In 2008, around this time, I was getting ready to go to the Breadloaf Writers Conference. See those mountains, and those chairs out on the grass, conveniently placed for you to write while soaking up the crisp, clean air…yeah. I enjoyed my time there…my daily walks by the river, our barn jam, the readings and master classes, the connections, the discoveries… I was there on an international fellowship as part of Ursula Hegi’s workshop (book rec sidebar: Floating in My Mother’s Palm and fellow fellow Will Allison’s What You Have Left: A Novel
…oh also Martha Southgate’s The Fall of Rome: A Novel..Preeta Samarasan’s Evening Is the Whole Day…okay, I’ll stop but suffice it to say that I bought more books than I sold that summer *smh*). I was doing a lot of reading as part of my purpose for being there, as well, as as a fellow I was involved in critiquing the work of other workshop participants.
I got the opportunity to read in the auditorium (another perk of being a participating fellow)…which…now I think of it might be my first really international audience… maybe, I think…needless to say I was nervous. You can maybe hear it in my voice…
Sidebar: You can find both stories read at Breadloaf in the anniversary edition of Dancing Nude in the Moonlight.
Finally, my Breadloaf experience was a (mostly) good one (hey, nothing’s perfect, right?). I do recommend it and have recommended other local authors for it because it gave me the distance, the space, the peace, the time, the quiet, the long walks and quiet days by the river wild, and the supportive community to hoist my flagging spirits, to find my Muse again, to, on returning home, pick up Oh Gad! again…and the rest, as they say, is history.