Thursday, April 9, 2009

Another Step on the Path to Reincarnation as a Writer

Ever since my friend Shanna applied for a writer's residency at McDowell and got it, I've been filling out applications, too.  While she was at MacDowell Shanna sent me a photo of her room and I burst into tears at the thought of sitting in the chair next to the big stone fireplace and pecking away at my laptop while others prepared my meals and sheltered me from the everyday world. I asked to see her application when she got back to L.A. and what I remember is this: The first item on the form was List your prizes and awards, most recent first--and then there were 8 or 10 stark black lines waiting to be written upon.  Shanna (according to my memory) wrote, "You're kidding, right?" The rest of the application was in much the same vein. But Shanna is an utterly fabulous writer and her writing sample was the key that got her a month at a very prestigious residency program.  
MacDowell rejected me when I applied a year or so ago. But I applied to a few others.  I got into the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Vermont Studio Center. 
Then I got rejected from the Millay Colony--twice.  But recently I've been notified that I'm an Auvillar fellow for the fall and will be going to France to write.  Today I got a call from Ragdale and I've been awarded a residency there, too. Little by little, I'm becoming a writer.
I need better work habits, but eventually hope to become a writing machine.

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

You ARE a writer, residencies or not. A very good friend of mine went to Ragsdale and really loved it -- I can put you in touch with her if you'd like. Otherwise, congratulations!

Shanna said...

Hello cupcake,

Congratulations on all your acceptances! That's stupendous. And just to keep things in perspective, MacDowell rejected me this summer, even though I've been before, and Yaddo took a pass on me for the SECOND time. The Norman Mailer Writers Colony said yes, but for a workshop scholarship, not the fellowship for which I originally applied. I'm still slogging away on the memoir, DETERMINED to finish a draft this summer. I miss you and would love to catch up in person. I'm reading at the L.A. Times Festival of Books on April 26th. Are you in town? Maybe we could have dinner with Elizabeth the night before or that night? I'll email you...

Jules said...

ditto congratulations! You're my role model.

Tammy said...

You are an amazing writer. I can't wait to read the new draft of the book! Love Ya! and Congratulation.