate studios, and took turns cooking amazing dinners for the group. Nightly conversations about art, the creative process, interpretation, color, and more are just one thing that made Jentel so special. Favorite posts include: Invention of Yellow, American Great Plains, Gearing Up, and Shift in Process.
January-May 2011: Writer-in-Residence for Fishtrap, Wallowa County, OR.
Fishtrap is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support clear thinking and good writing in and about the West. Serving as Writer-in-Residence for Wallowa County, I taught young writers 8 hours per week in local public schools and spent the rest of my time studying local history, exploring my favorite mountain range in the state, and making deep connections with many talented, kind residents I can now call friends. Popular posts include: The Sea Cow of Wallowa Lake, Bookwork and Footwork, The Enduring Elk, Week 2 Reflections, Success, Photo Collage, Week 7 Reflections, Walking Backwards Through Time, Close But No Offer, There Are Places Here, The Zumwalt, Rail Canyon Road, Three Cowboys and a Writer, The Living End, and Farewell.
April 2011: Imnaha Writer's Retreat in Imnaha, OR.
Part of Fishtrap, this retreat in Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area hosts a different group of writers each week. I enjoyed it so much, I stayed the entire month! Popular posts include: Writer's Retreat, Imnaha River Canyon, Craft in the Canyon, Lessons from the Canyon, and Canyon Photo Collage.
June-August 2011: Summer Arts and College of Creative Arts Faculty, Interlochen, MI.
Returning to Interlochen for part-time teaching, I taught as Guest Faculty for adult courses in memoir in June and August. At the height of the season, I taught talented middle school writers 4 hours a day, using the rest of my time to write, bike, read, and research. Posts to check out include: Ode to Teenagers, Summer Arts Camp, Lucinda Williams Live, Found Poems in Altered Books, and Making Meaning.
September 2011: THE WAREHOUSE SESSIONS in Houston, TX.
Teaming up with painter Howard Sherman, we spent three weeks living in a studio warehouse in the heart of downtown Houston. Using title prompts from The New York Times articles, I completed a series of flash fictions called "Minor Urban Catastrophes." I also blogged about my Houston discoveries, much to the delight of local readers. Texans love being written about! Popular posts include: 85,000 Houstonians Underground, It's a Cattalo!, Rebirth of Our Nationality, and Harris County Jail.
What do you get when you combine 1 writer, 46 bison, packs of wild boars, and 1500 acres? A whole lot of writing done! Oh, and plenty of parched, sunny, mammal-filled days of exploration. Madrono Ranch is a special place. Favorite posts include: Droughts and Double Rainbows, The Old West, The Majestic Buck, and Bounding Bison: A Photo Collage.
October-November 2011: Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA.
Returning to VCCA was a gift. With six full weeks to do my work, I zeroed in on the war stories and neared the completion of new work for the manuscript, meeting many mentors along the way. Popular posts include: Conrad Hilberry, Payoff in Process, and The Friends We Make.
January 2012: The Island Institute in Sitka, AK.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful spots in the United States, this island residency in the dead of winter proved perfect for making final revisions on my manuscript. The Tongass National Forest and community members of Sitka made for an especially memorable experience. Favorite moments include: Aluetkina Bay, Skiff Rescue, Deer Hunting, Revised Sledding, Photo Collage, and Farewell.
February 2012: Alaska Writing Center in Anchorage, AK.
Teaching for the Alaska Writing Center's group called 49 Writers, I met weekly with 7 enthusiastic adults to discuss deep revision and submissions to literary magazines. I spent my days writing, snowshoeing, dog-walking, and fur-rondying. Memorable posts include: Fur Rondy Video, Bunny Boots, The Blue Bear, and Moose Woes.
April-June 2012: Prairie Center for the Arts in Peoria, IL.
Nearing the end of my journey, I got to spend 10 weeks in residence in a city: Peoria, Illinois. Traveling to the studio in the Prairie Center van each morning, a handful of artists and myself worked in an inspiring, converted warehouse in a historic district along the river. Each evening, we road 11 miles back to the Resident's House where central air-conditioning, cozy couches, a full kitchen, and a sun room invited community and relaxation. Favorite posts include: Midwesterners Speak, Industrial Canvas, and Tornado Warning.
June-August, 2012: Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, MI
It seemed only fitting to end my three years on the road at a place like Interlochen, which engages and inspires people worldwide through excellence in educational, artistic and cultural programs, enhancing the quality of life through the universal language of the arts. Little did I know I would return to this place for years and years to come. The day I got in the car to drive back to North Carolina, I received news that my manuscript, Flashes of War, had been accepted for publication by Loyola University Maryland's Apprentice House Press.