I wanted to make the title of this post “Dude, I’m So Stoked to Win This Residency.” It’s an inside joke inspired by my daughter, who once came up with the line “Dude, I’m so stoked to win this Nobel” as one that’s unlikely to ever be spoken. It’s silly, but it’s true. I am stoked.
Wildacres Retreat is a conference center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and in addition to hosting all manner of non-profit arts and education programs, they offer one-week residencies for writers and artists to work on a project in the solitude of a mountain cabin.
I learned a lesson about persistence when I was awarded a residency this year, as I almost didn’t fill out the application. I had applied before (twice, actually) and my project been turned down. This year, I almost didn’t bother, but I also felt that my lost film book had a better shot at being accepted. The fact that the article that inspired it had been nominated for an award (The Rondo Hatton Award, honoring classic film research) was validation that pushed me into trying one more time.
And I got it. Now, my goal is to live up to the opportunity. It’s both a tool and a gift. As much as I value privacy, real solitude is pretty rare in my life. This is a chance to get a lot of writing done, without interference from body-climbing cats or my neighbor’s tuba lessons. I’m somewhat afraid of liking it too much. (Don’t be shocked if a post titled “I’m Moving to the Woods” appears.)
While I’ve been busy researching for months now, the next couple of weeks are a flurry of activity. I have a ton of research materials on the way, and I’m scrambling to get at least somewhat close to the end of the major research. The goal is to be ready to write when the residency time comes.
Then, maybe later, a Nobel.